Hester and Eglin’s A Sociology of Crime has an outstanding reputation for its distinctive and systematic contribution to the criminological literature. Through detailed examples and analysis, it shows how crime is a product of processes of criminalisation constituted through the interactional and organizational use of language.
In this welcome second edition, the book reviews and evaluates the current state of criminological theory from this "grammatical" perspective. It maintains and develops its critical and subversive stance but greatly widens its theoretical range, including dedicated chapters on gender, race, class and the post-als including postcolonialism. It now also provides questions, exercises and further readings alongside its detailed analysis of a set of international examples, both classical and contemporary.
By any standards, this book is remarkable. Comparisons between this Second Edition of Hester and Eglin’s classic text, and the original, are both instructive, and moot; for, not only is this an updating of material 25 years on, sadly, one of the authors – Stephen Hester – died in 2014. Peter Eglin has, then, secured an outstanding achievement. The analytic reach of this book moves it beyond classification as a textbook. It collects together and evaluates a wide range of highly advanced research in an unusually accessible manner. So while this can be used as a university course textbook, it is also an extremely valuable contribution to the literatures on crime, criminology, ethnomethodology, MCA, policing and police work, and sociology, in its own right.
Andrew Carlin, Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK, Policing and Society Journal
Part I: Positively Undertaken
Part II: Interpretatively Turned
5. Defining the Situation
6. Practical Reasoning
Part III: Politically Challenged
Part IV: Epistemically Undermined