What are the four forms of feminist criminology? Can each be identified and explained?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There actually appear to be far more than just four feminist criminology theories, but of the many diverse theories, four include "liberal feminism, radical feminism, Marxist/socialist feminism, [and] postmodern/poststructuralist feminism" (Oxford Bibliographies, Renzetti, "Feminist Theories"). As we are limited in space, below are a few ideas to help get you started.

There are four different principles that all feminist criminology theories hold in common. One of those principles is that "social life" is based on the belief that the "attitudes and behaviors of men and women" can be divided into masculine and feminine, and that that division has bearing on understanding "criminal offending, victimization, and criminal justice processing" ("Feminist Theories"). A second principle is that our patriarchal society both excludes and undervalues females in criminology, "both as professionals and as subjects of study" ("Feminist Theories").

Among the feminist theories, radical feminism most concentrates on presenting "women as victims of crime" ("Radical Feminism"). The theory specifically argues that gender inequality is society's greatest cause of oppression, and that such oppression can be found in all social classes and ethnicities. Finally, radical feminism also argues that all social establishments are governed by patriarchy, even the criminal justice system ("Radical Feminism").

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