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Building on the shoulders of Bhaskar and Matthews: a critical realist criminology

Wilkinson, Matthew, Quraishi, Muzammil, Irfan, Lamia and Schneuwly Purdie, Mallory 2022. Building on the shoulders of Bhaskar and Matthews: a critical realist criminology. Journal of Critical Realism 21 (2) , pp. 123-144. 10.1080/14767430.2021.1992736

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Building on the insights of the late Roy Bhaskar and the late Roger Matthews, as well as some recent developments in ultra-realist criminology, this article introduces and delineates some core intellectual contours of a Critical Realist Criminology (CRC) based on the principles of: The ‘emergent,’ stratified ontology of crime and of the offender; the full critical realist account of the dialectics of being and becoming, including the spiritual turn in critical realism, applied to processes of criminal justice and reform; maximal inclusion of diverse theoretical research positions and the primacy of ontology in methodological selection; a ‘serious’ critical relationship of criminologists with professionals, institutions and policy-makers of criminal justice. These principles are directed at developing a criminology that ‘underlabours’ the recovery of human flourishing for the victims and perpetrators of crime and for society at large, including in-depth inquiry into what counts as crime and the purposes of incarceration.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1476-7430
Funders: The Dawes Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 17 November 2021
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 15:11

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