Critical Criminological Methods

Meda Chesney-Lind, Vera Lopez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Critical criminology is a theoretical perspective within criminology that urges the field to attend to structural inequalities such as class, race, and gender when considering both the nature of crime and the functioning of the criminal justice system. The explicit linkages between feminist criminology and critical criminology, especially the importance of “making the world more equitable, " make many of the insights of feminist methodology of relevance to the question of critical criminological methods. Those developing the classic sociological and criminological paradigms were deeply affected by the grinding poverty they observed in the urban slums of northern cities like Chicago. The founders of criminology almost completely overlooked women’s crime, and they ignored, minimized, and trivialized female victimization. Critical criminologists, like our counterparts in the other sciences, need to be particularly mindful of the ways in which academic culture shapes the questions we ask in ways that tend to support inequality and the status quo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Subtitle of host publicationVolume II: Parts 5-8
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781119111931
ISBN (Print)9781119110729
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Chicago
  • Criminal justice system
  • Critical criminological methods
  • Female victimization
  • Structural inequalities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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