Feminist Criminology

IX. Conclusion

Although progress in the publication of feminist scholarship has been made, it remains somewhat marginalized in the overall discipline. Not only do mainstream journals publish only limited feminist scholarship, but also textbooks give scant attention to feminist criminological theory. Thus, new generations of criminologists are educated and yet given little if any information about feminist criminology. This is reflected in their research as well as in their teaching and mentoring of new scholars. The cycle therefore remains self-perpetuating, with new criminologists receiving scant education on feminist criminology (Renzetti, 1993).

However, feminist criminology remains alive and well. The Division on Women and Crime is one of the largest sections of the American Society of Criminology, several major publishers have book series focusing on women and crime, and new scholars continue to emerge. The Division on Women and Crime, which started with a small group of scholars in the mid-1980s, has now existed almost a quarter of a century, and feminist scholars have been recognized as Fellows by the American Society of Criminology. Current feminist criminological scholarship includes theory building and theory testing, as well as research on violence against women; women’s crime; and women in the criminal justice system, both as offenders and workers. The defining characteristics of feminist criminology are the emphasis on how social structures affect men and women differently, the relationship between research and activism, and the interrelatedness between victimization and offending among women.

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