C. Wright Mills and the Criminological Imagination: Prospects for Creative Inquiry, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

C. Wright Mills and the Criminological Imagination

Prospects for Creative Inquiry, 1st Edition

By Jon Frauley


298 pages

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In spite of its widespread use within criminology, the term ’criminological imagination’, as derived from C. Wright Mills’ classic The Sociological Imagination, has yet to be fully developed and clarified as an analytic concept capable of guiding theorizing or empirical enquiry. This volume, with a preface by Elliot Currie, engages with and reflects on this concept, exploring C. Wright Mills’ work for criminological enquiry. Bringing together the latest work of leading scholars in the fields of criminology and sociology from around the world, C. Wright Mills and the Criminological Imagination investigates the emergence and lineage of a criminological concept indebted to Mills’ thought, adapting and applying it to a specifically criminological context. With attention to theoretical concerns and, as well as the application of the criminological imagination in concrete empirical research, this volume sheds new light on the methodological and analytical aspects of the criminological imagination as a multifaceted concept and explores the possibilities that it offers for the emergence of an imaginative criminological practice. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in sociology and social theory, criminology, criminal justice studies, law and research methods.


"The book asks important questions, which are also relevant to others fields…I highly recommend

this book for all criminologists and social scientists."

Anne Alvesalo-Kuusi, Sosiologia

Table of Contents

Foreword, Elliott Currie; C. Wright Mills and the criminological imagination: introductory remarks, Jon Frauley. Part I C. Wright Mills, the Criminological Imagination and the Criminological Field: For a refractive criminology: against science machines and cheerful robots, Jon Frauley; The demise of the criminological imagination: thirty years later, Frank P. Williams III; Contemporary criminology and the sociological imagination, Eamonn Carrabine; The criminological imagination in an age of global cybernetic power, Stephen Pfohl. Part II The Criminological Imagination, Theoretical Insights, Empirical Implications: The implications of the sociology of C. Wright Mills for modern criminological theory revisited, Joseph A. Scimecca; Sympathy and the criminological imagination, Melanie White; Re-imagining social control: G.H. Mead, C. Wright Mills and beyond, Nicolas Carrier. Part III The Criminological Imagination, Empirical Insights, Theoretical Implications: Critical research values and C. Wright Mills’ Sociological Imagination: learning lessons from researching prison officers, David Scott; Neo-liberalism, higher education and anti-politics: the assault on the criminological imagination, Alana Barton and Howard Davis; Imagining the unthinkable: climate change, ecocide and children,Rob White; The criminological imagination and the promise of fiction, Stephanie Piamonte; Imagining transnational security projects, David Nelken

About the Author

Jon Frauley is Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, including Criminology, Deviance and the Silver Screen: The Fictional Reality and the Criminological Imagination and co-editor of Critical Realism and the Social Sciences: Heterodox Elaborations.

About the Series

Classical and Contemporary Social Theory

Classical and Contemporary Social Theory
Classical and Contemporary Social Theory publishes rigorous scholarly work that re-discovers the relevance of social theory for contemporary times, demonstrating the enduring importance of theory for modern social issues. The series covers social theory in a broad sense, inviting contributions on both 'classical' and modern theory, thus encompassing sociology, without being confined to a single discipline. As such, work from across the social sciences is welcome, provided that volumes address the social context of particular issues, subjects, or figures and offer new understandings of social reality and the contribution of a theorist or school to our understanding of it. The series considers significant new appraisals of established thinkers or schools, comparative works or contributions that discuss a particular social issue or phenomenon in relation to the work of specific theorists or theoretical approaches. Contributions are welcome that assess broad strands of thought within certain schools or across the work of a number of thinkers, but always with an eye toward contributing to contemporary understandings of social issues and contexts.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General