Harmful Societies

Understanding Social Harm

Simon Pemberton

Harmful Societies

Simon Pemberton

Distributed for Bristol University Press

224 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Paper $42.95 ISBN: 9781847427953 Published May 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $120.00 ISBN: 9781847427946 Published May 2015 For sale in North and South America only
The notion of social harm is currently being explored as an alternative field of study within criminology, but the definition of social harm, the question of responsibility, and the methodologies for studying harm remain undeveloped. In the first book to theorize and define the social harm concept beyond criminology, Simon Pemberton addresses these omissions and, in doing so, provides a platform for future debates. Using case studies of various international regimes, he analyzes policy responses to different forms of social harm and provides a new typology of countries according to their harm prevention policies.
List of tables and figures
List of abbreviations
About the author
Foreword by Christina Pantazis

1. Introduction
Origins of ‘social harm’: the story so far…
Outlining the parameters of a social harm
Outline of the book

2. Defining social harm
Historical development of the social harm approach
‘Socially mediated’ harm
How do we discern between harms and non-harms?
Limitations of the needs-based approach

3. Capitalist formations and the production of harm
Harmful features of capitalism
Varieties of capitalism, varieties of harm production?
Harm reduction regimes
Harmful associations: regime types and harm indicators

4. Hard reduction regimes and the production of physical harm Homicide
Infant mortality
Road traffic injuries

5. Harm reduction regimes and the production of autonomy and relational harms
Relative poverty
Child poverty
Financial insecurity
Long working hours
Youth unemployment
Social isolation

6. Harm reduction regimes, neoliberalism and the production of harm
Developing a more systematic lens?
Capitalist harm: varieties of harm production?
Harmful societies…and less harmful capitalism societies?
Resurgent neoliberalism, enduring capitalism…What does the social harm perspective offer?

Review Quotes
Danny Dorling, University of Oxford, UK
“Pemberton’s groundbreaking volume provides a major step forward in understanding the causation and alleviation of widespread harm.”
Steve Tombs, Open University, UK
“In a sense, criminology has been ‘waiting’ for this original and highly topical book. It is of theoretical, conceptual, methodological, and empirical significance, making novel contributions in each respect.”
Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
“The scope of this book is brave, almost breathtaking. . . . It is the scale and scope of what is attempted here that puts much criminology, and indeed much social science, in its place.”
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