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Criminological Theory

Criminological Theory
The Essentials

Fourth Edition

January 2022 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Criminological Theory: The Essentials, Fourth Edition by Stephen G. Tibbetts and Alex R. Piquero is a brief yet comprehensive overview of the major concepts and perspectives of the key theories in the evolution of criminology.

Putting criminological theory in context, the acclaimed authors examine policy implications brought about by theoretical perspectives to show students the practical application of theories to contemporary social problems. The new edition has been thoroughly updated with the latest theoretical extensions and empirical research, with links made to specific theories and recent events.

Chapter 1. Introduction to the Book: An Overview of Issues in Criminological Theory
Chapter 2. Preclassical and Classical Theories of Crime
Chapter 3. Modern Applications of the Classical Perspective: Deterrence, Rational Choice, and Routine Activities or Lifestyle Theories of Crime
Chapter 4. Early Positive School Perspectives of Criminality
Chapter 5. Modern Biosocial Perspectives of Criminal Behavior
Chapter 6. Early Social Structure and Strain Theories of Crime
Chapter 7. The Chicago School and Cultural and Subcultural Theories of Crime
Chapter 8. Social Process and Learning Theories of Crime
Chapter 9. Social Reaction and Critical Models of Crime
Chapter 10. Feminist Models of Crime
Chapter 11. Life-Course Perspectives of Criminality
Chapter 12. Integrated Theoretical Models and New Perspectives of Crime


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Some good theories, not all relevant for the course. Easy to read for students.

Miss Sam Shepley
Law, Oldham College
October 4, 2022

An accessible, yet informative introduction to criminological theory. Ideally pitched for first year policing students.

Mr Lewis Ambler
Cardiff School of Education, Cardiff Metropolitan University
May 21, 2022

Not teaching the class.

Dr Roger Guy
Criminal Justice Dept, Suny-Oswego
August 2, 2022
Key features
  • All chapters have been substantially updated with the latest theoretical extensions and empirical research, such as behavioral economics, risk terrain modeling, the Integrated Cognitive Antisocial Potential (ICAP) theory, and more.
  • Chapter 11 on developmental and life-course criminology has been expanded to include a history on criminal careers as well as more recent theoretical frameworks.
  • Where relevant, links have been made to specific theories and recent events, including the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis as well as the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Coverage of critical topics, such as the influence of employment on criminal behavior, the success of early childhood and school-based delinquency prevention programs, and federal sentencing guidelines regarding crack versus powder cocaine have been expanded throughout.
  • Statistics, graphs, and tables have all been updated to demonstrate the most recent trends in criminology.
  • Features case studies that examine offender motives and help students apply the theories discussed to interesting and memorable examples.
  • Integrates policy into each chapter to allow students to see the practical policy implications of each theory.
  • Chronologically traces the history and development of criminological theory with an emphasis on when such perspectives became popular among theorists and mainstream society.
  • Provides a glossary of key terms that contains a comprehensive working vocabulary and definitions for important concepts.

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