In the late 1950s, Barbara Wootton memorably remarked that if men behaved like women the criminal courts would be idle and the prisons empty. Wootton was among the first to ask fundamental and challenging questions of criminology; about its structure as a discipline and its explanatory potential about crime. In the following decades, serious academic work on the relationship between gender, crime, and criminal victimization has continued to flourish. It has been particularly concerned to challenge the sex-based assumptions for female criminality, on the one hand, and the invisibility of women as victims of crime, on the other. If criminology was once a discipline run ‘by the boys, with the boys, about the boys’, its domain assumptions are now severely tested in terms of theory, policy, and practice, by a large and growing corpus of scholarship.
This new title from Routledge’s Critical Concepts in Criminology series meets the need for an authoritative reference work to map and make sense of this body of literature and the continuing explosion in research output. Edited by a leading scholar in the field, Gender and Crime is a four-volume collection which brings together the very best foundational and cutting-edge contributions.
The four volumes focus on the nature of the feminist challenge and the criminological response to it. The collection is organized thematically. Volume I (‘Sex and Crime or Gender and Crime?’) traces the emergence and development of the gender agenda within criminology, identifying its strengths and weaknesses, while Volume II (‘Gender, Crime, and Criminal Victimization’) brings together the best thinking on the various ways in which different crimes—and experiences of crime—might be informed by a gendered perspective. Volume III (‘Gendered Experiences of the Criminal-Justice Process’), meanwhile, focuses on the criminal-justice system and the professionals engaged within it. Does the question of gender help to make better sense of how it does its work? The final volume in the collection (‘Gender, Crime, and Punishment’) collects the key literature on the extent to which prisons, community penalties, and restorative justice reflect gendered presumptions.
Gender and Crime is fully indexed and has a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the gathered material in its historical and intellectual context. Indeed, it is an essential resource and is destined to be valued by scholars and other users as a vital one-stop research tool.