Social Harm

Tombs, Steve (2016). Social Harm. In: Corteen, Karen; Morley, Sharon; Taylor, Paul and Turner, Joanne eds. A Companion to Crime, Harm and Victimisation. Companions in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 218–219.



Some scholars - notably, in and around what is known as "critical criminology" - have argued that a disciplinary approach organised around a concept of "social harm" may be more theoretically coherent and more progressive politically than a discipline organised around the state-defined notion of crime. An early statement of this approach, drawing on sporadic but longer-term work in and around criminology, can be found in Hillyard et al (2004). Herein, a social harm approach was considered in theoretical and methodological terms, and applied to a broad range of areas of social life, from migration to murder, violence and victimisation.

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