n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - '?' Trends in criminological theorising

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Having been invited to South Africa to reflect on the current state of criminological theory, it seemed appropriate to explore empirically quite what the trends and foci of the discipline have been over the last few decades. This article attends chiefly to work appearing in The British Journal of Criminology because that is the medium with which I am most familiar, but it also compares and contrasts its findings with a content analysis of Theoretical Criminology and Criminology and Criminal Justice. The conclusions which one is bound to draw is that all the stories we have told ourselves about the development of the discipline in and around the United Kingdom are quite misleading; and that there has been no time at which any single theory or substantive theme has been in dominance. To the contrary, the criminology presented in those journals is remarkably diverse and heterodox. If any feature does distinguish it, it has been the discipline's anchorage in more or less theoretically sophisticated descriptions of the empirical world of crime, justice and corrections.


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