1st Edition

Sex, Violence and Crime Foucault and the 'Man' Question

By Adrian Howe Copyright 2008
    246 Pages
    by Routledge-Cavendish

    246 Pages
    by Routledge-Cavendish

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    What happens when you sex violent crimes? More specifically, what happens when you make men’s violence against women the subject of a conversation or the focus of scholarly attention? The short answer is: all hell breaks loose. Adrian Howe explores some of the ways in which this persistent and pervasive form of violence has been named and unnamed as a significant social problem in western countries over the past four decades. Addressing what she calls the ‘Man’ question-so named because it pays attention to the discursive place occupied, or more usually vacated, by men in accounts of their violence against women-she explores what happens when that violence is placed on the criminological and political agenda.


    Written in a theoretically-informed yet accessible style, Sex, Violence and Crime-Foucault and the ‘Man’ Question provides a novel and highly original approach to questions of sex and violence in contemporary western society. Directed at criminologists, students and, more widely, at anyone interested in these issues, it challenges readers to come to grips with postmodern feminist reconceptualisations of the fraught relationship between sex, violence and crime in order to better combat men’s violence against women and children.

    On the Popularity of Sex and the Topicality of Violence.  Sex, Violence and Method.  Sex, Violence and Criminology.  Pierre Rivire: A Postmodern Case Study (or For and Against Foucault).  'Strange' Men: From Sex to Sex Killers in the 'Age of Sex Crime'.  Putting Men on the Agenda: Racializing Sexual Violence.  Naming and Un-Naming Men's Violence: 'Domestic Violence' and other Discursive Strategies.  The 'Discovery' and 'Rediscovery' of Child (Sexual) Assault.  The 'Woman Question' in Sexed Crime: Woman as Victim/Killer/Agent


    Adrian Howe is Professor of Criminology at the University of Central Lancashire and is the author of Punish and Critique: Towards a Feminist Theory of Penality.

    "How hard it is to express genuine intellectual excitement and a true appreciation of scholarship in a short commendation on the back cover of a book! Everyone assumes it must only be conventional hyperbole. Brushing that aside I insist that this is a most important feminist tour de force; Howe resituates feminist ways of knowing into the core of the criminological enterprise. Her critical perspective illuminates and inspires. This is a passionate book about an important subject and it will take its rightful place in the canon." - Carol Smart, University of Manchester, UK

    "Foucault (in this book’s subtitle) and Gramsci (who figures importantly in the content) are certainly familiar in political theory these days, and I recommend Howe’s book very highly for her nuanced and perceptive discussions of both...Power/knowledge and hegemony are carefully and critically explicated here, and any student in social theory would benefit from the very focused engagement that Howe offers throughout." - Terrell Carver, University of Bristol, UK

    "The author addresses the invisibility of the gendered nature of crimes against women in the fields of both criminology and Foucauldian perspectives, and does this convincingly and brilliantly. A must read for feminists and gender scholars, as well as for criminologists, especially those who study and teach about gendered violence. Also appropriate for professionals/practitioners, especially the book's second half, which is less theoretical and more practically oriented." - A. J. Hattery, Wake Forest University, Choice, 2009

    "Howe’s narrative is warm, witty, and selfrevealing... Howe picks away at modern culture (I love her analysis of Cosmopolitan and other popular women’s magazines), making the theoretical connections between media representations and violence against women" - Cheryl Hanna, Vermont Law School, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Summer 2010

    "This is a critical, passionate, and committed book that takes issue with the invisibility—or as the author would prefer ‘erasure’ of men—from criminological and public policy discourse in relation to sexual violence."—Men and Masculinities