Critical analysis: Two examples
To be critical in an academic context does not just mean participating in the debates within an intellectual discipline. It also involves questioning the paradigms within which the discipline sits; the assumptions, concepts and categories through which it frames its concerns; and the methods by which it seeks to arrive at an understanding of the world. To be a critical criminological scholar is to look beyond official crime statistics and criminal justice policies and practices that are constructed through seemingly unquestionable mechanisms of state governance and control. It means questioning knowledges about crime and criminal justice that might seem unquestionable.