RESPONSE TO KRAUT

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(12), 1024. Richard V. Ericson responds to Robert E. Kraut's review (see record 2006-06392-015) of Ericson's books, Criminal Reactions (1975) and Young Offenders and Their Social Work (1975). In spite of saying “the goal is noble” in Criminal Reactions, Kraut asserts that Ericson did not achieve the goal. There is little substance to his argument. He simply quotes out of context two passages to show that the work is “full” of jargon and then refers to some well-known labelling writers and critics to say that they have done a better job without saying how or why. Ericson would like Kraut to point out, for example, what other writer has integrated the various theories of deviance as he has done in Chapter 4, or related labelling ideas to liberal legal scholars who espouse a “crime-responsibility-punishment” framework as he have done in Chapter 5. In spite of saying that “the most valuable feature” of the approach in Young Offenders and Their Social Work is the original attempt to look at shifts in experiencing social reactions over time, Kraut feels that the work lacks detail and insight. Again he provides no detail himself to document his claims, but only states his opinion that other works which he tacitly admits used an inferior method are somehow better. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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