Without Place, Is It Real?
This article reviews Matthews’ (2014) Realist Criminology as an opportunity to address larger shortcomings within critical criminology, which is the failure to develop an alternative theory of crime and place to the mainstream theories of social disorganisation and collective efficacy. It uses rural criminological work related to violence against women and substance use, production and trafficking to illustrate the importance of place for development of a realist criminology that can consider localised expressions of power and inequality, and the multiplicity of networks and roles by which people can simultaneously be involved in both conforming and deviant/criminal behaviours. The article also suggests that a critical theory of crime and place would be useful to the synthesis and re-interpretation of criminological literature that is either theory-less or lacks a critical perspective.
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