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Mike Presdee (1944-2009) - cultural criminologist and champion of a life less ordinary

Hayward, Keith J., Young, Jock (2010) Mike Presdee (1944-2009) - cultural criminologist and champion of a life less ordinary. Crime Media Culture, 6 (1). pp. 105-110. ISSN 1741-6590. (doi:10.1177/1741659009363046) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1741659009363046

Abstract

Mike Presdee was a sociologist of international acclaim and considerable personal magnetism. His work focused on the sociology of youth and cultural criminology. He was fascinated by the way in which young people are criminalized and controlled; of youth being seen as the problem rather than young people being the locus of the problems of the system. Later in life he emerged as a key fi gure in the burgeoning fi eld of cultural criminology, convinced of the impossibility of understanding crime (or any other form of human behavior for that matter) in terms of survey data and quantitative analysis. He argued that ‘numerical life’ had little if any relationship with ‘actual life’, that there was a chronic split between academic knowledge, the gaze from above, and everyday experience and the view from below revealed by ethnography and biography. He maintained that orthodox criminology was driven by the administrative concerns of the powerful which present problems as obvious and uncontested and set the research agenda of the social scientist. Why he asks is it ‘obvious to all…that we need research into the “evilness” of young people rather than the oppression of young people; the evils of drink and drugs rather than why we take substances that might even include enjoyment and the excitement of transgression’? (Presdee, 2004a). Such a power driven knowledge presents itself as part of a rational research agenda where the very presence of power is occluded. He then turns to the researchers themselves, noticing their poverty of experience, their exclusion from the lived worlds of the people they research, thus neatly reversing the conventional nostrum: it is the social scientist who is marginalized from the social world rather than those deemed marginalized and objects of study.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1741659009363046
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Criminology
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2014 10:08 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:47 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/38052 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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