This book explores the work of criminologist Colin Sumner. It re-presents his arguments and ideas on Marxism, ideology, censure, deviance, crime, underdevelopment, social control and the media; situating them in their wider social context. Moxon argues that Sumner should be restored within the criminology discipline as a pioneer who has produced works of great theoretical sophistication and insight. By systematically considering Sumner’s entire output, the book shows how his thought involved a gradually deepening understanding of his core notion of ideological censure. His writing is also marked by a growing unease with the effects of late modern capitalism and the quagmire of censoriousness rife in the 21st century. This book makes clear that Sumner’s work was remarkably prescient, and his ideas may help up to make sense of complicated times.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Sumner and ideological censure
Sumner’s concept of ideological censure
Chapter 3: After censure
Sumner as critic
Sumner as theorist of underdevelopment
Sumner as media analyst
Sumner as theorist of censure
Chapter 4: Sumner and the death of deviance
The Obituary in brief
Observations on the Obituary
Chapter 5: After the death of deviance
Continued theoretical development
Censure in the textbooks
A return to old themes
A retirement of sorts
The continuing controversy over the Obituary
Chapter 6: Sumner and the looking glass
Censure and the 2011 riots
Measure for Measure
A return to first principles
Through the looking glass
Chapter 7: After Sumner?
Sumner’s work as a cumulative project
A commitment to theory
Sumner and Marxism
Towards moral renewal?
David Moxon completed his PhD at the University of Sheffield and was formerly Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. No longer employed in academia, he continues to research and write on criminology in an independent capacity, and frequently draws upon the ideas of Colin Sumner.
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