constitutive criminology | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminology

Constitutive criminology is a theoretical approach within the field of criminology that emphasizes the role of social and cultural definitions in shaping our understanding of crime and criminal behavior.

According to this perspective, crime is not a fixed or objective concept but rather is socially constructed and subject to change over time and across different cultural contexts.

Constitutive criminologists argue that our definitions of crime are shaped by the social, cultural, and historical context in which they occur and that the meaning of crime is constantly being negotiated and renegotiated by different groups within society. This perspective highlights the ways in which power and politics influence our definitions of crime and the operation of the criminal justice system.

Constitutive criminologists often study how social and cultural factors influence the labeling of certain behaviors as criminal, as well as how these definitions shape criminal justice policies and practices. They also examine the role of media, public discourse, and other cultural phenomena in shaping public perceptions of crime and criminal justice.

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Last Modified: 01/08/2023


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