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Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

11. Gender and feminist criminology  

Pamela Ugwudike

This chapter focuses on criminological studies of gender, particularly women’s experiences as offenders and victims, and the extent to which women’s offending and victimisation are interlinked. It begins with an overview of how gender features in criminological studies then considers the origins and principles of feminist criminology, which is a strand of criminology that has heavily influenced criminological studies of gender and crime. The chapter also explores the main theoretical traditions within feminist criminology and the philosophical orientations that influence feminist research. This exploration includes the criticisms levelled against feminist criminology. Finally, the chapter examines how more recent strands of feminist thought have tried to respond to these criticisms.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Police

6. A fair cop? Policing and social justice  

Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James Sheptycki

This chapter examines fairness in policing with reference to issues of race and gender. It first defines the terms of debate—justice, fairness, discrimination—then considers individual, cultural, institutional, and structural theories and applies these to various aspects of policing. It considers the histories of police discrimination in relation to the policing of poverty, chattel slavery, racial segregation, colonialism, religious conflict, and ethnic minority communities, to understand their contemporary legacy. The chapter then examines spheres of police activity where allegations of unfairness and discrimination are particularly salient, including the response to women crime victims of rape and domestic violence, the use of ‘racial profiling’ in stop and search powers, and the use of deadly force. It examines the experiences of people from ethnic minorities, women, gay men, and lesbians within police forces. Through an exploration of the historical and contemporary literature, the chapter draws conclusions on whether or not the police act fairly in democratic societies.

Chapter

Cover Understanding Deviance

11. Feminist Criminology  

This chapter deals with feminist criminology and the critique of a traditionally masculine-driven discipline. It considers feminist arguments about the relationship between the criminality of women and their subordinate position and life experiences and the role of gender in theories of crime and deviance. It first considers Carol Smart’s views, as well as those of other theorists such as O. Pollak, W. I. Thomas, L. Gelsthorpe, and A. Morris. It then examines substantive areas where significant work has been accomplished in the field of feminist criminology: the ‘female emancipation leads to crime’ debate; the invalidation of the ‘leniency’ hypothesis; the relations between gender, crime, and social control; gender-specific crime; the increased prominence of the female victim in political and academic analysis; the gendered nature of victimization and criminalization; male violence; and intersectionality of class-race-gender inequalities. It concludes with a review of criticisms against feminist criminology.

Chapter

Cover Sentencing and Punishment

9. Experiencing imprisonment  

This chapter considers the experience of imprisonment for specific groups, namely women (including mothers), ethnic minorities, disabled prisoners, religious minorities, and gay, lesbian, and transgender prisoners. There is also more focus on the experience of foreign national prisoners and the growing number of olderprisoners. Policies that aim to reduce the risk of unfair treatment to these groups and their impact are reviewed, as is the framework of legislation designed to promote equality and human rights. The approach taken to race equality has now been extended to other groups. The framework of equality law is considered, including the Equality Act 2010 and its equality duty. The importance of gender-specific penal policies is also discussed.