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Reimagining the Educational Field: Thoughts on a Critical Criminology of Education


  • Karl Guebert

    () (Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa, 120 University Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada)


Prompted by the need to expand the criminological enterprise, this paper makes a case for a critical criminology of education, one that takes a governance approach. It seeks to illustrate what such a criminology might entail by developing an analytic framework with which to analyze the educational field. The framework is put to use to provide an analytic discussion of Ontario education policy reformations concerning student discipline. Education was conceptualized by policymakers as an institution for disciplining and governing students, specifically through the concept of “bullying”. From this analysis, the paper suggests it is possible to theorize education as a “security apparatus”, one that is increasingly concerned with the governance of social (in)security and public safety. The discussion suggests that education is an important institution for governing by identifying one regulatory project that concerns student behavior both within and beyond the school. In so doing, the paper illustrates the creative process in developing a criminology of education, and the value of imaginative thinking within criminology.

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Guebert, 2015. "Reimagining the Educational Field: Thoughts on a Critical Criminology of Education," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 1-18, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:5:y:2015:i:2:p:442-459:d:49592

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Becker & William M. Landes, 1974. "Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck74-1.
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    More about this item


    critical criminology of education; imaginative criminology; governance; theory;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • P - Economic Systems
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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