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Left Out? The Coverage of Critical Perspectives in Introductory Criminology Textbooks, 1990-1999

NCJ Number
Critical Criminologyy Volume: 9 Issue: 1/2 Dated: Autumn 2000 Pages: 101-122
Richard A. Wright
Date Published
22 pages
This article studies the coverage of critical perspectives in 34 introductory criminology textbooks published from 1990 to 1999.
The article examines how the coverage of critical perspectives is influenced by: (1) the theoretical orientations of the texts; (2) the positions of the texts on debate over conflict and consensus theories of law; and (3) the positions of the texts on the evidence supporting critical perspectives. The article measures the average number of pages that the textbooks devote to critical criminology and compares the amounts of space the books give to these perspectives. It assesses the claim that texts that discuss critical perspectives "limit themselves to ancient intellectual and political battles and a detailed coverage of long discredited leftist theories." The article confirms that critical/radical perspectives in general, but in particular recent developments in critical criminology (including critical feminism, left realism, peacemaking criminology, and postmodern criminology) are often omitted from contemporary criminology textbooks. The article briefly describes four textbooks that it considers contain superior coverage of critical perspectives. Tables, notes, references


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