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Twenty-first Century Australian criminology textbooks and the reproduction of a discipline.(1)

Israel, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-1263-8699 (2003) Twenty-first Century Australian criminology textbooks and the reproduction of a discipline.(1). In: 10th Asia Pacific Special Health and Law Librarians Conference, 24 - 27 Aug 2003, Adelaide, South Australia



Textbooks can play an important part in the reproduction of a discipline. They can do so in two senses: first, they reproduce and synthesise the ideas that set that discipline apart; in addition, they can have a role in reproducing and renewing the people who work in the discipline, helping to recruit and socialise, or perhaps even ‘discipline’ new personnel. Yet, in some parts of the world, textbooks have become a deeply conservative medium both in content and in form, reflecting the needs of an odd assortment of publishers, academics and patrons. As such, textbooks are worthy of study both as a cultural artefact and as a surrogate curriculum.

Using the growth in Australian criminology textbooks as an example, I examine the relationship between texts and disciplines. First, and briefly, I investigate the development of an Australian criminology; second, I consider what a textbook might contribute to the reproduction of an academic discipline; and third I examine what these textbooks might tell us about the state of a discipline in Australia.

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