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The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (6th edn)

Alison Liebling, Shadd Maruna, and Lesley McAra
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date: 29 January 2022

p. 60727. Developmental and life-course criminology: innovations, impacts, and applicationslocked

p. 60727. Developmental and life-course criminology: innovations, impacts, and applicationslocked

  • Lesley McAra
  •  and Susan McVie

Abstract

This chapter reviews the contexts in which developmental and life course criminology (DLC) emerged and has endured. It offers a critical review of theoretical and methodological innovation and advancement within the paradigm, and explores the policy solutions offered by DLC scholars. Overall, it is argued that DLC has flourished despite hostile criticism from those with other epistemological and ontological leanings because of its social, economic, and political acumen. Some concerns remain, however, about the potential for conceptual stasis within the paradigm due to a self-referential tendency that has become evident in the ways in which DLC scholarship is published and funded. The chapter concludes that DLC has radical potential provided it exhibits sufficient reflexivity in the ways in which it deploys theory and method. Important lessons can be learned from DLC and this chapter urges wider disciplinary engagement.

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