Politics, research design, and the ‘architecture’ of criminal careers studies
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractCriminal careers research is one of the bedrocks – if not the bedrock – of criminology. It remains a key focal point of criminological research, and has embraced ideas and theorising from sociology, psychology, psychiatry and urban and community studies. Despite the widening of the landscape of what might be termed ‘the criminological enterprise’ (to include victimology, prisons research, punishment, deterrence, and environmental criminology), criminal careers (now differentiated into studies of onset, persistence and desistance) remains a key plank of criminology. This article critiques the research design of longitudinal studies of criminal careers, arguing that a key explanatory factor has been consistently overlooked in criminal careers research, due, in part, to the research design of such studies. In focussing on the role of politically-motivated changes to economic policies and the re-structuring of the industrial base this produced, I empirically relate individual offending careers to politics in way very few have done before. The article touches upon a series of suggestions for how empirical studies of criminal careers might be improved.
CitationFarrall, S. (2021). 'Politics, research design, and the ‘architecture’ of criminal careers studies'. British Journal of Criminology, pp. 1-19.
PublisherOxford University Press
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
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