Institutional environments and scholarly work: American criminology, 1951-1993

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35 Scopus citations


Neoinstitutional theses are examined for the constitution of criminological knowledge during the transformation of penal regimes and the accompanying emergence of a specialized field of criminology. Effects of this reorganization, historical period, and research funding on scholarly journal publications are examined. Results are based on a content analysis of 1,612 articles published in leading journals between 1951 and 1993. Multivariate analyses support neoinstitutional ideas, as topical and theoretical foci are associated with themes suggested by the policy sector. The replication of the policy sector in academic organization tightens this association. Further, articles based on political funding are more likely to engage new preoccupations of the political sector. Theoretical conclusions drawn in the articles under study, however, are independent of institutional factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1275-1302
Number of pages28
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* Research for this article was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF/ SBR-9223969) and a supporting grant from the Life Course Center, Department of Sociology, University ofMinnesota. Thanks to Piers Beirne, Elizabeth Heger Boyle, Craig Calhoun, [o Dixon, Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, David Garland, David Greenberg, John Hagan, Doug Hartmann, Wolf Heydebrand, Sally Hillsman, John Laub, Ross Macmillan, Joan McCord, [eylan Mortimer, James F. Short lr-. and Chris Uggen for comments and discussions on various occasions. Special thanks to Evan Schofer for crucial suggestions, to Cindy 1.S. Crimmins, David P. Nelson, and Sherri P. Overall for contributions to data collection and management, and to Karl Krohn for computer advice. Comments may be directed to Joachim J. Savelsberg, Department ofSociology, 909 Social Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail:

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