Geoffrey Pearson Essay

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‘With close reference to a selection from your research/reading (minimum 3 references by or about your criminologist), critically assess the contribution made by your author to criminological knowledge. You should focus closely on how he /she developed critiqued or applied theory.’ “There was no trick or sleight of hand with Geoff Pearson, no mystique to his craft as an academic, to his qualities as a champion of the excluded and the misunderstood, or indeed to the way that he led his all too short life.” These words, expressed by Dick Hobbs in Professor Pearson’s Obituary, are perfectly describing him as the ‘passionate advocate for the outsider’, the man who believed and proved through his research that everyone, regardless status, class or reputation, has a background story to tell. Pearson’s experiences when practicing in social and psychiatric work, reinforced by his interest in ethnography, were the base for many of his writings through which he left his own touch on British social work theory and practice. Moreover, his death left us with his scholarly works as his legacy, which have been integrated into the ‘common’ sense of the British theory of Criminology. When Harry Blagg offered him a personal tribute, he characterized him as a ‘shrewd observer of changing times’. Indeed, Mr Pearson could undoubtedly be acknowledged for his ability and wise method to run backwards in time, in an attempt to demonstrate beliefs and stereotypes from the past, and then return back to the present, reasonably arguing the continuity of the same stance by citizens in the contemporary society of the UK. Specifically, the above clever device was embedded in depth into what could be described to be at the peak of his career, his book ‘Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears’ that was chosen as one of seven ‘iconic’ studies in British criminology. While introducing his
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