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Home > Reviews > Crime and Society

Crime and Society

Author Editor Donna Youngs

ISBN No 9780815382881

Review date 19/05/2019

No of pages 160

Publisher Routledge

Publisher URL

Year of publication 27/07/2018


Our Review


£ 92

Crime and Society offers 11 chapters that show the world's kaleidoscopic issues of crime, physical, technological and cyber. The very width of the subjects may be off-putting, for does a reader have the same interest in, say, use of drugs and criminal behaviour among female adolescent prostitutes in Lagos; and Israeli police critical incident first responders; or hacking, piracy, and child abuse material online?

That would seem to make the collection of academic papers - which is what they are, as they had a previous life as a special, 2016 issue of the journal Contemporary Social Science, published by the same company - ideal for selling the book as single chapters. A missed opportunity, as you can only buy the whole ebook, which certainly in terms of value makes more sense given the steep price for the printed book.

UK readers may well find most relevant the chapters by the veteran researcher into fraud, Prof Michael Levi, on impacts of organised crime in the European Union and (more to the point) the difficulty of measuring it; and Prof Graham Towl on tackling sexual violence at UK universities. But to repeat, you might prefer to find the chapters of most interest to you via the original journal for the abstracts, and if they don't satisfy, then to do some internet searching; for the Levi research, for example, try the European Parliament website, as Levi did his work for them. There he makes the point that losses from crime can greatly exceed the benefits to the offenders, when you add the violence in drug and people trafficking, the dumping of toxic waste, the intangible damage to society.

Prof Towl, of Durham University, the psychologist of prison life, and of student mental health, has written elsewhere on the subject; again, a well-worded internet search will turn up at least some of his writing for free, for example via the British Psychological Society website. There he sums up that the issue is 'underreported but significant'.

This has brought up a profound question of our times; how the internet while making words free for all, anywhere, has caused the collapse of the value (in monetary terms at least) of the written word. Newspapers, magazines and academic journals alike are like so many fishes gasping for air as the water (of paying customers) has been pumped out by the internet search engine companies. Just as there is nothing wrong or illegal in that, nor is there anything wrong in global publishing companies like Routledge charging a packet for academic writings. Readers can carry on making their own choices.