Postcolonial Perspectives for Criminology
This chapter argues for the importance of a postcolonial perspective in criminology. It is a perspective that has the potential to offer new theoretical insights, and to expand the discipline in an engaged and reflexive endeavour that is cognisant of cultural and historical differences. To date, postcolonial theory has had greater impact in areas such as literature, law, politics, and sociology than it has in criminology. Following writers like Edward Said and Gayatri Spivak, it is suggested that postcolonialism is a perspective that demands we recognize the ongoing and enduring effects of colonialism on both the colonized and the colonizers. Colonization and the postcolonial are not historical events but continuing social, political, economic, and cultural processes. The postcolonial exists as an aftermath of colonialism and it manifests itself in a range of areas from the cultures of the former imperial powers to the psyches of those that were colonized. The chapter explores the potential of a postcolonial perspective: from understanding the relationship between colonization, state crime and the over-representation of marginalized peoples, to an appreciation of indigenous art as a site for criminological investigation.
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