How has postmodernism affected criminology?How has postmodernism affected criminology?

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dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many "postmodernisms", this terminology has been used in different fields of study to try and explain changes in the particular discipline. In criminology, postmodernism is sometimes referred to as twenty first century criminology and is just a different approach to trying to understand crime and also trying to think of novel ways to control and prevent it.

A somewhat recent innovation in criminological thought is the concept of what criminologists call COP or community oriented policing. In COP, law enforcement officers try to enlist the aid of the local community in fighting crime. It is thought that if law enforcement officers take the time to build on social relationships with the populations they are charged with protecting this will facilitate acceptance of police and therefore act to reduce crime rates. COP is just one example of postmodern thought as it relates to criminology.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting question.  The concept of postmodernism has changed and impacted criminology in that it has rejected the notion of absolutism in the field.  Criminology has been able to embrace postmodern ideas in its assertion that criminal activity is multi faceted and intricate, hence the techniques used to understand it must be in accordance.  The idea of being able to pursue different ends and means to comprehend criminal activity is a post modern concept.  The pursuit of these different ends is post modern in nature because the movement asserted the multiplicity of voices and narrative expressions.  In this light, postmodernism is something that assists the divergent exploration of criminal behavior, a reality that criminology is embracing in an intense manner.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Agreed.  And technology has created an environment where possibilities are limitless--one of the tenets of postmodernism.  Thinking outside the traditional norms and methods is a hallmark of today's criminology world, as evidenced by the spillover of such things into popular entertainment.  The CSI television series and other shows are based on the concept of looking beyond the obvious and pursuing criminals by examining their patterns of behavior as much as the actual evidence. Even the use of psychics and other non-traditional crime-stopping and crime-fighting methods is postmodern in nature.