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Critical criminology and the social sciences
Critical criminology and the social sciences

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3.4 A critical criminological perspective on the global financial crisis

In the following video, Dr Lynne Copson discusses the potential ways in which someone might attempt to make sense of the global financial crisis from a criminological perspective.

Activity 9

Spend some time watching the video, and then try to summarise what you think the defining features of a critical criminological approach might be in the text box below.

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From a critical criminological perspective, the global financial crisis is an interesting and important subject of study. Some critical criminologists might be interested in understanding how apparently law-abiding individuals were able and willing to engage in behaviour that they knew was likely to result in severe harm being inflicted on millions of people across the globe.

Others might focus on identifying and understanding the full range of harms that resulted from the crisis, including the widespread loss of homes and jobs. Yet others might try to make sense of responses to the crisis across different countries, seeking to understand why those responsible in some countries were subject to criminal sanctions while others escaped punishment.

Whatever the precise focus taken by critical criminologists studying the global financial crisis, their approaches would likely include some consideration of the significant power disparities between different people involved in and affected by the crisis, as well as the contribution of the crisis to growing levels of inequality across the world.