Constructing Crime: Contemporary Processes of Criminalization

Constructing Crime: Contemporary Processes of Criminalization


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Available in the Osgoode Hall Law School Library


Constructing Crime examines the central question: Why do we define and enforce particular behaviours as crimes and target particular individuals as criminals?

To answer this question, contributors interrogate notions of crime, processes of criminalization, and the deployment of the concept of crime in five radically different sites. Two studies of fraud against welfare recipients and physicians illustrate that uneven enforcement of the law can leave the privileged with a sense of entitlement and the marginalized with an imposed criminal self-concept. An examination of the enforcement of laws against Aboriginal harvesting practices offers yet another example of how the threat of prosecution can be used to criminalize cultural practices, while a study of public housing reveals that its form can influence how residents respond to disorder. Lastly, a case study on gambling reveals just how malleable the criminal law and definitions of crime can be.

By demonstrating that how crime is defined and enforced is connected to social location and status, these interdisciplinary cases and an afterword by Marie-Andrée Bertrand challenge us to consider just who is rendered criminal and why. This timely volume will appeal to policy makers and students and practitioners of law, criminology, and sociology.



Publication Date



UBC Press


Vancouver, British Columbia


Criminology; Crime--Sociological aspects; Criminal behavior; Canada


Bibliographic Citation
Mosher, Janet E., and Joan Brockman. Constructing Crime: Contemporary Processes of Criminalization. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press, 2010. Print.

Constructing Crime: Contemporary Processes of Criminalization