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
Preface Chapter One: Theoretical Criminology: An Introductory Overview The Origins and Evolution of Criminology The Nature of Theory Assessing Theory The Influence of General Social Perspectives on Theories of Crime The Role of Theory Summary Key Terms Discussion Questions References Chapter Two: Classical Theory in Criminology Assumptions about Human Nature How Deterrence Works Summary Key Terms Discussion Questions References Chapter Three: Biological Theories of Crime The Positivist School of Thought Physiognomy and Phrenology Lombroso and Atavism Genetic Theories Body Type Theories Recent Biological Theories Conclusion Summary Key Terms Discussion Questions References Chapter Four: Psychological Theories of Crime Psychoanalytic Theory Personality Theories Mental Illness Schizophrenia Antisocial Personality Mental Deficiencies Conclusion Summary Key Terms Discussion Questions References Chapter Five: 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 Summary Key Terms Discussion Questions References Chapter Six: 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 Summary Key Terms Discussion Questions References Chapter Seven: 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 Summary Key Terms Discussion Questions References Chapter Eight: Control Theories of Crime What do Control Theories Assume about Human Nature? Early Control Theories Hirschi's Social Control Theory Attachment Commitment Involvement Belief Empirical Testing Self-Control Theory Empirical Research and Criticisms of Self-Control Theory Policy Implications of Control Theory Summary Key Terms Discussion Questions References Chapter Nine: 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 Summary Key Terms Discussion Questions References Chapter Ten: Evaluating and Integrating Theory Evaluating Theory Theory Competition Theoretical Elaboration Theoretical Integration Summary Key Terms Discussion Questions References Index