U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Reassessing the Critical Metaphor: An Optimistic Revisionist View

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 6 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1989) Pages: 143-172
J Thomas; A O'Maolchatha
Date Published
30 pages
Even while debates still plague, polarize, and personalize some of the discipline's most crucial issues, critical criminologists have managed to overcome, expand, and push beyond the borders that they and others established a decade ago.
Nonetheless, doubt and suspicion remain concerning the future and the legitimacy of the perspective, partly because of its nebulous definition. Here we offer a revisionist interpretation and assessment of the critical perspective by arguing that a crisis, if there ever was one, no longer exists, and that it is past time to dispel the siege mentality. We argue that critical criminology is a metaphor still in its infancy, that it remains on the cutting edge of the discipline, and that its practitioners have learned from and contributed to so-called traditional criminology, leaving both areas stronger. By overcoming the fragmentation within diverse critical criminologies, the potential for unification enhances the endeavors of critical sciences and social action. 189 references. (Publisher abstract)


No download available