Putting the Psyche into ‘Cultural Criminology’: A psychosocial understanding of looting, masculinity, shame and violence

Jones, David W. (2013). Putting the Psyche into ‘Cultural Criminology’: A psychosocial understanding of looting, masculinity, shame and violence. The Journal of Psychosocial Studies, 7(1) pp. 6–30.

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Abstract

The widespread incidents of rioting and looting across England in August 2011 have drawn attention to debate about the links between ‘consumer culture’ and criminality. This association has particular theoretical resonance as there has been a detectable cultural turn in criminological theory, most clearly enunciated by the school of ‘cultural criminology’ (Ferrell, Hayward and Young 2008). Despite the vibrancy of such theoretical debates there is a danger that the mistakes of previous schools of criminological thought be repeated through the exclusion of the internal psychological worlds of individuals from consideration. It is argued here that culture, and in this case particularly ‘consumer culture’ needs to be understood as being, at least in part, constructed by and within the internal worlds of the individuals who make up that culture. The case is made for a more psychosocial criminology (Jones 2008; Gadd and Jefferson 2007). This is one that regards the cultural as being indivisible from the sociological and psychological.

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