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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Criminal justice education in British Columbia : a political perspective Arnold, Bruce Lane


This study was designed to investigate the ideological context of criminology in British Columbia. A sample of 45 criminologists was interviewed in order to establish the ideological orientation of their teaching, research, publishing, and consulting involvements. In addition, the in-depth interviews served to document the constraints criminologists experience due to their ideological orientation. The interview results show that criminology in British Columbia is dominated by liberal ideology and that radical perspectives are restricted through "gate-keeping" devices such as funding, hiring, and publishing restrictions. By clarifying its ideological nature, criminology can be understood as a political phenomenon, which may explain the widespread reluctance to critically reflect on the development of criminal justice education. Gramsci's view of the hegemonic function of intellectuals provides an historical and theoretical framework for examining the ideological-political traditions which influence contemporary criminology in British Columbia. This framework enables, study of the relationship between criminology and the capitalist state's growing need for a technically sophisticated knowledge-base that will both contain increasing crime rates and maintain ideological hegemony.

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