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Title: Crime politics and late modernity : an exploration of community, identity and morality
Author: Green, Simon
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 1790
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2009
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Crime and community have been inextricably linked since New Labour came to power in 1997. The relationship between high crime and community decline is not new and there is a wide range, of criminological theory that explores the link between disadvantage, urban decay and crime rates. Yet under New Labour, community decline has been reframed as moral breakdown. This has led to a battery of rhetoric and policy, designed to instil moral and social responsibility. This thesis explores the intellectual and normative roots of this standpoint and its impact on strategies of crime and disorder. A critique of this approach is constructed by exploring the influence of Amitai Etzioni’s (1995) ideas on New Labour. This critique draws on sociological, research about both community and late-modernity to argue that the moral community is at odds with contemporary social conditions. Drawing on theoretical perspectives about late-modernity, this critique is extended to debunk the notion that criminality can be understood in terms of immorality. Instead, a psychosocial model based on Anthony Giddens’ (1991) work on identity and Stephen Lyng’s (1990) concept of ‘edgework’ is formulated. This framework considers how the risk-taking ingredient of rulebreaking provides emotional highs that give individuals a sense of connection with, and control over the anxiety-provoking and unpredictable conditions of late-modernity. When looked at in this way, crime can be understood in terms of the social and cultural conditions that shape human relations. The search for self-identity is at the heart of contemporary social theories about how people both experience, and adapt to the conditions of late-modernity. This thesis concludes that intimacy is therefore a more appropriate concept than community for understanding and responding to crime.
Supervisor: Bottomley, Allan Keith ; Coleman, Clive ; Yar, Majid Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social sciences