SOCU2119 Criminological Theory : Fountain Essays


  1. “Despite the efforts of Left Realists, New Right Criminology has had a lasting negative impact on criminal justice policy”. Critically discuss this statement with reference to the materials and concepts covered in week 9
  2. Why might many Critical Race theorists also advocate for abolitionism? Critically discuss with reference to the materials and concepts covered in week 10
  3. What do postmodern criminologists mean when they state that “language structures thought”? Critically discuss this statement with reference to the materials and concepts covered in week 11
  4. “The ‘loose can[n]on’ of cultural criminology allows us to smash open and critique mainstream criminology”. Critically discuss this statement with reference to the materials and concepts covered in week 12


“Despite the efforts of Left Realists, New Right Criminology has had a lasting negative impact on criminal justice policy”

New right can be identified as a conservative perspective of criminology, which is a specific political orientation, which influentially opposed to liberalism. Although Left Realists have given immense response in the British criminology against the policies of neo-conservatism, the New Right Criminology has been observed to be the central approach to the crime since the year 1980. In addition, the left realists made a significant contribution to improving the policies against the dominating power of new right criminology with the broader perspectives in Australia during the same time. On the other hand, the New Right is characterized by reducing social inequality. Thus, it does not concern about the racial division, as the indigenous people are categorically overrepresented in the criminal justice system. In addition, it generally includes issues relating to race ethnicity, gender, and class by prioritizing individuals values along with the perceptions. Additionally, the New Right can be considered to be problematic at the time of making rational choice in terms of mental illness of the offenders. It further helps in providing the belief of moral rightness, which often can extensively, goes against the evidence. While concerning about Left realism, individual agency is perceived to be imperative to any realist approach, which tends to convert theory into practice (White, Haines, & Asquith, 2017).

In this context, The Victorian Liberal party introduced a minimum sentence for repeat violent for reducing the rate of crime in 2018 to some of the Australian territories. The Migration Act was forced to meet the minimum-term imprisonment to aggravate the people-smuggling offenses. However, the approach failed in reducing crimes and public safety, as it was uncertain about future authenticity along with being expensive. In addition, the policies announced by the Victorian Liberals formed a Zero tolerance policing. Thus, the terrorists must shift away from the populist’s ineffective law. In addition, orders policies favor the evidenced-based and individualized responses to serious criminal justice concerns (The Conversation Media Group Ltd., 2019). There was question relating to whether imprisonment affects the crime rate or not. Thus, due to the strict laws along with the orders, the prison population immensely increased in Victoria. It was concluded by the policy engagement of women prisoners in Victoria, named Melanie Poole that the lack of protected lodging was also a key aspect of imprisonment (Millar & Vedelago, 2019).

Why might many Critical Race theorists also advocate for abolitionism?

Critical criminology can be reflective in several ways. A response to crime must focus on the aspects of social empowerment, basic human rights, and social empowerment. In addition, by analyzing critical criminology, it can be determined that it builds upon the notion of Marxists and feminists. Contextually, it focuses on integrating the ideas to generate the ideas of the social and natural atmosphere, which is not relied on the racist destructive and heterosexist practices of production along with consumption. However, several debates embraced the concept of critical criminology to incorporate the aspects of left realism, which helped in providing an indication that critical race must be associated with specific criticism rather than a specific analytical framework. In addition, left realism further argues that crime unduly has an impact on the working-class people. However, the solutions, which focus on increasing the overall oppression, lead to making the crime more problematic. Additionally, they further argued that the key reasons for the emergence of crime depend on relative deprivation. Preventative measures, as well as, policing are necessary, but it should not be controlled in a democratic manner. Both radical and liberal approaches intend to change the exiting criminal practices, which can cover conceptual and strategic issues. Capitalism was criticized based on structuring the strength of society and view crime in the context of social relations along with political economy of advanced capitalisms. It was further argued that the issues regarding racism, heterosexism, as well as, sexism was outsized and ignored in the Marxist writing. The focus was given to the structural diversities in resource allocation along with decision-making influence, and control over discussion. In addition, Abolitionism was the most powerful concept of critical criminology concerning the issues of injustice and oppression (White, Haines, & Asquith, 2017b).


What do postmodern criminologists mean when they state that “language structures thought”?

