This book explores the role of theory and research in criminology. Adopting a unique and refreshing approach to criminological theory, it focuses on the great debates in criminology from its inception as a field to the present day. It explores the debates that have motivated criminological thought, that have represented turning points in theoretical and empirical trajectories, that have offered mini-paradigm shifts, and that have moved the field forward. Coverage includes:
Classical debates, including the work of Lombroso, Durkheim, and Sutherland;
Sociological vs. psychological debates in criminology;
Control theory and cultural deviance theory;
Criminal career and trait-based theory;
Theory testing in criminology;
Critical theories in criminology;
Debates on the state of criminology and criminal justice;
Policy issues in criminology.
Each chapter explores several key debates, summarizes key points, and offers a discussion of the current empirical status. This book is novel in emphasising the role of debate in criminology and offering an enlightening synthesis of theorists and their perspectives. It is essential reading for students taking courses on criminological theory and teachers of those theories.
A companion website will include a sample syllabus, PowerPoint lecture slides, examples of assignments, a test bank with sample exams for instructors, video and website links, a glossary of important terms, audio content, and study guides for students.
Chad Posick is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology and Graduate Coordinator at Georgia Southern University. Michael Rocque is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Bates College and Senior Research Advisor at the Maine Department of Corrections.
Preface Introduction - What is theory and why are there debates? 1. Debating among criminology's founders 2. Does crime originate from the person or the environment? Sociological vs. psychological perspectives 3. Is crime natural or do we learn it? Control theories and cultural deviance theories 4. Do we need to follow people over time? Criminal careers vs. criminal propensity theories 5. Who is right? Theory testing and construction in criminology 6. Beyond the "big three": Critical vs. traditional criminology 7. Is criminology/criminal justice a true discipline? Criminal justice, criminology, and their existence 8. What should we do about crime? Debates around policy issues in criminal justice 9. Are we still debating? Contemporary and emerging debates Conclusion: On debates, past, present, and future References Index