Today, the debate onthe motivations and causation of crime is popular topic discussed acrossvarious academic domains (i.e. Anthropology). These interdisciplinary debateshave incorporated new principles, allowing some of the formation of newtheories building upon the earlier apperceptions. For instance, rationalchoice, routine activity as well as control theories builds up upon theprinciples of Beccaria (e.g. free will; cost and benefits). Another examplewould be Lombroso’s thesis on physical aberration, which is now improvised withneurobiology and genetics with environmental methodologies (e.
g. twin studies)deployed in observations and research.Criminology, as anacademic discipline has been endured constant advancement since the18thcentury, despite of its origins from the ancient Greek philosophers (i.
e.Aristotle). With the rise of the classical school founded by Beccaria andBentham to the establishment of the positivists schools (i.e. biological andsocial), criminologists have derived a list of reasons in which why anindividual may engage in criminal behaviour. Indubitably, the context and implications ofcrime and justice (i.
e. retributive versus restorative), has changed as thetheoretical paradigm shifts from one to another (Lawerence, 2012).However, most theoriesoften deduce and explain the causation of criminality of an individual througha one-sided perspective (Gadd and Jefferson, 2007, p. 2-5).
Sociologicalpositivists often predicate that societal factors such as gender and povertywere crucial factors in understanding criminality. On the other hand,psychologists tend to look for traits within individuals, identifying aspectsand abnormality to distinguish individuals who may be inclined towardscriminality from the group. Indeed, both viewpoint provides enticingimplications in confabulating one’s desire to engage in criminal behaviour.With this in mind, Gaddand Jefferson (ibid) states that both perspectives mentioned above only focalpoint either internal and external conditions of the individual (i.e. social vspsychological/developmental factors). The impetus which draws one tocriminality could be due to multiple factors which may come from bothpsychological and sociological domains.
To truly understand the motivation thatstimulates the engagement of crime, Gadd and Jefferson’s (2007) psychosocialapproach amalgamate the spirit of psychology and sociology, providing a deeperinsight of the offender’s inner world. “The point is that, whenever we propose asolution to a problem, we ought to try as hard as we can to overthrow oursolution, rather than defend it. Few of us, unfortunately, practice thisprecept; but other people, fortunately, will supply the criticism for us if wefail to supply it ourselves.”(Popper, 1959) Like Popper describes,all scientific theories and hypotheses are falsifiable. Using their book: PsychosocialCriminology (Gad and Jefferson,2007) as the main literature reviewed, this paper will provide a critical,in-depth assessment of the theory in the following order:1. Conceptand methodology2. Policyimplication (1): Restorative Justice3. Policyimplication (2): Intervention – Therapies Prior in going straightto the section of critically analysis, it is vital to outline the key featuresof this theory.
When hearing the term”psychosocial criminology”, one of the thing that may come to a person’s mindis the study of criminal behaviour via one’s psychological well-being in relationto sociological factors. In comparison to Gadd and Jefferson’s rendition of”psychosocial”, the definition resumed above is wrong in spite of beingpartially correct to a certain degree.Though there arebranches in the school of psychology (i.
e. social psychology and abnormalpsychology) which outlines the psychological mechanism in the sphere ofcriminal behaviour, there is limited literature if not little evidence inconsidering the offender as an individual with conflicting, paradoxicalthoughts (Ritchie, 2014). Following the steps of Frosh (2003, p. 183, as citedin Gadd and Jefferson, 2007), “psychosocial criminology” as an approachendorses a censorious stance against Psychology while trying to formulate the”psychological subject”, the human psyche. Humans, as Frosh emphasised,(as a psychological subject), are the output compound created by theircognitive mind (inner psyche) and the shared social dimension (reality). Insimpler terms, the subject (individual) acts as a structural center of actionand thought with external forces exchanging information (i.e.
gender, ethnicity,and social class). In addition, it sensations of feeling weak or defenseless thatleads one into paths (which may be considered as discourse by others) that maygrant them strength on a psychological level (i.e. respect in the neighbourhood). It is also importantto remember that the inner psyche accounts both conscious and unconsciousprocesses, emotions (i.e.
fear and happiness) as well as ability to manifestimagination/fantasy. In terms of methodology and data gathering, Gadd andJefferson deploy interpretative biographies with elements of free associationwhen conducting interviews.Undeniably, Gadd and Jefferson’sapproach in Psychosocial Criminology presents thought-provoking ideas assynopsized above, but there are points worth questioning (Brown, 2003, 2007; Gelsthrope,2009; Ritchie, 2014).
