1st Edition

A Criminological Imagination Essays on Justice, Punishment, Discourse

By Pat Carlen Copyright 2010
    404 Pages
    by Routledge

    402 Pages
    by Routledge

    A Criminological Imagination contains a selection of key articles from Pat Carlen's research studies of magistrates' courts and women's imprisonment together with a range of other articles on social control, discourse analysis, ideology, punishment, criminology and critique. They are all informed by an assumption that while criminal justice must remain imaginary in societies based upon unequal and exploitative social relations, one task of a criminological imagination might be to suggest why this is so, and how things could be otherwise. This is an invaluable collection for anyone interested in crime, justice and injustice and the social, political and academic contexts in which knowledge of them is constructed.

    Contents: Introduction; Published writings; Part I Discourse/Ideology/Social Control: The staging of magistrates' justice; Magistrates courts: a game theoretic analysis; Remedial routines for the maintenance of control in magistrates' courts; Official discourse (with F. Burton); Controlling measures: the repackaging of common-sense opposition to women's imprisonment in England and Canada; Imaginary penalities and risk-crazed governance. Part II Women/Prisons/Punishment: Virginia, criminology and the anti-social control of women; Papa's discipline: an analysis of disciplinary modes in the Scottish women’s prison; Why study women's imprisonment? Or anyone else's?; On rights and powers: some notes on penal politics; Crime, inequality and sentencing; 'Underclass' crime and imprisonment: the continuing need for agendas of utopianism, abolitionism and socialism in criminology and criminal justice; Death and the triumph of governance? Lessons from the Scottish women's prison; Imprisonment and the penal body politic: the cancer of disciplinary governance; Analyzing women's imprisonment: abolition and its enemies. Part III Feminism/Criminology/Critique: Against the politics of sex discrimination: for the politics of difference and a women-wise approach to sentencing; Criminal women and criminal justice: the limits to, and potential of, feminist and left realist perspectives; Criminology Ltd: the search for a paradigm; Critical criminology? In praise of an oxymoron and its enemies; Official discourse, comic relief and the play of governance; Name Index.


    Pat Carlen is Visiting Professor of Criminology at Kent University and Editor-in-Chief, British Journal of Criminology.