An article by Griffith University criminologist Professor Kathleen Daly has been selected for an international publication marking the 30th anniversary of the esteemed journal, Justice Quarterly.
The article, Feminism and Criminology, was first published in 1988 when Professor Daly was an Associate Professor at Yale University in the US. Co-author Meda Chesney-Lind is now a Professor of Criminology at the University of Hawaii.
At a time when feminist thinking had yet to make any significant impact on criminology, the article was provocative in urging the case for change.
“We are surprised by those who continue to say that a focus on gender is unimportant for theories of crime because there are ‘so few women criminals’,” the authors declared.
“We have also been told that discussions of women’s crime are ‘entertaining’, meaning that they are a trivial footnote to more general and important problems.”
The article asserted that feminist inquiry was relevant and should be applied to all facets of crime, deviance and social control.
“A focus on gender and gender difference is not simply a focus on women or on what some scholars term ‘women’s issues’ in a narrow sense,” it maintained.
“It is and should be a far more encompassing enterprise, raising questions about how gender organises the discipline of criminology, the social institutions that fall within its scope, and the behaviour of men and women.”
Professor Daly said that in 1988 only a few senior people in the field recognised the importance of analysing gender and crime.
“There have been many positive developments since, such as the increase in the awareness of feminist thinking, the greater presence of analyses that take gender seriously, and the development of gender responsive policy in corrections,” Professor Daly said.
“The article may have played a role in facilitating change. It’s certainly my most cited work and, as well as having an impact on my colleagues and students at the time, it continues to be influential and relevant.”
Feminism and Criminology will feature in Thoughts on Seminal Theoretical Criminology, one of four themed and virtual special issues celebrating Justice Quarterly’s anniversary. The article was in the ‘top five’ for theoretical criminology.
The others special issues are A Generation of Policing Research, The Growth and Development of Correctional Research and Thirty Years of Research on Court Processing.
Professor Daly was delighted by the acknowledgement, saying: “The article was written more than 25 years ago, in the early years of my academic career. My co-author and I wanted to make feminist theories and debates accessible to criminology and, in the process, we hoped to transform the field.”
Articles by Griffith University Adjunct Professors Geoff Alpert and Alex Piquero were also selected by Justice Quarterly.