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Criminological Theory : A Brief Introduction

Criminological Theory : A Brief Introduction - 06 edition

Criminological Theory : A Brief Introduction - 06 edition

ISBN13: 9780205389032

ISBN10: 0205389031

Criminological Theory : A Brief Introduction by J. Mitchell Miller, Christopher J. Schreck and Richard Tewksbury - ISBN 9780205389032
Edition: 06
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
International: No
Criminological Theory : A Brief Introduction by J. Mitchell Miller, Christopher J. Schreck and Richard Tewksbury - ISBN 9780205389032

ISBN13: 9780205389032

ISBN10: 0205389031

Other Editions of Criminological Theory : A Brief Introduction

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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.


  • Provides readers with a general understanding of the different criminological theories that scholars have identified and tested to explain why crime happens and explores the strengths and weaknesses of each.
  • Aims to give readers a foundation upon which they can analyze their preconceived notions about why people commit crime and judge the merits of the different theories for themselves.
  • Chapter 1, ''Theoretical Criminology: An Introductory Overview'' defines theory, identifies the major types, and considers the role of theory in understanding and addressing the problems of crime and delinquency.
  • Groups theories by type (e.g. biological, psychological, classical school/modern deterrence, sociological) and subtype (e.g., conflict, social control, learning and cultural) to form chronologically ordered chapters that give students an appreciation of the historical development of theoretical criminology and the significance of classical statements to contemporary perspectives.
  • Bases applications on empirical support rather than ideological orientation.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1. 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.

2. Classical Criminology and Modern Deterrence Theory.

Assumptions about Human Nature.
How Deterrence Works.

3. Biological Theories of Crime.

The Positivist School of Thought.
Physiognomy & Phrenology.
Lombroso and Atavism.
Genetic Theories.
Body Types Theories.
Recent Biological Theories.

4. Psychological Theories of Crime.

Psychoanalytic Theory.
Personality Theories.
Mental Illness.
Mental Deficiencies.

5. 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 Role of Social Changes.
Policy Implications.

6. Learning and Cultural Transmission Theories of Crime.

Learning Theories.
Sutherland's Differential Association Theory.
Akers' Social Learning Theory.
Cultural Transmission Theories.
The Rise of the Subcultural Perspective.
Cultural Norms and 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.

7. Strain Theories.

What do Strain Theories Assume?
Merton's Strain Theory and its Variants.
The American Social Structure.
Responses to Strain.
Later Work on Merton's Theory.
Empirical Support.
Agnew's General Strain Theory.
Messner and Rosenfeld's Theory of Institutional Anomie.

8. Control Theories.

What Do Control Theories Assume about Human Nature?
Early Control Theories.
Hirschi's Social Control Theory.
Self-Control Theory.
Empirical Research and Criticisms of Self-Control Theory.

9. Theories of Social Conflict.

The Conflict Perspective and Crime.
The Marxist Heritage.
Labeling Theory.
Marxist Criminology.
White-Collar and State Crime.
The Social Construction of Crime, Postmodernism, and Constitutive Criminology.
Feminist Criminology.
Peacemaking Criminology and Restorative Justice.

10. Theoretical Integration and Emerging Perspectives.

Evaluating Theory.
Theoretical Elaboration.
Theoretical Integration.

Other Editions of Criminological Theory : A Brief Introduction

Criminological Theory: Brief Introduction by J. Mitchell Miller - ISBN 9780205548323