Criminology A Sociological Approach

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-09-10
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Ideal for undergraduate courses in criminology--especially those taught from a critical perspective--Criminology: A Sociological Approach, Sixth Edition, is a comprehensive yet highly accessible introduction to the study of crime and criminological theory. Authors Piers Beirne and James W. Messerschmidt present the topic from a sociological standpoint, emphasizing the social construction of crime and showing how crime relates to gender, class, race, and age. Providing students with a strong theoretical foundation, the book also addresses historical, feminist, and comparative perspectives and highlights the major types of crime and victimization patterns.

* Part I focuses on four questions: "What is crime?" "How are perceptions of it influenced by the mass media and by fear of
crime?" "How can we measure how much crime there is in the United States?" and finally, "How often does crime occur and with what degrees of seriousness?"
* Part II is a systematic guide to modern criminological theory and its historical development
* Part III examines specific types of crime, including property crime, interpersonal violence, white-collar crime, and political
crime, and it concludes with a chapter on comparative criminology and globalization

The sixth edition features new and up-to-date empirical data and also covers areas not included in many criminology texts, like cultural criminology, green criminology, whiteness and crime, the rape-war connection, Ponzi schemes, domestic right-wing terrorism, and state-sanctioned torture.

Author Biography

Piers Beirne is Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies in the Department of Criminology at the University of Southern Maine.

James W. Messerschmidt is Professor of Sociology and Women and Gender Studies in the Department
of Criminology at the University of Southern Maine.

Table of Contents

Brief Contents
List of Boxes, Figures, and Tables
About the Authors

Part I. Introduction to Criminology

1. The Problem of Crime
Key Terms
1.1 Images of Crime
Crime as a Social Problem
Crime and the Culture of Fear
Crime in the Mass Media
Newsmaking Criminology
1.2 Crime, Criminal Law, and Criminalization
Crime as a Legal Category
Law and State
Law and Criminalization
1.3 Crime as a Sociological Problem
Crime as a Violation of Conduct Norms
Crime as Social Harm and Analogous Social Injury
Crime as a Violation of Rights
Crime and Deviance
Crime, Globalization, and Global Conduct Norms
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

2. The Measurement of Crime
Key Terms
2.1 Caution: Data Do Not Speak for Themselves!
2.2 Official Crime Data
Police-Based Data: Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)
Police-Based Data: National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
Evaluation of the UCR
Victimization Data: National Crime Victimization Surveys (NCVS)
Evaluation of the NCVS
Federal Data on White-Collar Crime, Corporate Crime, and Internet Crime
2.3 Unofficial Crime Data
Self-Report Data
Life-Course Data
Life-History Data
Criminal Biographies
Observation Research and Participant Observation Research
Comparative and Historical Research
Questions for Class Discussion
Web Exercises
For Further Study

Part II. Criminological Theory

3. Inventing Criminology: Classicism, Positivism, and Beyond
Key Terms
3.1 The Enlightenment and Classical Criminology
Beccaria: Of Crimes and Punishments (1764)
Bentham: Punishment and the Panopticon
Toward the Disciplinary Society
3.2 The Emergence of Positivist Criminology
The Crisis of Classicism: The Dangerous Classes
Quetelet's Social Mechanics of Crime
3.3 Criminal Anthropology: Lombroso's "Born Criminal"
Lombroso's Criminal Man (1876)
Goring's The English Convict (1913)
3.4 Neoclassical Criminology
Penal Dilemmas
Neoclassical Compromises
Assessment: Classicism and Positivism Today
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

4. Social Structure, Anomie, and Crime
Key Terms
4.1 Durkheim's Sociology of Law and Crime
Law and Social Solidarity
The Nature of Crime
Anomie, Egoism, and Crime
The Evolution of Punishment
Evaluation of Durkheim
4.2 Social Structure, Anomie, and Deviance
Merton's Typology of Modes of Individual Adaptation
Evaluation of Merton
4.3 Revised Strain Theory
Agnew's General Strain Theory
Evaluation of General Strain Theory
Messner and Rosenfeld's Institutional Anomie Theory
Evaluation of Institutional Anomie Theory
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

