An introduction to criminological theory

This book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to criminological theory for students taking courses in criminology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Building on previous editions, this book presents the latest research and theoretical developments. The text is divided into five parts, the first three of which address ideal type models of criminal behaviour: the rational actor, predestined actor and victimized actor models. Within these, the various criminological theories are located chronologically in the context of one of these different traditions, and the strengths and weaknesses of each theory and model are clearly identified. The fourth part of the book looks closely at more recent attempts to integrate theoretical elements from both within and across models of criminal behaviour, while the fifth part addresses a number of key recent concerns of criminology: postmodernism, cultural criminology, globalization and communitarianism, the penal society, southern criminology and critical criminology.

Book contents:

  1. Introduction: crime and modernity

  2. Classical criminology

  3. Populist conservative criminology

  4. Contemporary rational actor theories

  5. Biological positivism

  6. Psychological positivism

  7. Sociological positivism

  8. Women and positivism

  9. Labelling theories

  10. Conflict and radical theories

  11. The gendered criminal

  12. Critical criminology

  13. Sociobiological theories

  14. Environmental theories

  15. Social control theories

  16. Situational action theories

  17. Desistance theories

  18. Left realism

  19. Crime and the postmodern condition

  20. Cultural criminology and the schizophrenia of crime

  21. Crime, globalization and the risk society

  22. Rediscovering critical criminology

  23. Living in penal society

  24. Radical moral communitarian criminology

  25. Conclusions: criminology in an age of austerity