There is an urban and western bias in criminology as a sub-field of sociology compared to the preoccupation of colonial anthropology with rural cultures in search of ‘intelligence’ that would facilitate the colonization of the natives. This papyrus surveys the efforts by scholars to critically account for the phenomena of deviance and social control in Africa from the distant past to the present. There is a consensus that human life originated in Africa and that Africans pioneered the building of cities before this form of human settlement spread to other parts of the world. Hence, the study of deviance and social control in rural Africa promises to critique some taken-for-granted assumptions in conventional western criminology and thereby help to map future directions of the scholarly answers to the crisis of insecurity that plagues the modern world in both urban and rural locations. Reversing the modernist snobbery of conventional criminology, this papyrus assumes that rural areas in Africa have one or two things to teach criminologists in general. The papyrus starts from the contentious assumption that rural dwellers are more victims of the abuse of power than law-breakers who need to be controlled with the repressive fetishes of modern criminology. This assumption could be generalized to the rest of the society by recognizing that the oppressed masses have effective resources that could be tapped to solve major problems instead of seeing them as problems that only those in authority could solve through repressive policies.
"Editorial: Critical Perspectives on Deviance and Social Control in Rural Africa,"
African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies: Vol. 10:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.tsu.edu/ajcjs/vol10/iss1/1