Criminological Cliques: Narrowing Dialogues, Institutional Protectionism, and the Next Generation
This chapter presents three related challenges faced by the ‘discipline’ of criminology, with the goal of promoting dialogue about the field's future. It first argues that although criminology has achieved disciplinary status with discrete areas of specialization, it is vitally important that criminological research and education draw on the range of other disciplinary knowledge that intersect with criminology. Second, it explores how the development of research branches in many criminal justice agencies, who are rightly concerned with the everyday pragmatics of policing or punishing, can (and in some cases do) shape and restrict research possibilities. It examines how emerging forms of institutional protectionism restrict the production of critical criminological knowledge. These observations may be applicable to other countries, but the focus is on the research landscape in Canada. Finally, the chapter considers how commitments to intellectual diversity and the restrictions imposed on certain types of ‘critical’ scholarship can complicate future criminologists' research and education. These three themes are linked by a broader interest in criminological knowledge, its structure and progression as well as by a need to discuss how various institutional ‘boundaries’ shape our theorizing, research questions, types of analysis, and scholarly standards.
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