Criminological Theories Introduction, Evaluation, and Application

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-07-20
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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With a focus on empirical evaluation and practical application, Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation, and Application, Seventh Edition, helps students draw connections between criminological theory and practical applications. In clear, engaging language, authors Ronald L. Akers, Christine S. Sellers, and Wesley G. Jennings explore each principal criminological theory using a three-part analysis:

An Introduction presents a succinct exposition of the theory's central concepts, assertions, and hypotheses

An Evaluation provides a detailed critique of the theory, with an emphasis on empirical validity

An Application extends the evaluation to determine each theory's relevance and its potential for controlling and preventing crime and delinquency

Author Biography

Ronald L. Akers is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of Florida.

Christine S. Sellers is Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Criminology at the University of South Florida.

Wesley G. Jennings is Associate Professor, Associate Chair, and Undergraduate Director of the Department of Criminology at the University of South Florida.

Table of Contents

Each chapter ends with a Summary.
Chapter 1. Introduction to Criminological Theory
What Is Theory?
Types of Criminological Theories
Theories of Making and Enforcing Criminal Law
Theories of Criminal and Deviant Behavior
Criteria for Evaluating Theory
Logical Consistency, Scope, and Parsimony
Empirical Validity
Usefulness and Policy Implications
Theory and Ideology
Emphasis on Empirical Validity and Application of Theories
Chapter 2. Deterrence and Rational Choice Theories
Classical Criminology and the Deterrence Doctrine
Deterrence: Certainty, Severity, and Celerity of Punishment
Modern Deterrence Theory
Studies of Deterrence
Do Criminal Sanctions Deter?
Deterrence and Experiential Effects
Modifications and Expansions of Deterrence Concepts
Rational Choice Theory
Deterrence and Expected Utility
Research on Rational Choice Theory
Deterrence and Criminal Justice Policy
Scared Straight, Shock Incarceration, and Boot Camps
Routine Activities Theory
Felson and Cohen: Offenders, Targets, and Guardians
Empirical Validity of Routine Activities Theory
Routine Crime Prevention and Precautions
Chapter 3. Biological and Biosocial Theories
Lombroso and Early Biological Theories
Lombroso's Theory of the Born Criminal
The Criminal as Biologically Inferior
Recognizing the Inadequacies of Early Biological Theories
Modern Biological and Biosocial Theories of Crime and Delinquency: Interaction of Biological and Environmental Variables
Neurobiological Approaches to Crime
Genetically Transmitted Criminal Susceptibility: Behavioral and Molecular Genetics
Evolutionary Psychology and Criminality
Empirical Validity of Biological Theories of Criminal Behavior
Policy Implications of Biological Theories
Chapter 4. Psychological Theories
Psychoanalytic Theory
Personality Theory
Personality Traits
The Psychopathic Personality
The Five-Factor Model
Psychological Counseling in Delinquency Prevention and Treatment
Chapter 5. Social Learning Theory
Sutherland's Differential Association Theory
Akers's Social Learning Theory
Development of the Theory
The Central Concepts and Propositions of Social Learning Theory
The Social Learning Process: Sequence and Feedback Effects
Social Structure and Social Learning
Empirical Validity of Social Learning Theory
Research on Relationship of Criminal and Delinquent Behavior to Social Learning Variables
Research on Social Learning in the Family and Delinquency
Research on Peers and Group Contexts in Crime and Delinquency
Research on Social Structure and Social Learning
Applications of Social Learning Theory in Prevention and Treatment Programs
Highfields and Essexfield
The Pinehills Experiment
The Teaching Family Model
Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC)
Andrews's Experiments and Model of Treatment and Prevention
Meta-Analyses of Cognitive-Behavioral Programs
G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training)
Other Prevention Programs
Chapter 6. Social Bonding and Control Theories
Early Control Theories
Reiss's and Nye's Theories of Internal and External Controls
Reckless's Containment Theory
Sykes and Matza: Techniques of Neutralization and Drift
Hirschi's Social Bonding Theory
The Central Concepts and Propositions of Social Bonding Theory
Empirical Validity of Social Bonding Theory
Gottfredson and Hirschi: Self-Control Theory
Low Self-Control as the Cause of Criminal Behavior
