Criminological Theory: A Brief Introduction

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/1/2008
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
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This introductory primer on criminological theory provides an accessible discussion of the major theories of crime, delinquency, social deviance, and social control with an objective and neutral approach. The various theories are covered in a systematic fashion. After providing a straightforward explanation of each theory's fundamental assumptions and concepts, along with exampling narrative drawn from both real-world current events and fictitious scenarios, major criticisms are addressed. The implications of each theory for criminal and juvenile justice strategies and policy (e.g., deterrence vs. rehabilitation, crime prevention, crime prediction) are also considered.

Table of Contents

Theoretical Criminology: An Introductory Overview
The Origins and Evolution of Criminology
The Nature of TheoryAssessing Theory
The Influence of General Social Perspectives on Theories of Crime
The Role of Theory
Key Terms
Discussion Questions
Classical Theory in Criminology
Assumptions about Human Nature
How Deterrence Works
Key Terms
Discussion Questions
Biological Theories of Crime
The Positivist School of Thought
Physiognomy and Phrenology
Lombroso and Atavism
Genetic Theories
Body Type Theories
Recent Biological Theories
Key Terms
Discussion Questions
Psychological Theories of Crime
Psychoanalytic Theory
Personality Theories
Mental Illness
Antisocial Personality
Mental Deficiencies
Key Terms
Discussion Questions
The Social Ecology of Crime
Social Disorganization Theory
The Location of Crime
Social Disorganization and its Causes
Empirical Support and Policy Implications
Criticisms of Social Disorganization Theory
Routine Activities Theory
The Necessary Requirements for Crime
The Role of Social Changes
Policy Implications
Empirical Research and Criticisms
Key Terms
Discussion Questions
Learning and Cultural Transmission Theories of Crime
Learning Theories
Sutherland's Differential Association Index
Akers's Social Learning Theory
Cultural Transmission Theories
The Rise of the Subcultural Perspective
Cultural Norms and the Legal Process
Cohen's Middle-Class Measuring Rod
Cloward and Ohlin's Gang Typology
Miller's Focal Concerns
The Demise of the Subcultural Perspective
Subcultures of Violence and the Rerise of the Cultural Perspective
Key Terms
Discussion Questions
Strain Theories of Crime
What do Strain Theories Assume
Merton's Strain Theory and Its Variants
The American Dream
The American Social Structure
Responses to Strain
Later Work on Merton's Theory
Empirical Support
Agnew's General Strain Theory
Types of Strain
Types of Coping
When Does Strain Lead to Delinquent Coping?Empirical Support
Messner and Rosenfeld's Theory of Institutional Anomie
Key Terms
Discussion Questions
Control Theories of Crime
What do Control Theories Assume about Human Nature?Early Control Theories
Hirschi's Social Control Theory
Empirical Testing
Self-Control Theory
Empirical Research and Criticisms of Self-Control Theory
Policy Implications of Control Theory
Key Terms
Discussion Questions
Theories of Social Conflict
The Conflict of Perspective and Crime
The Marxist Heritage
Marxist Concepts
Orthodox Marxism
Structural Marxism
Labeling Theory
Marxist Criminology
White-Collar and State Crime
Left Realism
Cultural Criminology
The Social Construction of Crime, Postmodernism, and Constitutive Criminology
Feminist Criminology
Peacemaking Criminology and Restorative Justice
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