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The Collective Experience of Crime and Solidarity: A Cross-National Study of Europe

Schoenhoefer, Johanna Andrea (2017) The Collective Experience of Crime and Solidarity: A Cross-National Study of Europe. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Stipulated by a growing interest in the social repercussions of crime control and imprisonment (e.g. Allen et al. 2014; Garland 2001; Travis, Western, and Redburn 2014), this thesis presents a detailed empirical overview of the relationship between solidarity and the collective experience of crime in contemporary European societies, making three original contributions to knowledge. With (a) a theoretical framework that combines Durkheim’s classic theory about the solidarity-enhancing effects of punishment with the contemporary framing theory of solidarity by Lindenberg (1998, 2006), the thesis (b) operationalises Garland’s (2001, 2000) concept of the ‘collective experience of crime’ and (c) assesses its potential to impact institutionalised solidarity in the welfare state and citizens’ solidarity attitudes in a comparative study of 26 European countries between 1995 and 2010. The theoretical framework argues that the collective experience of crime – consisting of the prevalence of crime, efforts to prevent crime, reactions to crime in the criminal justice system, and the salience of crime in society – is related to social solidarity has the ability to increase and to decrease solidarity, depending on which aspects of solidarity and the collective experience of crime are investigated. These propositions are tested on secondary data from social surveys, reports, sourcebooks, and country-level databases. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses indicate that in accordance to classic Durkheimian theory solidarity among citizens can be stimulated by public discourse about crime and is mainly produced at the expense of offenders. In contrast, welfare state solidarity is higher where penal regimes care for prisoners’ wellbeing and pursue reintegrative approaches to criminal justice. Furthermore, visible crime control efforts can highlight the presence of crime in society and decrease trust among citizens. Accordingly, crime control measures should not be seen in isolation from the social, economic, and political life around them, and policy-makers should take into account potential social consequences of crime control.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: solidarity, crime control, criminal justice, social repercussions
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Law (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Law (Leeds) > Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.718799
Depositing User: Johanna Schoenhoefer
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2017 14:58
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:55
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17676

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