Institute of Criminology, Sydney

Developing Cultural Criminology

Theory and practice in Papua New Guinea


What is an appropriate theoretical approach to criminology in the "Third World"? This book makes an argument for cultural specificity and the development of a cultural criminology appropriate to a particular country. It contains original criminological studies that apply these notions to Papua New Guinea, where law and order problems are rife, especially gang violence.

A major strength of the volume is the inter-disciplinary authorship which include Stanley Cohen, Marilyn Strathern, Cyndi Banks, Sinclair Dineen, Henry Ivarature, Adam Reed, Karen Sykes, Richard Sikani, and Tony Crook.

These distinguished criminologists and anthropologists contribute studies of crime and social issues in Papua New Guinea based on their original research. The book has chapters on:

  • The Melanesian conception and meaning of violence
  • Street begging in Port Moresby
  • Drug control
  • Raskol (criminal) gangs, education and the "problem" of youth
  • The prison experience for a Melanesian
  • Dispute settlement between mining companies and villagers
  • State responses to violence through the criminal justice system and informal approaches to the resolution of crime, including the surrender of criminal gangs

The collection emphasises that "Third World" criminology has been marginalised by being subsumed in the Western discourse on crime. As Professor Stanley Cohen writes in the preface, "it is a measure of the continuing ethnocentricity of western-dominated criminology that a volume of this sort, under this title, is still necessary."

Table of Contents

Stanley Cohen

Marilyn Strathern

Developing Cultural Specificity for a Cultural Criminology
Cyndi Banks

Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Crime and State in Papua New Guinea
Sinclair Dineen

Deconstructing Violence in Papua New Guinea: the primacy of local definitions
Cyndi Banks

"The Thing Grows Everywhere": Spark Brus - Study of a Crime
Henry Ivarature

Arresting Instances: The Generative Qualities of Penal Discipline and Law in Papua New Guinea
Adam Reed

Raskolling: Papua New Guinea Sociality as Contested Political Order
Karen Sykes

Street Begging in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: A Melanesian Underclass?
Richard Sikani

Disputing Resolution: Differing Responses to Two Plane Crashes
Tony Crook

Of interest...