Steve Hall, Simon Winlow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Ultra-realism is one of the first new criminological paradigms to emerge in the twenty-first century. As a first step towards theoretical reconstruction, proponents of ultrarealism contend that criminology must look beyond the slippery socio-legally constructed concept of crime towards the more ontologically grounded concept of harm. Ultra-realism remains on the critical side of the fence but responds to the inadequacy of the social constructionism that dominates older critical criminologies. Ultra-realism’s advocates argue that twenty-first-century criminology should frame its analyses of harm in a coherent critique of the whole advanced capitalist way of life, its competitive-narcissistic culture, its subjectivities and its harms. Ultra-realists argue that criminology should encourage theory and research that can open up new or previously proscribed and obscured parallax views. Ultra-realism seeks to advance left realism’s determination to get underneath discourse and language: crime is not simply a social construction used by right-wing politicians to justify an authoritarian state.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781317593522
ISBN (Print)9781138818996
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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