Critical criminology is identified as a generic term that intends to provide an alternative approach to control crime and its consequences, which is also identified to be a post-modern condition. Realism can be a contradictory aspect of idealism. Critical realism has rapidly grown as an impactful object, as a reaction to the post-modern critiques. The aspects of language critique were highlighted in Hopkins (2018). In this context, language studies are significant for critical justice theory to endorse critical racism criminology on criminal justice system practices. This is because it can help in revealing the concept of racism from the viewpoint of criminal justice. The process includes face-to-face interactions with the criminals by writing research questions and composing interviews to analyze prison records, as well as, the statistics. Criminological reality is presented by global capitalism in the context of radical ultra-realist criminology, which is a condition for permanently intensifying crisis and insecurity in terms of politics. Hence, this has become intensely implausible as along with being counterproductive. However, the real consequences should be distinguished by ideal amplification, which can be considered to be the most significant task for determining ultra-realist criminology (Hopkins, 2018).

In the post-modern analysis, social diversities and discourse analysis were further manifested. The analysis explains utilizing certain tools, which assists in decoding the language along with the meaning of law and the order of the criminal justice system. For instance, the concept of feminist was introduced, which further led to emphasizing the legal biases against women. This type of analysis further revealed the hidden text of oppression. Contextually, this analysis appeared to be the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which was significant in the development of critical race theory. The central idea of post-modern is however different from modernity, which facilitates high degrees of individuation, diverse forms of personal identity along with high efficiency of social differentiation (White, Haines, & Asquith, 2017a).

“The ‘loose can[n]on’ of cultural criminology allow us to smash open and critique mainstream criminology”.

The cultural criminology is perceived to be a loose cannon, which is set upon in relation to smashing the “canonical core of orthodox criminology” (Martin, 2018) It further focuses on reimagining the overall criminological activity by considering other methodological approaches (Martin, 2018). The new field of cultural criminology was introduced as the criminology of skin by Jeff Ferrell with the assistance of his collaborators. Models of criminology, which intends to serve as the remedy, are essentially required to emerge from the lives of criminals. The sharp-edged concept of cultural criminology unleashed can be defined as a proactive and significant alternative to the obstacles of conventional criminology (Ferrell, Hayward, Morrison, & Presdee, 2004). The activities towards shifting narrative criminology can be an impactful critique for mainstream criminology. In addition, narrative criminology is observed to have its own implications along with the effects, which have accomplished several advantages in terms of social sciences and humanities. With respect to narrative criminology, the structure and meaning of offenders are plotted, as well as identified, by scrutinizing the data collected through qualitative interviews and fieldwork, which helps in illustrating the moral identities of the prisoners. Contextually, narratives are connected and developed from different narratives and cultures of mainstream society (Presser, 2015).

In addition, the edgework skills focus on covering the demands and emotions attached to the late modern society instead of conflict from them. The aspects of Edgework are concerned with the contemporary social order and included in the mainstream of institutional life. With the assistance of edge workers, the people were able to explore the similarities of their personal experiences in spite of their race, gender, occupation, as well as, intellectual temperament (Lyng, 2005).



Ferrell, J. (2010). Encyclopedia of criminological theory. SAGE Reference, 1-7.

Ferrell, J., Hayward, K., Morrison, W., & Presdee, M. (2004). Cultural Criminology unleashed. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Hopkins, B.R. (2018). Rediscovering critical criminology An Introduction to Criminological Theory, 466-502. 

Liddle, C. (2014, June 25). Intersectionality and Indigenous feminism: An Aboriginal woman’s perspective. Retrieved October 19, 2019, from

Lyng, S. (2005). Edgework. The Sociology of Risk-Taking, 3-273. 

Martin, G. (2018). Crime, media and culture. London: Routledge.

Millar, R., & Vedelago, C. (2019). Prisons are booming as Victoria pays for its ‘tough on crime’ stance. Retrieved, October 19, from

Presser, L. (2015). Narrative criminology: Understanding stories of crime. New York: NYU Press.

The Conversation Media Group Ltd. (2019). Mandatory minimum sentences and populist criminal justice policy do not work – here’s why. Retrieved October 19, 2019, from

White, R., Haines, F., Asquith, N. (2017). Realist approaches. Crime & Criminology, 158-184.

White, R., Haines, F., Asquith, N. (2017a). Critical criminology. Crime & Criminology, 210-230.

White, R., Haines, F., Asquith, N. (2017b). Cultural and postmodern criminology. Crime & Criminology, 232-251.

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