What Is the Relationship Between Self-Control Theory and Social Bonding Theory?
Testability of Self-Control Theory
Research Indirectly and Directly Testing Self-Control Theory
Hirschi's Social Bonding Modifications of Self-Control Theory
Policy Implications of Control Theories
Social Bonding Elements in the Social Development Model
Policy Implications of Self-Control Theory
Chapter 7. Labeling and Reintegrative Shaming Theory
Labeling as a Process of Symbolic Social Interaction
The Label as an Independent Variable in Crime and Deviance
Empirical Evidence on Labeling Theory
Implications of Labeling Theory: Juvenile Diversion Programs
Braithwaite's Reintegrative Shaming Theory
Reintegrative Shaming, Restorative Justice, and Faith-Based Programs
Applications of Restorative Justice
Theory and Philosophy of Restorative Justice: Reintegration and Rehabilitation
Effectiveness of Restorative Justice Programs
The Past and Future of Labeling Theory
Chapter 8. Social Disorganization Theory
Early Statistical Studies of Crime
Social Disorganization and the Urban Ecology of Crime and Delinquency
Research on Social Structure and Crime Rates
Restatements and Research on Social Disorganization Theory
Code of the Street
Community Projects and Policies Based on Theories of Social Disorganization
The Chicago Area Projects
Other Policy Implications of Social Disorganization Theory
Chapter 9. Anomie and Strain Theories
Classic Anomie/Strain Theories
Merton's Theory of Social Structure and Anomie
Cohen: Status Deprivation and the Delinquent Subculture
Cloward and Ohlin: Differential Opportunity and Delinquent Subcultures
Miller: Focal Concerns of Lower Class Culture
Research on Classic Anomie/Strain Theories
Are Crime and Delinquency Concentrated Among Lower Class and Minority Individuals?
Gangs and Delinquent Subcultures
School Dropout and Delinquency
Perceived Discrepancy Between Aspirations and Expectations
Contemporary Anomie/Strain Theories
Messner and Rosenfeld's Institutional-Anomie Theory
Agnew's General Strain Theory of Crime and Delinquency
Programs Based on Anomie and Subcultural Theories
The Boston Mid-City Project
Mobilization for Youth
Policy Implications of Contemporary Anomie/Strain Theories
Chapter 10. Conflict Theory
Law Is a Type of Social Control
Consensus and Functionalist Theories of Law
Conflict Theory of Law and Criminal Justice
Empirical Validity of Consensus and Conflict Theories of Law and Criminal Justice
Research on Legislation
Research on Public Opinion on Crime and Criminal Justice
Research on Social Threat
Research on Extralegal Variables in Criminal Justice Decision Making
Research on Racial Profiling
Conflict Theory of Criminal Behavior
Empirical Validity of Conflict Theory of Criminal Behavior
Policy Implications of Conflict Theory
Chapter 11. Marxist Theories
Marxist Theory
Marxist Theory of Law and Criminal Justice
Instrumentalist and Structuralist Marxism
Empirical Adequacy of Marxist Theory of Law and Justice
Marxist Theory of Crime
Bonger: Early Marxist Theory of Crime
Quinney: Class, State, and Crime
Modifications of Marxist Theory
Is Crime the Result of a Capitalist Economy?
Policy Implications of Marxist Theory
Chapter 12. Radical and Critical Theories
Henry and Milovanovic: Constitutive Criminology
Left Realism
Cultural Criminology
Peacemaking Criminology
Chapter 13. Feminist Theories
Feminist Theories of Criminal Justice
Empirical Validity of Feminist Theories of Criminal Justice
Feminist Theories of Crime
Women's Liberation and Female Crime
Patriarchal Society and Crime
Masculinities and Structured Action
Gendered Pathways and Gendered Contexts
Empirical Validity of Feminist Theories of Criminal Behavior
Policy Implications of Feminist Theories
Chapter 14. Developmental and Life-Course Theories
Age and Crime
Criminal Careers
Developmental and Life-Course Theories of Crime
Moffitt's Developmental Taxonomy
Loeber's Developmental Pathways Model
Gottfredson and Hirschi's Self-Control Theory
Sampson and Laub's Age Graded Theory of Informal Social Control
Giordano's Life-Course Perspective on Social Learning
Farrington's Integrated Cognitive Antisocial Potential Theory
Policy Implications of Developmental and Life-Course Theories
Chapter 15. Integrating Criminological Theories
Theory Competition Versus Theory Integration
Varieties of Theoretical Integration in Criminology
Conceptual Integration
Akers: Integration by Conceptual Absorption
Cullen and Colvin: Social Support and Coercion
Propositional Integration 284
Elliott's Integrative Model of Strain, Bonding, and Learning
Krohn's Network Analysis
Thornberry's Interactional Theory
Tittle's Control Balance Theory
How Successful Has Theoretical Integration Been in Criminology?
Author Index
Subject Index

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