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SILENCE AND MEMORY IN CRIMINOLOGY—THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY 2009 SUTHERLAND ADDRESS

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Abstract:

Two recent American Society of Criminology presidential addresses have identified as a key problem the fact that criminology lacks a history. In this address, I ask why criminology (in contrast to closely related fields) has generated so few studies of its past; I also identify some results of this failure and discuss why intellectual fields need a sense of their origins and development. History molds individual and collective identities; it lays a foundation for sociologies of knowledge; it encourages reflexivity, teaches us where our ideas came from, and gives us a sense of where we are going. To encourage historical work, I propose an overall framework for understanding the evolution of criminology, reaching back to the late eighteenth century and continuing into the present. My overall framework is that of scientific modernism, within which I identify the following three primary phases: exploratory modernism, confident modernism, and agonistic modernism. In conclusion, I suggest ways to stimulate histories of science in the field of criminology.

Keywords: criminological modernism; history and memory; history of criminology; scientific modernism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9125.2010.00188.x

Affiliations: College of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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