Feminist criminology grew out of the Women’s Movement of the 1970s, in response to the male dominance of mainstream criminology – which meant that not only were women largely excluded from carrying out criminological research, they were also barely considered as subjects of that research.
In this volume, Claire Renzetti traces the development of feminist criminology from the 1970s to the present, examining the diversity of feminisms which have developed:
- liberal feminist criminology
- Marxist, radical and socialist feminist criminologies
- structured action theory
- left realism
- postmodern feminism
- black/multiracial feminist criminology.
She shows how these perspectives have made a great impact on the discipline, the academy, and the criminal justice system, but also highlights the limitations of this influence. How far has feminist criminology transformed research and knowledge production, education, and practice? And how can feminist criminologists continue to shape the future of the discipline?
Table of Contents
Preface. 1. Feminist Criminology: A Brief Overview 2. Liberal Feminist Criminology: Liberty, Equality, Sorority 3. The Subordination of Women: Marxist, Radical, and Socialist Feminist Criminologies 4. Identities and Intersectionalities: Structured Action Theory, Left Realism, Postmodern Feminism, and Black/Multiracial Feminist Criminology 5. Future Directions in Feminist Criminology. Notes. References.
Claire M. Renzetti is the Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair in the Center for Research on Violence Against Women, and Professor of Sociology, at the University of Kentucky. She is editor of the journal Violence Against Women; co-editor of the 'Interpersonal Violence' book series for Oxford University Press; and editor of the 'Gender, Crime and Law' book series for Northeastern University Press. Her recent research focuses on religiosity and intimate partner violence, and the provision of services for domestic sex trafficking victims.
"The tone of this book is neat and pedagogical. It is aimed at students, perhaps more so than academics, and would therefore be a thoughtful addition to any core undergraduate or postgraduate course. As the story of an idea, Feminist Criminology is also admirably comprehensive. Renzetti digs deeper into the history of feminist activism and theory than is typical in a survey of this sort, connecting liberal feminist criminology to Freudian theory and feminist critiques of sexual violence… The result is a book that conveys, rather than announces, the scope and import of feminist thought….Renzetti has done a service to both students and academics by writing a careful archaeology of feminist thought over the last four decades. Her readers will be left with a greater appreciation of where feminist criminology began, and with pressing questions about where the field can go from here."
Emma Kaufman, Yale Law School
Theoretical Criminology 2014 18: 393
"It is a commendable achievement to have packed so much into such a short space without losing the flavour of debate, the demands of interdisciplinarity, and the tension and challenge that feminist informed work has posed, and continues to pose for criminology. Renzetti’s accomplishment in this regard is remarkable. More importantly, what a student would get from this book is an appreciation of the relationship between different theoretical perspectives, how they might make different sense of the data and then might, as a consequence, result in different explanations. Renzetti also offers a view on where criminology might benefit in the future from its further engagement with feminists’ concerns… This is a book that should be on any reading list that claims to be interested in feminist criminology. It is thoughtful and thought provoking and will provide an excellent platform from which to develop deeper understandings of the issues that it raises."
Sandra Walklate, University of Liverpool,
British Journal of Criminology
"In a comprehensive yet concise way, Renzetti explores, captures and challenges feminist criminology successfully. I recommend the book to students – not only to those interested in feminist criminology, but also in other disciplines. For scholars, students and practitioners who are serious about how women were/are disadvantaged and subordinated, how women suffered in the course of history, how issues such as gender, race, sexuality and class link with crime, violence and inequality, this little book is a must!"
Hannelie Wood, University of South Africa