You are here

Imagining Crime

Imagining Crime

April 1996 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
An innovative and challenging book, Imagining Crime explores the inability of the so-called criminal-legal complex--criminology, criminal law, the media, and ordinary, everyday experiences--to solve the problem of crime, criminality, and the ways in which crime can be imagined. Using a novel framework that provides insights into the social construct of crime, author Alison Young examines how we conceptualize crime by critiquing a number of events that have been taken to represent a definitive aspect of crime. The crisis within the criminal-legal tradition is embodied within each event, which the author shapes through her discussion of criminology's resistance to feminist intervention, the ambiguities of victimization in relation to social justice in the city, conjugal homicide and illegal immigration, the pleasures of reading about crime in detective fiction, the discovery of the limits of representation of crime when children kill children, the spectacle of HIV/AIDS in criminal justice policies, and more. Written by one of the newest exciting and original thinkers in criminology and sociolegal studies, Imagining Crime offers undergraduates, graduates, and scholars a unique approach to crime that integrates issues in criminology, criminal justice, and criminal law with feminist theory, sociolegal studies, and cultural studies.

Textual Outlaws and Criminal Conversations
Criminology and the Question of Feminism
The Universal Victim and the Body in Crisis
The Scene of the Crime
Reading the Justice of Detective Fiction

The Bulger Case and the Trauma of the Visible
Criminological Concordats
On the Single Mother and the Criminal Child

Fatal Frames
HIV/AIDS as Spectacle in Criminal Justice

The Imagination of Crime


`Represents a significant contribution to the ongoing debate over the future of criminology.... Each chapter thus performs a critical cultural "reading" of specific examples from the crimino-legal complex. The examples chosen are disparate, varying from an intellectual/academic movement (feminism in/and criminology), to Conservative ministerial pronouncements on "the family", via the detective novel. The case studies offer a series of intelligent and thoughtful reflections on the various topics, teasing out meanings, explicating figures of speech and explaining the logics at work. In Chapter 2, she examines criminology from the perspective of feminism. She argues that criminology as a whole is intrinsically masculine, this conclusion deriving from her concern with the meanings embedded within criminological concepts. This emphasis on the gender bias of the categories of the criminological imagination is particularly interesting.... A distinctive feature of this book is the inclusion of certain psychoanalytic concepts into her argument.... an insightful and well-crafted work. Anyone concerned with the development of theoretical criminology would find it essential reading' - Theoretical Criminology

`This bold and ambitious book.... Young offers interpretations that are challenging, provocative, and thought-provoking, and much of the book's impressiveness derives from this' - Journal of Law and Society

`In short, this is an engaging study that offers valuable insights into the way crime is imagined. It can be an excellent addition to the graduate courses' syllabi in criminology, sociology, women's studies and cultural studies. I strongly recommend the book to scholars interested in issues related to the social construction of crime.... the book offers interesting insights into our understanding of the mechanisms used to create, discipline and domesticate textual outlaws' - American Journal of Sociology

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9780803986220

ISBN: 9780803986237