Criminal sociology - investigates the social causes of criminal behavior in an effort to ultimately end them.Criminal sociologist identify the sources outside of a person in society that influence and even as some theorists believe,compel criminal action.
1. Strain Theory - people has aspirations like wealth and education.
There goals are blocked along the way. They resort to illegal
activities what they can not achieved through legitimate means.
People may reduce their aspirations or increase opportunities.
2. Learning Theories - follow the lead of Sutherland's theory of
differential association. Criminals learn from their peers.
3. Control Theories - focuses on the relationship of a person to
their parents, teachers, officers of the law and other agents of
socialization. Effective bonding with such authority figure help
keep people out of trouble from the law.
4. Labelling Theory - People who are branded as criminals will
5. Conflict Theory - society is based on conflict between competing
6. Radical Theory - crime is seen as a reflection of class struggle.
7. Left Realism - people of the working class prey upon one
another.Poor people victimize other poor people of their
own race and kind.
8. Peacemaking Theory - making "war on crime" will not work.
Making peace is the solution to crime.
9. Feminism - crime can not be understood without considering
gender. Crime is shaped by the different social experiences and
power is exercise by men and women. Men may use crime to
exert control over women and to demonstrate masculinity.
10.Critical Theory - Inequality in power and material well being
create conditions that lead to street crime and corporate crime.
Capitalism and its market economy are especially criminogenic
because they create vast inequalities that impoverishes many
and provides opportunities for exploitation for the powerful.
11.Social Disorganization - disorganized communities cause crime
because informal social controls breakdown and criminal cultures
emerge. They lack collective efficacy to fight crime and disorder.
12. Classical - crime occurs when the benefits outweigh the
costs,when people pursue self interest in the absence
of effective punishments. Crime is a free willed choice.
13. Positivist - Crime is caused or determined.Placed more
emphasis on biological deficiencies, while later scholars would
emphasize psychological and sociological factors.Use science to
determine the factors associated with crime.
14. Individual Trait - criminals differ from non criminals on a number
of biological and sociological traits.These traits cause crime in
interaction with the social environment.
15. Differential Association - crime is learned through associations
with criminal definitions.These definitions might be generally
approving of criminal conduct or be neutralization that justify
crime only under certain circumstances.Interacting with anti
social peers is a major cause of crime.Criminal behavior will be
repeated and become chronic if reinforced.When criminal
subculture exist then many individuals can learn to commit crime
in one location and crime rates, including violence may become
16. Anomie - the gap between a persons goal or economic success
and the opportunity to obtain this goal creates structural
strain.Norms weakens and anomie ensues,thus creating high
crime rates.When other social institutions such as family are
weak to begin with or also weakened by a persons goal, the
economic institution is dominant.When such an institutional
imbalance exists,then crime rates are very high.
17. Rational Choice - Building on classical theory,crime is seen as a
choice that is influenced by its costs and benefits,that is, by its
rationality.Crime will be more likely to be deterred if its costs are
raised especially if the costs are certain and immediate.
Information about the costs and benefits of crime can be
obtained by direct experiences with punishment and punishment
avoidance and indirectly by observing whether others who
offend are punished or avoid punishment.
18. Routine Activities - crime occurs when their is an intersection
in time and space of a motivated offender,an attractive target,
and a lack of capable guardianship.Peoples daily routine activities
affect the likelihood they will be an attractive target who
encounters an offender in a situation where no effective
guardianship is present.Change in activities in society can affect
19. Developmental Life Course - crime causation is a
developmental process that starts before birth and continues
throughout the life course. Individual factors interact with social
factors to determine the onset,length, and end of criminal
careers.The key theoretical issues involve
continuity and change in crime.Some theories predict continuity
across the life course,others predict continuity for some
offenders and change for other offenders, and some predict
continuity and change for the same offender.
20. Integrated - these theories use components from other
theories,usually strain,control, and social learning to create a
new theory that explains crime.They are often are life course
theories,arguing that causes of crime occur in a sequence
Introduction to Criminology: Next Page
Related Readings: Criminal Sociology
1. Introduction to Criminology Reviewer 1
2. Sociology of Crimes Review Questions