chapter  12
19 Pages

A refl ected gaze of humanity: cultural criminology and images of genocide


For the authors of Cultural Criminology: An Invitation, orthodox criminology (perhaps better labelled ‘state-sponsored criminology’) is devoid of passion and unable to grasp the reality of the human condition. Obsessed with quantitative methodology, it offers an illusionary and inconsequential ‘aesthetics of authority’,

a ‘triumph of the bureaucrat and the survey statistician’ (Ferrell, Hayward and Young, 2008: 165). In a late modern world of radical imbalances in power, opportunity and wealth, ‘objective’ or ‘scientific’ criminology lacks the ability to visualize and put into frame the complexity of human reality, offering instead ‘symbolic performances of scientific objectivity’; social harm becomes a packaged commodity. To anyone conscious of the hopes and aspirations of the then intellectual outlaws of the seventeenth and eighteenth century who criticized institutional structures of authority and are now celebrated as the ‘father figures’ of the enlightenment and modernity, this is a tragic tale.