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Compare and contrast two contemporary criminologists (from the module), and evaluate their contributions to our understanding of - Essay Example

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Compare and contrast two contemporary criminologists (from the module), and evaluate their contributions to our understanding of

However, laws differ temporally and spatially. Laws are historically influenced, relative, and not fixed (Hale et al., 2013). Even actions generally considered criminal, such as killing, have instances where they are allowed or considered necessary. And so, numerous criminologists argue that they must not be limited by the confines of law, otherwise, criminology would be a highly conservative or traditional field. Hence criminologists should be capable of taking into consideration a broader array of issues. This essay compares and contrasts two widely known criminologists—Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault—particularly their contributions to the discipline of criminology Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis Generally considered by his contemporaries as an eccentric, Goffman was an introvert and sceptical observer of social interactions, whose incomparable model of sociology strongly reflected his own reluctance to follow social traditions and the conventional principles of human interaction and relationship. For instance, Thomas Scheff, a student of Goffman and a social scientist, describes in his works how Goffman would not just repeatedly emphasise behaviour or actions that, habitually, would be taken no notice of, but that he was also very interested in observing individuals in ordinary conversations or interactions in order to interpret their responses (Hayward, Maruna, & Mooney, 2013). This emphasis on the micro aspects of human behaviour was quite noticeable in his works. Goffman was widely known for his perceptive observational abilities and exceptional skill to underline generally ignored features of people’s daily existence—frequently placing emphasis on aspects people may wish not to pay attention to (Geis & Dodge, 2002). Like Erving Goffman, Michel Foucault presented an insightful and critical alternative to conventional ideas. In fact, and not like majority of French thinkers, Foucault was discontented with Marxist ideas. However, not like Goffman, Foucault explored a broader range of issues, not limiting himself to any specific academic field, topic, or are of study. Foucault has in fact been quite successful, and his work has changed the content and techniques of the many fields he was involved in. Criminology is one of these fields.  In 1953, he finished his dissertation and after three years his study was printed as a book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. This interesting and very important work became the groundwork of the whole project of Goffman—the sociological analysis of human interaction, particularly face-to-face interaction. The core subject of Goffman’s ideas is how individuals try to keep a constant self-image in front of other people (Hale et al., 2013). In The Presentation of Self he makes use of the dramatic stage as a symbol to illustrate the process and setting of human identity formation. Goffman believes that social life is similar to a theatre wherein individuals are actors or performers and those surrounding them are the audience or spectators. Every time a person is in the present of others s/he is ‘on show’ and, with different levels of objective and motive, ‘put on a performance’ (Hayward et al., 2013, p. 129). He then introduced the concept of ‘dramaturgy’ to explain the rule-based preservation of a common agreement on how various social interactions and ...Show more
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Summary

Comparing and Contrasting Criminologists Erving Goffman and Michel Foucault Name of of University Introduction As a branch of the bigger discipline of sociology, criminology uses knowledge from anthropology, economics, psychology, biology, and other fields to explore the origins and prevention of crime (McLaughlin, Muncie, & Hughes, 2003)…
Compare and contrast two contemporary criminologists (from the module), and evaluate their contributions to our understanding of
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