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Developing a Transgressive Criminology in a Neoliberal Age

Sat, Nov 20, 11:00am to 12:20pm, Clark 7, 7th Floor


This discussion develops the theoretical and methodological underpinnings for the new subfield of transgressive sociology. We ask how transgressive sociology distinguishes itself from the theories, content, and methods of mainstream criminology. Transgressive criminology focuses on a wide variety of social actors – from established corporate and political elites, gangs and secret societies, radicalized religious conservativism, law enforcement agencies, the radical right and left, emerging social movements, and other unexpected social actors in the age of discontent. We argue that a Transgressive Criminology appears most ‘critical’ when it shifts its gaze to human suffering that results from the ordinary workings of the capitalist system; including the exploitation of labor (theft), the coordination of antilabor practices (conspiracy), the hidden influence of lobby groups (bribery) with the goal of diminishing historical and systemic alternatives to wage slavery, debt peonage, and insecurity concerning food, shelter, healthcare, among the bare necessities of life, and the suppression of dissent through state violence. Shifting the criminological gaze back and forth between human suffering and the neoliberal capitalistic system will help understand new modalities of transgression today.