Towards a cross-cultural theory of Aboriginal crime: A comparative study of the problem of over-representation in the criminal justice systems of Canada and Australia

Russell Smandych, RA Lincoln, Paul Wilson

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Abstract

This article provides a theoretical starting point for the development of a more encompassing cross-cultural theory of aboriginal crime. The authors contend that any attempt to develop such a theory has to proceed on three fronts: (a) through offering a cross-cultural explanation of the problem of aboriginal overrepresentation; (b) through undertaking comparative research aimed at accounting for aboriginal offending patterns that often lie outside the official picture of overrepresentation; and (c) through developing a primarily societal-based (as opposed to individualist) cross-cultural theory of aboriginal criminality that is able to account for identified cross-national patterns of aboriginal overrepresentation and aboriginal offending. As a takeoff point for this series of interconnected and overlapping comparative research efforts, the authors undertake an examination of the state of research and theory about the causes of aboriginal overrepresentation in the criminal justice systems of Canada and Australia. In order to explain the similar patterns of overrepresentation found among aboriginal peoples in Canada, Australia, and other countries, the authors identify and synthesize a number of different cross-cultural theories of crime recently developed by comparative criminologists that can be used in working toward the development of a more encompassing cross-cultural theory of aboriginal crime.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIssues in comparative criminology
EditorsP Beirne, D Nelken
Place of PublicationBrookfield
PublisherAshgate Publishing Limited
Pages99-122
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)1855216019
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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    Smandych, R., Lincoln, RA., & Wilson, P. (1997). Towards a cross-cultural theory of Aboriginal crime: A comparative study of the problem of over-representation in the criminal justice systems of Canada and Australia. In P. Beirne, & D. Nelken (Eds.), Issues in comparative criminology (pp. 99-122). Brookfield: Ashgate Publishing Limited.