In their own words, the authors of this theoryacknowledge that their theory is an “ambitious project” that is not detachedwhen viewed from the wider spectrum of social sciences. Concept: Methodology – Subjectivity andValidityThe stance in applyingnarrative techniques in qualitative research has been an on-going trend formore than a decade, with various field of disciplines to understand the subjecton an encyclopedic level (Franzosi, 1998; Polkinghorne, 1991; Sandelowski, 1991).Knowing that theirapproach in anatomising criminology through the method of biographicalinterpretation may raise opposing criticisms, the two listed several points injustifying this notion (Gadd and Jefferson’s, 2007, p. 5-8). For instance, thenature of case studies – being open to interpretation, is considered as thestrength of this approach. Case studies investigates content through anatypical context, irradiating and canvass unconsidered factors of actualreality, challenging the mainstream understanding (Fraser, 2004; Mitchell 2000,p.
170, as cited in Gadd and Jefferson, ibid; Kohler-Riessman,2000). “Narratives do not mirror, they refract thepast … Narratives are useful in researchprecisely because storytellers interpret the past rather than reproduce it asit was. The “truths” of narrative accounts are not in their faithfulrepresentations of a past world, but in the shifting connections they forgeamong past, present, and future”(Riessman, 2005)In the context ofpsychosocial criminology, Holloway and Jefferson (2000 p. 77) underlines thefundamental disparity in having narrative data decrypted by researchers andclinicians. While clinicians decode into the core of the subject matter, theobjective of the researchers deciphers on a separate occasion, without thepresence of the interviewee. In metaphoric terms, this can be characterised as”data-production” vs “data analysis”.
From an evaluative perspective,narrative analysis accentuates the relationship between individual’s personalexperience and the subject (i.e. life as a comfort woman in wartime periods). Itcan be said that the methods used in the psychosocial theory – interpretativebiography is analysed on three dimensions: thematic (depth and width ofcontent), structural (how the content is expressed), and interactional. Thoughthe thematic and structural aspect compliments each other in generating anullified analysis, the third component – interactional may distort thedecoding process of the evidence recorded.The point of employinginteractional analysis is to spotlight the conversation process between theinterviewer and interviewee.
Micro-behavioural aspects such as pauses inspeech, gesture and display of physical posture are often left unmentioned intranscripts (Riessman, ibid). As Kreiswrith (2002)vindicates, it is inexorable to not adjudge the concept of “narration” as astory, even if the speculation of the knowledge is based on rationalism. Following up with Sternberg’s(1987) analogy: truth value and truth claim in historiography emits intriguingpoints when set side by side with narrative analysis. He adduces that the historicalaccounts of events are a discourse that proclaims to be a fact.
In narrativeanalyses, the “truth value” is placed with given more attention when scaledwith the “truth objective” on the other end. While the truth value issubjective, the objectivity may be ignored. Concept: Psyche – Splitting and ProjectionWith reference toFairbairn and Klein’s notion of splitting, the authors of this theory predictatesthat the human psyche (commonly referred as the inner voice/internal thought) isnot only a center of agency but also a primary ego defensive system.
Thisallows the individual to “splits” information (i.e. societal values:masculinity) from the social world into – positive and negative emotions.
When undersevere distress, the individual may project the emotions that have beenrepressed internally towards people around him or her (i.e. shouting at achild). Likewise, if the individual is capable of “containing” theseuncomfortable sensation (i.e. being bullied by peers), the individual might beable to “detoxify” the negative thoughts and respond rationally.Such elaboration ofone’s ego defense mechanism is far too simplistic in comparison to the othertheories of the same/relevant academic field in conjunction to withcriminality.
By re-examining the work of Jung and Vallaint, a more well-roundedexplanation is inaugurated while keeping the in a non-reductive stancebetween social constructionism of the “social world” and psychology of the”inner psyche”.Carl Jung’s (2016)theory of the unconscious also adopts a humanistic viewpoint in understandingthe psyche. In accordance Jung, the human psyche consists of 3 main layers:ego, personal unconscious and collective unconscious.
Focusing solely on the 2ndand 3rd layer of the psyche, Jung blueprints the darker side ofhuman nature through the various archetypes he draws upon. The anima/animusreflects the manifestation of both masculine and feminine archetype, the”persona” being the mask that one wears to masquerade the real self, whilst the”shadow” acts as power source for both creative and destructive energy. In juxtaposition ofthe holistic beliefs held by Jung, George Eman Valliant (1992) advocates that thehuman psyche can be identified through a four-level classification system.Though his thesis nucleates from the context of psychiatry, he expands thedissertate how one may pick up defensive mechanism (i.e. Projection of unwantedthoughts or emotions) through a developmental vista, which can be observed ineveryday life. Due to the list ofclassification being exhaustive, not all mechanisms will be mentioned.Level 1: PsychoticLevel 2: ImmatureLevel 3: NeuroticLevel 4: MatureIn the first level,mechanisms (i.
e. delusional projection or denial) are considered pathologicalor anomalous towards others. Interestingly, this can be seen through one’schildhood.The second level:immature, suggests that the mechanisms associated in this stage is frequentlyobserved among adults (i.e. schizoid fantasy and projection).
