Synopses & Reviews
The notion of social harm is now being explored as an alternative field of study within criminology, but the definition of social harm, the question of responsibility, and the methodologies for studying harm remain undeveloped. In the first book to theorize and define the social harm concept beyond criminology, Simon A. Pemberton addresses these omissions and, in doing so, provides a platform for future debates. Using case studies of various international regimes, he analyzes policy responses to different forms of social harm and provides a new typology of countries according to their harm prevention policies.
“Pemberton’s groundbreaking volume provides a major step forward in understanding the causation and alleviation of widespread harm.”
“In a sense, criminology has been ‘waiting’ for this original and highly topical book. It is of theoretical, conceptual, methodological, and empirical significance, making novel contributions in each respect.”
This book is by and about women. The book examines the harms and crimes to which women are subjected to as a result of global social processes, and their efforts to take control of their own futures. The papers explore the criminogenic and damaging conseq
This book of eleven chapters and an Introduction is by and about women, the harms and crimes to which they are subjected as a result of global social processes and their efforts to take control of their own futures. The chapters explore the criminogenic and damaging consequences of the policies of the global financial institutions as well as the effects of growing economic polarisation both in pockets of the developed world and most markedly in the global south. Reflecting on this evidence, in the Introduction the editors necessarily challenge existing criminological theory by expanding and elaborating a conception of social harm that encompasses this range of problems, and exposes where new solutions derived from criminological theory are necessary. A second theme addresses human rights from the standpoint of indigenous women, minority women and those seeking refuge. Inadequate and individualised as the human rights instruments presently are, for most of these women a politics of human rights emerges as central to the achieving of legal and political equality and protection from individual violence. Women in the poorest countries, however, are sceptical as to the efficacy of rights claims in the face of the depredations of international and global capital, and the social dislocation produced thereby. Nonetheless this is a hopeful book, emphasising the contribution which academic work can make, provided the methodology is appropriately gendered and sufficiently sensitive in its guiding ideology and techniques to hear and learn from the all too often 'glocalised' other. But in the end there is no solution without politics, and in both the opening and the closing sections of this book there are chapters which address this. What continues to be special about women's political practice is the connection between the groundedness of small groups and the fluidity and flexibility of regional and international networks: the effective politics of the global age. This book, then, is a new criminology for and by women, a book which opens up a new criminological terrain for both women and men - and a book which cannot easily be read without an emotional response.
Whilst the notion of social harm has long interested critical criminologists, it is now being explored as an alternative field of study, which provides more accurate analyses of the vicissitudes of life.
However, important aspects of this notion remain undeveloped, in particular the definition of social harm, the question of responsibility and methodologies for studying harm. This book is the first to theorise and define the social harm concept beyond criminology and seeks to address these omissions and, in doing so, provide a platform for future debates, in this series and beyond.
It will be a valuable resource for academics and researchers across criminology, sociology, social policy, socio-legal studies and geography.
About the Author
Simon A. Pemberton works in the School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham, UK.
Table of Contents
Defining social harm
Capitalist formations and the production of harm
Harm reduction regimes and the production of physical harm
Harm reduction regimes and the production of autonomy and relational harms
Harm reduction regimes, neoliberalism and the production of harm