Revising the Critical Gaze: An Inversion of Criminological Theories to Center Race, Racism, and Resistance

Abigail Henson, Thuy Trinh Nguyen, Ajima Olaghere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many leading criminological theories problematically focus on individuals and communities as criminal rather than implicating structures and systems that perpetuate harm. We offer a nine-step protocol to invert and redefine three predominant deficits-based criminological theories. Our inversion method produced punitive provocation theory, critical environmental adaptation theory, and socio-structural induction theory, as theoretical inversions of deterrence, social disorganization, and self-control theory. We suggest different measurement options for each new inverted theory, including a focus on the structural antecedents of crime such as racial/ethnic discrimination, exclusion, surveillance practices, and divestment from communities. To ameliorate under-theorizing and create a more equitable and less harmful society, we urge theorists, researchers, and practitioners to adopt a more inclusive, critical, and reflexive approach to understanding human behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCritical Criminology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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