Whereas,delusional projection refers to a belief based on invalid information (e.g.racist belief learned in childhood) whereas projection links back to Gadd andJefferson’s concept of defense- the expulsion of undesired thoughts or emotionswithout acknowledging on a conscious level.In the third level,mechanisms such as (i.e. repression and displacement) provides short-termeffects in coping with stress. In the last level, mechanisms (i.e.
humor) affiliatedwith this level allows one to engage conflicting mental states peacefully.Despite of thedifferences between the two viewpoints, both theories elucidates the humanpsyche from different levels of perception. If one was to merge the two theories togetherand incorporate Frosh’s concept as mentioned earlier, one would realise thatthe defensive mechanism of the human ego is not just limited to the concept of”defensive splitting and projection” (Gadd and Jefferson, p. 53). Certainly, Gadd andJefferson’s approach provides a new limelight in illustrating how the innermind of the offender interacts with the social realm.
Nevertheless, it would betoo simplistic in consider that the human psyche often/tends to only resolveswith projection of thoughts or emotions through the means of verbal or physicalexhibition. On a structural level, it can be cogitated that humans oftenrepress their “shadow” self from engaging criminal behaviour as it does notmatch (Costello, 2002 as cited in Brown, 2007).Policy and implication: Restorative JusticeThe psychosocialtheory embraces a humanist approach in evaluating deviant behaviour. Instead ofpathologizing the individual, it is considered that all individuals in societyhas the potential in becoming a criminal.
Rather than demonising offenders fortheir unacceptable behaviour, one should attempt to unveil the unknownfactor(s) in seeking to unravel the thoughts of the offender. In their final chaptersof their book: Psychosocial Criminology,the authors recapped some of the main criticisms of restorative justice, aswell as the policies associated with this approach (i.e.
rehabilitation inoffenders). In this section, the concept of restorative justice will beaddressed.One of significant weaknessesin restorative justice is the operationalisation of re-integrative shaming (Barton,2004; Braithwaite, 2002; Mclvor, 2004).
While some object to the intellection ofre-integrative shaming due to the stigamatisation received by the offenderduring mediation conferences, there are also theorists who recommendrestorative justice over other ideologies such as retributive or utilitarian(Johnstone, 2011). Therefore, it would be quixotic to presume that everymediating conference will end well. Likewise, it would be biased to expect thata proportionate level of offenders may react negatively towards the judgmentalcomments they receive (Acorn, 2013). Recent studies in re-integrative shaminghas demonstrated constructive effects for both victims and offenders.
While ithas been reported that victims report less symptoms of post-traumatic stress,it has also been confirmed that restorative justice, as an approach appears tobe efficient against serious, repeating offenders or violence-related crime (Bohmert,Duwe and Hipple, 2016; Ptacek, 2014; Sherman et al., 2015; Strang and Sherman,2015). In terms of juvenile/youth offending, it has been shown thatconference-led cases suggest higher rate in crime reduction among various typesof crime including: sex offending, physical assaults, and property (Bouffard,Cooper and Bergseth, 2016; Daly et al., 2013). Hence, the conceptualisation ofre-integrative shaming should be seen be as a continuum, with one end labelledas “no effect” and the other end as “severe/negative consequences”. There willbe times whereby restorative justice provides low/zero positive effects inreducing recidivism or incarceration rates for specific crimes such as domesticviolence and substance abuse (Payne, 2017; Uggen and Blahnik, 2016).
Correspondingly, a society that manifests its philosophical stance in justicearound re-integrative shaming (i.e. Japan) might be interpreted as a retributiveform of punishment with rituals of restorative justice (Suzuki and Otani, 2017).More importantly, restorative justice isoften considered as an alternative form of punishment. By punishment, expectations(i.
e. lower rates in incarceration) and values of utilitarian perspective comesinto action (Hudson, 1996; Robinson and Shapland, 2013; Shichor, 1995; Wright,1973). Reinforced by Howard Zehr’s opinions, Johnstone (2011) argues that it isonly possible for offenders to reflect themselves on an emotional level viarestorative justice. Furthermore, a society that promotes harsh sentencing (i.e.death penalty) in offenders may lead to the indirect manifestation of cultivatingcriminals (i.e. taking justice into their own hands – killing someone for beingverbally abuse).
Regardless of which approach used for servingjustice, the element of shaming will always be present in any given situationfor the offender (e.g. court, prison, mediation conferences). However,