Jock Young, 1942-2013

One of the world’s leading criminologists has died

December 12, 2013

William “Jock” Young was born in Midlothian on 4 March 1942 and educated in Aldershot before studying sociology at the London School of Economics from 1962. He began teaching at what is now Middlesex University in 1968 and remained there for 35 years, for much of it as director of the Centre for Criminology. In 2002 he moved to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York. He later served as professor of sociology at the University of Kent and then returned to New York as distinguished professor of criminal justice and sociology at CUNY’s Graduate Center.

A founding member of the National Deviancy Conference, which from 1968 promoted new forms of critical criminology, Professor Young soon began to make a major impact as a writer. His first book, The Drugtakers (1971), was based on an ethnographic study in Notting Hill in London. The New Criminology: For a Social Theory of Deviance (with Ian Taylor and Paul Walton, 1973) rapidly established itself as an essential text in the discipline and was reprinted with his new introduction for its 40th anniversary this year.

Equally influential was Professor Young’s 1975 article, “Working Class Criminology”, which laid the ground for a more engaged and policy-relevant style of “Left realist” criminology. What is To Be Done About Law and Order? (with John Lea, 1984) went on to argue for more accountable and responsive policing while also addressing sensitive issues of race and crime.

Although he was closely allied with the Labour Party during the 1980s, Professor Young became disillusioned with New Labour’s “tough on crime” approach and began work on a trilogy looking at broader cultural trends. The Exclusive Society (1999) traces the shift from an “inclusive” to an “exclusive” society; The Vertigo of Late Modernity (2007) develops the analysis of social exclusion to include terrorism, inequality and immigration; while The Criminological Imagination (2011) explores how criminology has become increasingly subject to excessively numerical and abstract methods.

“Jock Young greatly enriched the lives of those who knew and worked with him as well as the legions of criminologists that have read his work,” recalled Roger Matthews, professor of criminology at Kent.

“He was a truly inspirational figure who shared a lifelong commitment to an appreciation of the richness and diversity of social life. All those who knew and loved him will feel that the world has suddenly and tragically become less full of humour, colour and meaning.”

Professor Young died on 16 November and is survived by his wife Jayne, three sons and a stepdaughter.

matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study