Chaos, Criminology, and Social Justice: The New Orderly (dis)order

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Dragan Milovanovic
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997 - Law - 221 pages
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Chaos theory challenges the presumption that the cosmos is orderly, linear, and predictable--but it does not imply pure randomness and chance events. Rather, chaos-informed postmodernist analysis introduces a new vision by celebrating unexpected, surprise, ironic, contradictory, and emergent elements. Scholars in many disciplines are taking this perspective as an alternative to the entrenched structural functionalism and empiricism rooted in linear science. In the early 1990s studies began to emerge applying chaos theory to criminology, law, and social change. This book brings together some of the key thinkers in these areas. Part I situates chaos theory as a constitutive thread in contemporary critical thought in criminology and law. It seeks to provide the reader with a sensitivity to how chaos theory fits within the postmodern perspective and an understanding of its conceptual tools. Part II comprises chapters on applying the chaos perspective to critical criminology and law and, beyond, to peacemaking. Part III presents studies in chaos-informed perspectives on new social movement theory, social change, and the development of social justice. While the book emphasizes the usefulness of the conceptual tools of chaos theory in critical criminology and law, its ultimate goal goes beyond theory-building to provide vistas for understanding the contemporary social scene and for the development of the new just society.


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Postmodernist versus the Modernist Paradigm Conceptual Differences
Challenges For a Postmodern Criminology
Chaos Criminology and Law Critical Applications
Chaos and Modeling Crime Quinneys Class State and Crime
The ABCs of Crime Attractors Bifurcations and Chaotic Dynamics
Geometric Forms of Violence
Law and Social Change The Implications of Chaos Theory in Understanding the Role of the American Legal System
Chaos Law and Critical Legal Studies Mapping the Terrain
The Chaotic Law of Forensic Psychology The Postmodern Case of the InSane Defendant
Chaos Theory Social Justice and Social Change
Surfing the Chaotic A NonLinear Articulation of Social Movement Theory
Dimensions of Social Justice in an SRO Single Room Occupancy Contributions from Chaos Theory Policy and Practice
Visions of the Emerging Orderly DisOrder
About the Editor and Contributors

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Page viii - The total character of the world, however, is in all eternity chaos—in the sense not of a lack of necessity but of a lack of order, arrangement, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever other names there are for our aesthetic anthropomorphisms.
Page viii - ... straight trajectories, and the like. The astral order in which we live is an exception; this order and the apparent permanence which is conditional upon it is in its turn made possible by the exception of exceptions: the formation of the organic.

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About the author (1997)

DRAGAN MILOVANOVIC is Professor of Criminal Justice at Northeastern Illinois University. He has authored, coauthored, or edited ten books, including Constitutive Criminology (1996), Postmodern Criminology (1996), The Sociology of Law (1994), and Postmodern Law and Disorder (1992), as well as over one hundred other publications. He was editor of the journal Humanity and Society and coeditor of Critical Criminology and is currently coeditor of the Journal of Human Justice.

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