Oral History And Delinquency: The Rhetoric of Criminology

Paperback | January 15, 1988

byJames Bennett

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From Henry Mayhew's classic study of Victorian slums to Studs Terkel's presentations of ordinary people in modern America, oral history has been used to call attention to social conditions. By analyzing the nature and circumstances of the production of such histories of delinquency, James Bennett argues that oral history is a rhetorical device, consciously chosen as such, and is to be understood in terms of its persuasive powers and aims. Bennett shows how oral or life histories of juvenile delinquents have been crucial in communicating the human traits of offenders within their social context, to attract interest in resources for programs to prevent delinquency. Although life history helped to establish the discipline of sociology, Bennett suggests concepts for understanding oral histories generated in many fields.

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From Henry Mayhew's classic study of Victorian slums to Studs Terkel's presentations of ordinary people in modern America, oral history has been used to call attention to social conditions. By analyzing the nature and circumstances of the production of such histories of delinquency, James Bennett argues that oral history is a rhetorica...

James Bennett is Coordinator of Foundation Relations, University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:380 pages, 8.99 × 5.92 × 1 inPublished:January 15, 1988Publisher:University Of Chicago Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226042464

ISBN - 13:9780226042466

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations 
Introduction
1. Eloquent Advocacy: Mayhew's Use of Oral History
2. Mayhew on Delinquency and "Street Biography"
3. John Clay and the "Cell Confessional"
4. Boosterism: The Art of the Appendix in Nineteenth-Century America
5. Snitching Bees and Talking Cures: The Early Juvenile Court
6. "If Men Define Situations as Real, They Are Real in Their Consequences"
7. Chicago: The City as Laboratory
8. Transmission of Delinquent and Reformist Attitudes: Clifford Shaw
9. The Political Paradigm: Saul Alinsky, Howard S. Becker, and the Autobiography of a Girl Drug Addict
10. Conclusions: Genesis, Function, Accomplishment
Appendix: Aspects of Technique: Mayhew, Healy, and Shaw
Notes
Bibliography
Index