City Research Online

Cultural Criminology: The Time is Now

Ilan, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4080-2898 (2019). Cultural Criminology: The Time is Now. Critical Criminology, 27(1), pp. 5-20. doi: 10.1007/s10612-019-09430-2


Cultural criminology understandscrime and its control asproductsofmeaning. It exploressimultaneously the macro-, meso-and micro-levels of social life, sensitive tothe operation of power, in order to produce critical analyses that are politically potent and germane to contemporary circumstances. The cultural criminological project is broad and inclusive, but focused and urgent. It relishes coalition and collaboration, clarity of thought and purpose,praxis and intervention. In its relatively short history,it has carved out a distinctive identity whilst contributing something to the development of a host of other perspectives. This article begins by offeringa contemporary definition of cultural criminology, including some reflection on its antecedentsand theresponses that have recently been addressed toits critics. This is followed by a discussion of the concerns cultural criminology shares with a variety of complementary perspectives and how it can be used to address malign structures and discourses. Finally, the relationship thatthe sub-discipline might form with transformative politicsisexploredbriefly. As truth and meaning have become the theatresof struggle between fundamentally opposed political positionspromising radically different visions of crime, criminalisation, criminal justice and everyday life,never has cultural criminology been more prescient and necessary. Thetime for cultural criminology is now.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Critical Criminology. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
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