Disciplining Criminology David Garland Analysis

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David Garland wrote an intriguing piece on criminology and the issues it currently possesses as an academic field of study. In “Disciplining Criminology,” Garland identifies the major concerns he believes are affecting criminology as an academic discipline. He explains how each of these issues has been brought about and how they are and will continue to disrupt and eventually pollute the field of study. Throughout his piece, Garland gives examples of each of these problems and, more importantly, he gives possible solutions that can be used to redirect these concerns. Not only did I enjoy reading his take on criminology and its problems, I agree with much of what he has to say on the subject. I believe his concerns are valid and his solutions…show more content…
Garland states, “Criminology has become increasingly independent, but as it becomes more autonomous it becomes less deeply rooted in what were once its constitutive disciplines,” (Garland, 2008). Yes, obtaining a sense of autonomy and self-rule can be beneficial and a goal of any academic field of study, but for criminology, pursuing complete independence has proven to be problematic. It is easy to see this as a problem if you can allow yourself to think of the field of criminology as an adolescent, with its parents being criminal justice and sociology. Let’s say the adolescent grew up in the church of anthropology and has been attending the school of psychology. The adolescent has reached the age where independence and autonomy is the main goal of its life. But this adolescent, like many other real adolescents, will struggle and lose its way if it completely breaks apart from and quits following the standards set by its parents, church, and school. If this was an actual adolescent, we would say he or she is a struggling and rebellious teenager that is not ready for adulthood. We don’t want our teenagers to turn away from what they’ve been taught and completely go out on their own, so why would we want criminology to do just…show more content…
He asks the questions: “Is it acceptable for an academic subject to derive its concepts, its categories, its questions, and its objects of study from state institutions? Should criminology’s objects of study be legal categories, governmental problems, and institutional products that are given to it by state practices and political processes?” (Garland, 2008). Although Garland does not necessarily answer those questions in this piece, he does give suggestions on possible ways to combat this tension. Garland suggests integrating other fields’ objects of study into criminology’s rather than just accepting those given by the government. Garland appeals to the original eclecticism of criminology, and I agree. It is perfectly fine for criminology to develop its subjects of study based on what government officials deem necessary. Criminologists can and should integrate multiple research studies from a variety of fields, such as sociology and psychology, into the findings of government related issues (Hogg, 2002). The thing to take into consideration is that each body of government and what they value as an important subject of research is going to be different based on many factors including geographical location, form of government involved, the ortgeist and zeitgeist of society, etc. More than likely, the

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