n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Gnawing at the edges of criminology : working outside/in

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Based on an address first delivered at the CRIMSA Biennial Conference : Criminal Justice and Criminology : A futuristic perspective on crime - trends & new crimes, this article reflects on the intersections of criminal justice and health and the potential that research, which takes place at this nexus, extends the boundaries of criminology, as it is traditionally conceptualised. To this end, the article reflects on the roots of South African Criminology, the tensions that have existed within it and curious divisions that emerged between 'respectable' (critical criminology) and 'the rest' (feminist, positivist, policy-based and administrative criminology), to name but a few. Using the authors' experiences of 'doing criminology' within a health sciences faculty, the article argues that engaging outside of existing schools of criminology, allows interdisciplinary research and practice that is unconstrained by the inward focus that represented South African criminology for much of the late 1990s and early 2000s. As illustration of this point, the article summarises areas of research where non-criminologists have engaged with issues of crime and violence, profoundly influencing criminological paradigms, through violence-related injury and mortality research, as well as studies on the nature and impact of violence on the health sector. The article concludes with the numerous possibilities of research at the intersection of health and criminology that remain to be mined, and that this unexplored terrain offers ample opportunity for further interdisciplinary research and collaboration.

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