Social Constructionist Theory has become a transcendent perspective appearing in a variety of disciplines from sociology, psychology and psychotherapy, to geography, political science and post-modernism. It integrates the symbolic interactionist tradition of social psychology with the labeling theory from the sociology of deviance, and with sociological phenomenology, to provide insight into the ways social interaction becomes objective social reality, constitutive of social institutions and culminating in social structure. When applied to crime and justice, as in this volume, the theoretical penetration of mundane activities allow us to see how crime, justice and penalty emerge as anchoring concepts, while also showing the arbitrary nature of these social formations that have such an important impact on everyday people’s lives. The volume is organized to examine: the classical roots of constructionist theory in the work of Alfred Schutz and popularized by Berger and Luckmann; its applications to the sociology of deviance though the works of Becker and Goffman; and the important deviations into the methodology made by Garfinkel as well as reflections on its current standing in criminological theory.
Contents: Introduction. Theoretical Overview: Social construction of crime, Stuart Henry. Part I Social Constructionism, Criminology and Criminal Justice: Theoretical Roots: Alfred Schutz: Phenomenology and contemporary sociological theory: the contribution of Alfred Schutz, Helmut R. Wagner; Alfred Schutz's influence on American sociologists and sociology, George Psathas; Constructing Social Problems: Social problems: a re-formulation, Malcolm Spector and John I. Kitsuse; Social problems theory: the constructionist view, Joseph W. Schneider; Constructing Crime: The Media’s Role in Defining Crime: Media constructions of crime, Vincent F. Sacco; The media’s role in the definition of crime, Ray Surette and Charles Otto; Constructing Crime: Moral Panics: ’The Ice Age’: the social construction of a drug panic, Philip Jenkins; Another look at moral panics: the case of satanic day care centers, Mary DeYoung; Beyond folk devil resistance: linking moral panic and moral regulation, Sean P. Hier, Dan Lett, Kevin Walby and André Smith; Constructing Criminal Justice: The social construction of crime and crime control, Nicole Hahn Rafter; Inventing criminal justice: myth and social construction, Victor E. Kappeler; The Columbine effect and school antiviolence policy, Glenn W. Muschert and Anthony A. Peguero. Part II Social Constructionist Related Theories: Symbolic Interactionism and Labeling Theory: Notes on the sociology of deviance, Kai T. Erikson; Crime as social interaction, Leroy C. Gould, Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz; The labelling perspective forty years on, Ken Plummer; Ethnomethodology: Conditions of successful degradation ceremonies, Harold Garfinkel; Ethnomethodology and criminology: the social production of crime and the criminal, Stephen J. Pfohl; Ethnomethodological perspective (on crime and deviance), Robert O. Keel; Phenomenology, Postmodernism and Constitutive Criminology: Phenomenology, postmodernism, and philosophical criminology: a conversational criti