Postmodern criminology

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A postmodern orientation, with its epicenter in France in the late 1960s and 1970s, was to develop as a reaction to Enlightenment thought. The inherited assumptions of linearity, logic, rationality, a centered subject as the center of action, the neutrality of language and the desirability of order were to be questioned. A new paradigm was underway. The first wave of postmodernist thinkers was to emerge from France. Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, Deleuze and Guattari, Lacan, Baudrillard, Cixous, Kristeva, and Irigaray, amongst others, were to rethink ontology and epistemology. Jacques Lacan was especially important in the first wave. His annual Seminars on a revisionist Freudianism of 1950s to 1980, were to be extremely influential. Coming to terms with Lacan was essential for the first wave. The second wave, particularly in the late 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, was to further these developments. They were to apply them to various fields, two of which were criminology and law. The last decade has witnessed incorporation of their many insights while also showing a notable decline in outright singular “postmodern” analysis in criminology. Recently, a paradigm shift is taking place to a process-informational orientation rooted in quantum mechanics and holography.



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Routledge Handbook of Critical Criminology: Second Edition

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