Criminology Adrift

Jeff Ferrell1
1Texas Christian University, USA, and University of Kent, UK

We occupy a contemporary world awash in drift and drifters – a world in which dislocation and disorientation have become phenomena in their own right. To make sense of this world we might inquire into drift’s long history, while also situating contemporary drift within the particular legal, economic, and cultural dynamics of the late modern world. In critically analyzing this world we will surely want to account for drift’s contested politics – the ways in which legal and economic arrangements both spawn dislocation and seek to control it, and the ways in which the dislocated create their own slippery strategies of illicit resistance. In all of this we can usefully recall and reinvent drift as a conceptual orientation within criminology, and can perhaps bring criminology into closer engagement with the contemporary world. To do so, though, we’ll need to acknowledge that the discipline of criminology is itself increasingly disoriented; when it comes to drift, we are that into which we inquire.



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