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Title: Knowledge and passion : a critical exploration of the affective dimension of the criminological field
Author: Fenwick, M. D.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1996
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Crime and punishment are phenomena rich in emotion and emotional significance. We have the suffering of the victim, the anger and fear of the community, and the pain of punishment, to give but three obvious examples. Every aspect of crime and punishment generates an endless variety of feelings and passions. Emotion is central to both the experience of crime and the practice of punishment. And yet, when we turn to the history of criminology, we find a curious unwillingness to engage with the emotional dimension of crime, or, for that matter, the emotional dimension of the practice of doing criminological research. In fact, it has been argued that one of the defining features of criminology has been its ability to suspend emotional judgements and treat an issue which arouses such passions in a 'disinterested' and objective fashion. Criminology is thus presented as purely rational discourse on crime. This piece of work sets out to challenge this claim. The first half of the thesis examines the attitudes towards emotion found in various strands of criminological thought. The central contention of these chapters is that an unattainable desire to exclude emotion has, until relatively recently, been a central feature of the discipline. In the second half of the thesis, I go on to explore the various ways that a range of emotions have informed, and continue to inform, criminological debate. In order to substantiate the argument, I draw upon a number of examples from the history of criminology, as well as the work of contemporary social theory. This piece of work therefore represents a preliminary and tentative attempt at analysing what I would characterise as being the 'affective dimension' of the criminological field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available