chapter  4
36 Pages

‘Critical’ criminology, postmodernism and the ‘Man’ question

In Chapter 2 we saw that mainstream criminologists have overlooked several decades of feminist critique of conventional accounts of men’s violent acts against women that confuse the issues of who is doing what to whom. Oblivious to this work, they continue to churn out ostensibly gender-neutral explanations of ‘intersexual’ violence that feature provoked ‘males’ being upset by irritating, non-compliant ‘females’, and ‘females’ being equally or more violent than men. We saw too that feminist queries about the ‘sex’ of sex crimes have had a negligible impact on mainstream criminology. Then, in Chapter 3, we saw that Foucault, a renowned anti-criminologist, also slipped up when faced with regimes of truth about men’s violence against women. Foucault, however, was by no means the only critical thinker to do so. Several varieties of so-called ‘new’ or ‘critical’ criminology that followed in the wake of his ground-breaking work, Discipline and Punish, also stumble over the ‘Man’ question.