The Politics of Antisocial Behaviour

Amoral Panics

By Stuart Waiton

© 2007 – Routledge

194 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415872720
pub: 2009-06-09
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415957052
pub: 2007-11-19
US Dollars$140.00

About the Book

Antisocial behaviour is becoming a universally accepted problem and one that dominates the political and popular imagination. By providing a new criminological framework for understanding the fear of crime, this book reposes the increasingly important debate around antisocial behaviour and the internationally understood idea of moral panics. Through a critical engagement with theories of risk, the book develops Furedi’s understanding of a Culture of Fear to illustrate how firstly, society today is best understood to be in a permanent state of anxiety, and secondly, how this state of affairs has arisen due to the collapse of traditional politics and morality, and equally, of radical alternatives to it. Central to Waiton's thesis is an explanation of the changing therapeutic relationship between the individual and society based on an understanding of diminished subjectivity and the newly emerged vulnerable public.


"Waiton has produced a thought-provoking and challenging book; that takes recent criminological debates (such as those around social control, actuarial justice, risk and fear of crime) and resituates them within a wider sociological thesis about the decline of coherent political culture."

- Majid Yar, University of Hull, Crime, Media, Culture

"This is a book packed with sharp and original insights that marks out a significant new line of enquiry for theories of criminal law and criminal justice."

- Peter Ramsay, London School of Economics, Criminology and Criminal Justice

"This work should be widely read. It is an acute analysis that effectively challenges common explanations for what are assumed to be social problems."

- Harris Chaiklin, University of Maryland, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. From Moral Panics to Amoral Anxieties 3. Institutionalising Vulnerability: The Politics of Antisocial Behaviour 4. Diminishing the Subject 5: The Hamilton Curfew 6. Curfew Interviews: Analysing the Culture of Fear 7. The Meaning of ‘Antisocial Behaviour’ 8. Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Stuart Waiton lectures at the University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland, is a Director of the youth research group Generation Youth Issues, and is a contributor to the Times Education Supplement. He is author of Scared of the Kids? Curfews, crime and the regulation of young people.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Criminology

This series explores the critical issues within criminology and offers the latest insight into the field through international case studies and timely theoretical debates.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Violence in Society