What is Criminology?

What is Criminology? Mary Bosworth and Carolyn Hoyle Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199571826 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571826.001.0001 Postcolonial Perspectives for Criminology Postcolonial Perspectives for Criminology Chapter: (p.249) 17 Postcolonial Perspectives for Criminology Source: What is Criminology? Author(s): Chris Cunneen Publisher: Oxford University Press DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571826.003.0018 Abstract and Keywords This chapter argues for the importance of a postcolonial perspective in criminology. It is a perspective that has the potential to offer new theoretical insights, and to expand the discipline in an engaged and reflexive endeavour that is cognisant of cultural and historical differences. To date, postcolonial theory has had greater impact in areas such as literature, law, politics, and sociology than it has in criminology. Following writers like Edward Said and Gayatri Spivak, it is suggested that postcolonialism is a perspective that demands we recognize the ongoing and enduring effects of colonialism on both the colonized and the colonizers. Colonization and the postcolonial are not historical events but continuing social, political, economic, and cultural processes. The postcolonial exists as an aftermath of colonialism and it manifests itself in a range of areas from the cultures of the former imperial powers to the psyches of those that were colonized. The chapter explores the potential of a postcolonial perspective: from understanding the relationship between colonization, state crime and the over-representation of marginalized peoples, to an appreciation of indigenous art as a site for criminological investigation. Keywords:   criminology, postcolonialism, postcolonial theory, colonization, state crime, marginalized peoples, indigenous art, criminological investigation Introduction This chapter argues for the importance of a postcolonial perspective in criminology. It is a perspective that has the potential to offer new theoretical insights, and to expand the discipline in an engaged and reflexive endeavour that is cognisant of cultural and historical difference. To date, postcolonial theory has had greater impact in areas such as literature, law, politics, and sociology than it has in criminology. Rather than delve into the intricacies of postcolonial theory, I want to approach it here as a perspective that can significantly enhance the vision of criminology. Following writers like Edward Said and Gayatri Spivak, I suggest that postcolonialism is a perspective that demands we recognize the ongoing and enduring effects of colonialism on both the colonized and the colonizers. Colonization and the postcolonial are not historical events but continuing social, political, economic, and cultural processes. The postcolonial exists as an aftermath of colonialism and it manifests itself in a range of areas from the cultures of the former imperial powers to the psyches of those that were colonized. In this chapter I explore the potential of a postcolonial (p.250) perspective: from understanding the relationship between colonization, state crime and the over-representation of marginalized peoples, to an appreciation of indigenous art as a site for criminological investigation. Legal theorists have used postcolonial approaches to understand the role of law in the colonial process, as well as how the ideological effects of colonial laws continue to have relevance today, and may well continue to have exploitative consequences. They have sought to demonstrate the effects of transplanting western laws onto colonial peoples as part of the process of empire building in a range of areas from intellectual property law and land law to international law and questions of sovereignty. More fundamentally, scholars have questioned the claims to universality of western-based law and jurisprudence. Yet, with few exceptions (eg, Agozino 2003, 2004, 2005; Blagg 2008; Cunneen 2007, 2008; Morrison 2006;

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