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Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory, Second Edition

NCJ Number
Robert M. Bohm
Date Published
181 pages
This volume explains a broad range of crime theories and juvenile delinquency theories, including classical and neoclassical, positivist, biological, psychological, sociological, and critical theories, with emphasis on the philosophical assumptions of all theories and how to assess the different theories in relation to each other.
The text aims to provide undergraduate and graduate students with an overview of crime and delinquency theories and is intended as either a primary text or as a supplement to other texts, anthologies, or collections of journal articles. The introduction explains the nature of theory, the testing or theories, and the importance of theory. The chapter on each category of theories explains the nature of each theory, general problems with theories in the specific category, and policy implications. Specific theories discussed include classical and neoclassical theory; positivist theories; and biological theories relating to physiognomy, phrenology, criminal anthropology, body types, heredity, and modern biocriminology. The psychological theories covered relate to intelligence and crime, psychoanalytic theories, and humanistic psychological theories. Sociological theories examined include the contributions of Durkheim, the theory of the Chicago school, functionalism, anomie or strain theory, learning theories, and social control theories. Critical theories include interactionism and labeling theory, conflict theory, radical theory, and other critical theories. Chapter study questions and notes, name and subject indexes, and approximately 250 references