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Feminist Writers and Criminology - Book Report/Review Example

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Feminist Writers and Criminology

Voigt et al, in their recent book called Criminology and Justice, also pointed out some incompleteness of criminology texts suggesting that 'criminology is nothing more than specialised theories of male delinquency and crime'. Moreover, ‘the facts about crime tend to be based on the sex of the offender and not the crime itself’. This discrimination in criminology is more in keeping with Gelsthorpe's critique of 'accumulated wisdom' about female offenders. She pointed out that women are discriminated against in areas such as crime because of their sex and this gender further affects their ‘sentencing, punishment and incarceration of women’. Gelsthorpe further pointed out that law enforcement agencies, social welfare institutions as well as the judicial and amongst others are presumptuous about 'sweeping generalisations' about crime as behaviours that men are projected to do, simply because they are men'. Whilst women who commit crimes are considered to be ‘mad not bad’....
This discrimination in criminology is more in keeping with Gelsthorpe's critique of 'accumulated wisdom' about female offenders. She pointed out that women are discriminated against in areas such as crime because of their sex and this gender further affects their 'sentencing, punishment and incarceration of women' (1986: 138-149). Gelsthorpe further pointed out that law enforcement agencies, social welfare institutions as well as the judicial and amongst others are presumptuous about 'sweeping generalisations' about crime as behaviours that men are projected to do, simply because they are men' (Gelsthorpe, 1986: 149). Whilst women who commit crimes are considered to be 'mad not bad' (Lloyd, 1995: xvii, cited by Kelta Web Concepts, 2003).

These concepts in gender role further draw the expectation for 'acceptable behaviours and attitudes' of men and women. Failing to conform to these set of expectations will lead to a wide variety of punishment from the society itself such as verbal abuse or even violence. This scenario made it a significant factor of social control being 'maintained through informal and formal mechanisms'.

"Heidensohn (1992, 2000) suggests a male-biased control theory: "a
woman's place is in the home": a woman has fewer opportunities for criminal
activity because the routine of domesticity keeps her in the home. In any event,
women are more afraid to go out of the home after dark because they fear
aggressive male behaviour. At work, men have a supervisory or managerial role
(often characterised by women as harassment), which makes it more difficult for
women to commit major crimes" (cited by Kelta Web Concepts, ...Show more

Summary

There is some truth to the assertion of some feminist writers that criminology, as a discipline, has little to say about the experience of women. Criminology, with its aim in understanding crime and justice whilst embraces numerous topics, fails to have theories based on the studies of female subjects…
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Feminist Writers and Criminology essay example
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