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Just promises: Tracing the possible in criminology

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Gazing across the heterogeneous discourses claiming the rubric of criminology, a casual observer will likely be struck by pervasive discussions aimed at solving the 'crime problem'. Alongside the blaring choruses of technical experts one finds the hushed muses of sceptics and critics. They worry that all the noise is shoring up the very 'reality' that criminologists profess to eradicate (e.g. Christie 1993). Without firm attachments to realist notions of 'crime,' the technically-driven choir would have to sing the lines of a very different melody. What follows contemplates a way of thinking about how we might compose such melodies in those undefined spaces beyond the limits of 'present reality.' It draws inspiration from an allegiance to critical searches for the possible; not from an obsession with describing, in evennore detail, the fugitive 'realities' of 'crime'. So, as its title suggests, this undertaking is not about drafting (exclusive) limits around what can be classed as real, but with developing genres of critique that forever gesture towards possible alternatives.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
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  • License
    © 2000 G. Pavlich et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Pavlich, G. (2000). Just promises: Tracing the possible in criminology. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 11(3), 327-336. Retrieved from
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