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Laurent Mucchielli, " Sociology of Deviance and Criminology in France : History and Controversies"

par Sylvie Chiousse - publié le

The American Sociologist, 2017
p. 1–21

This article investigates the peculiar history of sociology of deviance and criminology in France, from the end of the 19th until now. In the 1880s, the criminal questions invade the intellectual debate. I show how sociology (Gabriel Tarde and the Durkheimians) was largely built against biomedical determinisms. Then, the criminal question has conducted doctors and lawyers to join forces in the first half of the 20th century in order to develop the first criminological institutions, or “criminal sciences.” In the 1950s and 1960s, Jean Pinatel would try to elaborate a synthesis out of this but he would fail to institutionalize a criminological discipline. Yet, from the 1970s, sociology of deviance has known a rennaissance in the scientific field, partly because of the influence of American sociology of deviance and British critical criminology. Since then, the social sciences are the first producers of scientific knowledge about the criminal phenomena, the criminal justice system (police, justice), and about the public policies of security and prevention. However, between 2007 and 2012, in a political context of neo-conservatism, the need to institutionalize the criminological discipline in France led to a controversy.

Sociology of deviance Criminology History of science Security policies Institutionalization Controversy Law and order ideology