5. Delinquent Subcultures, Subcultures of Delinquency, and the Labeling Perspective
Key Terms
5.1 The Chicago School of Criminology: Social Disorganization and Delinquency
Shaw and McKay's Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas (1942)
Evaluation of the Chicago School
5.2 Delinquent Subcultures
A. K. Cohen's Delinquent Boys (1955)
Delinquency and Lower-Class Culture
Delinquency and Opportunity
Evaluation of Subcultural Theory
5.3 Matza's Delinquency and Drift (1964)
The Positive Delinquent
The Subculture of Delinquency
Delinquency and Drift
Evaluation of Delinquency and Drift
5.4 The Labeling Perspective
The Social Meaning of Deviance
Societal Reaction
Primary and Secondary Deviance
Deviance Amplification
Evaluation of Labeling Theory
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

6. Social Learning Theory and Social Control Theory
Key Terms
6.1 Differential Association
Evaluation of Differential Association
6.2 Social Learning Theory
Differential Reinforcement
Evaluation of Social Learning Theory
6.3 Social Control Theory
Evaluation of Social Control Theory
6.4 Self-Control Theory
Gottfredson and Hirschi's Theory of Self-Control
Evaluation of Self-Control Theory
6.5 Control Balance Theory
Evaluation of Control Balance Theory
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

7. The Conflict Tradition
7.1 Marxism, Law, and Crime
Key Concepts of Marxism
State and Law
Criminalization as a Violation of Rights
Crime and Demoralization
Evaluation of Marxism
7.2 Conflict Theory
Crime and Criminalization
Criminal Law and Crime
Toward an Integrated Conflict Theory
Evaluation of Conflict Theory
7.3 Radical Criminology
Left Realism
Evaluation of Radical Criminology
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

8. Feminist and Critical Criminologies
Key Terms
8.1 Feminist Criminologies
The First Phase
The Second Phase
Evaluation of Feminist Criminologies
8.2 Critical Criminologies
Constitutive Criminology
Cultural Criminology
Critical Humanist Criminologies
Green Criminology
Evaluation of Critical Criminologies
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

Part III. Inequalities and Crime

9. Inequality, Crime, and Victimization
Key Terms
9.1 Class and Crime
Patterns of Crime and Victimization
Class and Varieties of Crime
9.2 Gender and Crime
Patterns of Crime and Victimization
Gender and Varieties of Crime
9.3 Race and Crime
Patterns of Crime and Victimization
Race and Varieties of Crime
9.4 Age and Crime
Patterns of Crime and Victimization
Age and Varieties of Crime
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

10. Property Crime
Key Terms
10.1 Robbery and Burglary
Typologies of Robbery
Robbery as Transaction
Robbers on Robbery
Burglars on Burglary
10.2 Varieties of Larceny
Motor Vehicle Theft
10.3 Dealing and Damage
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

11. Interpersonal Violence
Key Terms
11.1 Murder, Assault, Hate Crimes, and Rape
Murder and Aggravated Assault
Hate Crimes
11.2 Interpersonal Violence in the Family
Heterosexual Wife Rape and Battering
Gay and Lesbian Partner Battering
Child and Elder Abuse
Animal Abuse
11.3 Interpersonal Violence in the Workplace
Murder and Assault
Sexual Harassment
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

12. White-Collar Crime
Key Terms
12.1 Occupational Crime
Occupational Theft
Occupational Fraud
12.2 Corporate Crime
Corporate Violence
Corporate Theft
12.3 Transnational Corporate Crime
Dangerous Working Conditions
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

13. Political Crime
Key Terms
13.1 Political Crimes Against the State
Violent Political Crimes Against the State
Nonviolent Political Crimes Against the State
13.2 Domestic Political Crimes by the State
State Corruption
State Political Repression
State-Corporate Crime
13.3 Transnational Political Crimes by the State
State Terrorism
The State, Terrorism, and Globalization
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

14. Comparative Criminology
Key Terms
14.1 Approaching Comparative Criminology
The Goal(s) of Comparative Criminology
Transnational Crime
Cultural Relativism
A Case Study of Comparative Sexual Deviance
Toward Uniform Cross-National Crime Statistics
Evaluation of Comparative Criminology
14.2 Comparative Crime and Victimization Data
Cross-National Crime Data
Cross-National Victimization Data
14.3 Cross-National Generalizations Regarding Crime
Countries with Low Crime Rates
Modernization and Crime
Globalization and Crime
American Exceptionalism: Crime and Incarceration in Comparative Perspective
Questions for Class Discussion
For Further Study

Author Index
Subject Index

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