Vol. 9 No. 10 (October 1999) pp. 417-419.
INTEGRATIVE CRIMINOLOGY (THE INTERNATIONAL LIBRARY OF CRIMINOLOGY, CRIMINAL JUSTICE, AND PENOLOGY) by Gregg Barak (Editor). Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 1998. 599 pp. Cloth $142.95.
Reviewed by Annette M. Curtis-Carroll, Haas Library, Western Connecticut State University.
Barak's text is a compilation of previously published articles and book chapters about the integration of the study of crime and crime control. It also is part of a series that ascribes to providing an overview of the latest theories and findings on criminology. The book is organized to address five important areas, "On the State of Criminological Integration", "Crime and Integration in Black and White", "Delinquency and Integration", "General Approaches to Integration", and "Integration and The Future". Some of the material included in this compilation dates back to the 1970's and 1960's, however newer material is also included.
The preface does a good job in defining integrative criminology and gives the reader a background on the development and scope of integrative criminology. Although the preface states that integrative criminology as an emerging paradigm and still in its infancy, I find it interesting that the editor choose to include material that was over 20 years old. Although the editor explains that the need for integration of crime and crime control "springs not only from the historical and contemporary reality . but also from the limitations of overly simple theoretical models that explain very little as well as the need to overcome what some might call the hegemony of difference." It is also expressed that "postmodern integrationists seek to synthesize knowledges of crime and social control."
The preface further explains the various sections of the text, as outline above. Each section is provided with a clear thesis of the purpose of the particular section. For example, the section "On the State of Criminological Integration", the editor explains that the "three essays as a whole . look at, . [analyze], the state of criminological integration." And further that the essays "critically [examine] the various meanings and approaches to integration." This section provides the reader with a background on integrative criminology.
The second section of the text, "Crime and Integration in Black and White", provides a look at neo-colonial and post-colonial theories involved in complex integrations concerning crime and crime control from a racial perspective. Two of the three essays in this section are over twenty years old. The third section, "Delinquency and Integration," presents theories from the social learning, social ecology, social
Page 418 begins here
bonding, social control, Marxist, control-power, class, labeling, interactional, and networking perspectives. Although the fourth section, "General Approaches to Integration" provides seven essays addressing crime, criminal behavior and crime control and they way they are involved with social structure, social change, social ecology, social evolution, social victimization, social politics, and gender relations. The final section, "Integration and the Future," is a comment on the need for criminologists to be concerned and active with the theory and practice of integration.
Looking at the twenty-two readings found in this text each of them vary in their construction. I find that the two most important sections of the text are the first and the last, which provide a background and a jumping off start for future research and exploration. In the first section, "On the State of Criminological Integration," the first article is "Strategies and Requisites for Theoretical Integration in the study of Crime and Deviance," by Allen E. Liska, Marvin D. Krohn, and Steven F. Messner. This article explains what is meant by integrative criminology as well as considering the rationale for theoretical integration, examines strategies and directions for integration, and examines the "criteria for evaluating the success of attempts to formulate integrated explanations of crime and deviance."
The second article in this section, "The Peripheral Core of Law and Criminology: On Postmodern Social Theory and Conceptual Integration," by Bruce A. Arrigo, considers such topics as "the social structure of society, role formation, human agency, discourse construction, knowledge or sense making, and social change." The third article of this section, "Theoretical Integration in Criminology," by Thomas J Bernard and Jeffrey B. Snipes, deals with the many theories in criminology and the disagreement between them.
In the final section of this text, "Integration and the Future", there are two articles. The first "Pride in Criminological Dissensus" by John Braithwaite, examines several issues. These include inequality and crime, consensus and explanation of Christopher Uggen's theory about "consensus and dissensus over the rightness of the criminal law", community and crime, operationalizing reintegrative shaming, rights and adversarial proceedings, and reinforcing moral values with self-interest.
The second article is, "The Need to Integrate Comparative and International Criminal Justice into a Traditional Curriculum", by Paul C. Friday. This article as the title implies discusses the need to incorporate the integration of comparative and international criminal justice into the criminal justice curriculum.
This book serves as a large and varied background on the topic of integrative criminology. Since its coverage is broad and not in-depth on any one aspect of the topic, it really serves as a starting point in the topic. All of the readings in this text come from previously published material, which limits the need for purchasing the text, since an interested reader could go to the original source. Although the
Page 419 begins here
compilation of previous journal essays is the intent of the series of which this text is a part of (The International Library of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Penology). There is no particular methodology for a text such as this.
Out of twenty-two readings only ten are less than ten years old. This troubles me since the editor explicitly stated that integrative criminology was an emerging paradigm, still in its infancy, in criminology. I would have liked to see more recent material in this text. Eight of the readings are from the 1980's, while three are from the 1970's, one from 1060 and one from 1930. I believe that for such a new area of research the text would have included more recent material. However, it may have been the editor's intent to bring the historical material into the text to show the development of the topic, as noted previously in this review.
Several of the essay authors are important in the field of criminology. They include Delbert S. Elliott, Suzanne S. Ageton, John Hagan, Robert K. Merton, Lawrence E. Cohen, and Marcus Felson. Since many different authors wrote the text, the clarity and organization of the material varies. However, I found the essays to be well written and organized in most cases. The intended audiences of the text are researchers, teachers and students, providing an overview of the intended topic. It is a good text to use in a course or as basis for research in integrative criminology.
Overall, I think the reader will find this text provides well-organized background material on integrative criminology. The teacher could use this as a text in a course on such a topic. Although the student may find that they would be able to locate specifically sought after articles or as a basis for coursework in integrative criminology, I find in my work that many times an individual article can be found in such a compilation, so it is especially useful if a library doesn't have a particular journal. And, the researcher will find the text as a source for gaining a background on the topic.