This paper calls for a structural criminology that is distinguished by its attention to power relations and by the priority it assigns them in addressing criminological issues. Dominant criminological paradigms both imply and deny what structural criminology requires. That is, our theories often imply that crime is a product of power relations, but our methodologies commonly ignore this premise. We make this point first with a preliminary review of prominent sociological theories of crime and then by a more systematic review of three research literatures: on class and criminality, on criminal sentencing, and on the family and delinquency. The paper concludes with an argument that a new focus on the relationship between gender and crime can provide a new starting point in the development of a structural criminology that is a more sociological criminology as well.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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