Critical criminology and crimes of the powerful
Critical criminologists have been instrumental in creating new research agendas. Their general commitment to seeking out alternative voices and perspectives, along with their tendency to question dominant ideologies and taken-for-granted structures and assumptions has opened up new areas of criminological enquiry. Critical criminologists have long pursued research agendas that challenged the status quo. One of the crucial ways in which this has been done is through examinations of the crimes and harms committed by those in society who wield social, political or economic power. Such research has endeavoured to call into question why it is that some harmful actions are viewed as ‘criminal’ while others are not. At the same time, research agendas that have sought to examine the actions of the powerful have simultaneously called into question claims about ‘neutrality’, ‘objectivity’, and ‘value-free’ research methods. That is, such pursuits have shed light on the dominant forces, ideologies and structures of society that seemingly ‘neutrally’ shape social life.