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, which broadened the debate on criminological theory, 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. All major theoretical perspectives are considered, including:

  • classical criminology,
  • biological and psychological positivism,
  • labelling theories,
  • feminist criminology,
  • critical criminology and left realism,
  • social control theories,
  • the risk society.

The new edition also features comprehensive coverage of recent developments in criminology, including situation action theory, desistance theory, peacemaking criminology, Loïc Wacquant’s thesis of the penal society, critical race theory and

Southern theory. This revised and expanded fourth edition of An Introduction to Criminological Theory includes chapter summaries, critical thinking questions, a full glossary of terms and theories and a timeline of criminological theory, making it essential reading for those studying criminology.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: crime and modernity, Part One: The rational actor model of crime and criminal behaviour, 2. Classical criminology, 3. Populist conservative criminology, 4. Contemporary rational actor theories, Part Two: The predestined actor model of crime and criminal behaviour, 5. Biological positivism, 6. Psychological positivism, 7. Sociological positivism, 8. Women and positivism, Part Three: The victimised actor model of crime and criminal behaviour, 9. Labelling theories, 10. Conflict and radical theories, 11. The gendered criminal, 12. Critical criminology, Part Four: Integrated theories of crime and criminal behaviour, 13. Socio-biological theories, 14. Environmental theories, 15. Situational action theories, 16. Social control theories, 17. Desistance theories, 18. Left realism, Part Five: Crime and criminal behaviour in the age of moral uncertainty, 19. Crime and the postmodern condition, 20. Cultural criminology and the schizophrenia of crime, 21. Crime, globalisation and the risk society, 22. Radical moral communitarian criminology, 23. Living in penal society, 24. Conclusions – the future of criminology, Glossary of terms

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