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Capitalizing on Value: Towards a Sociological Understanding of Kidnapping

Tzanelli, R (2006) Capitalizing on Value: Towards a Sociological Understanding of Kidnapping. Sociology, 40 (5). 929 - 947 . ISSN 0038-0385


Kidnapping is a crime that has not received due attention in sociological literature. Policy and risk assessment milieux discursively construct it as a threat to society', and administrative studies have focused on classifications that describe the phenomenon. The most widespread typology of kidnapping incidents takes as a starting point criminal motivation, producing a bipolar analysis of the crime as economic or political. This article re-examines classificatory and discursive approaches, placing emphasis on the social logic of kidnapping. It is argued that kidnapping presents all the characteristics of a rationalized system of exchange, based on rules and regulations reminiscent of legitimate business. The way that these regulations are described by state authorities or private agents alike allows us an in-depth analysis of the crime itself.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: social theory, Political Economy, media studies, kidnapping
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2011 14:52
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 03:50
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038506067516
Status: Published
Publisher: Sage Publications
Identification Number: 10.1177/0038038506067516
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43394

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