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Introduction to Criminology

Introduction to Criminology
Why Do They Do It?

Fourth Edition
Available with:

January 2024 | 560 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Introduction to Criminology: Why Do They Do It? offers a contemporary and integrated discussion of key criminological theories to help students understand crime in the 21st century. Focusing on why offenders commit crimes, authors Pamela J. Schram, Joseph A. Schwartz, and Stephen G. Tibbetts apply established theories to real-life examples to explain criminal behavior. Coverage of violent and property crimes is included throughout theory chapters so that students can clearly understand the application of theory to criminal behavior. Updates to the Fourth Edition include recent major social events, such as the George Floyd protests; changes in crime trends and criminal behavior as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; updated crime statistics, case studies, as well as contemporary topics, such as mass shooting events and the legalization of marijuana use.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Criminology
Chapter 2: Measuring Crime
Chapter 3: The Classical School of Criminological Thought
Chapter 4: Contemporary Classical and Deterrence Research
Chapter 5: Early Positivism: Biological Theories of Crime
Chapter 6: Modern Biosocial Perspectives of Criminal Behavior
Chapter 7: Psychological/Trait Theories of Crime
Chapter 8: Social Structure Theories of Crime I: Early Development and Strain Models of Crime
Chapter 9: Social Structure Theories of Crime II: Social Disorganization and Subcultures
Chapter 10: Social Process and Control Theories of Crime
Chapter 11: Labeling Theory and Conflict/Marxist/Radical Theories of Crime
Chapter 12: Feminist Theories of Crime
Chapter 13: Developmental/Life-Course Perspectives on Criminality
Chapter 14: White-Collar Crime, Organized Crime, and Cybercrime
Chapter 15: Hate Crimes, Mass Murder, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
Chapter 16: Drugs and Crime


Instructor Resource Site
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  • Lecture notes
  • All tables and figures from the textbook
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"A robust, easily accessible text book by which to teach a comprehensive course on criminological theory! Simply the best on the market!"

Christopher Conner
University of Missouri
Key features
  • The new edition is available in Sage Vantage, an intuitive learning platform that integrates quality Sage textbook content with assignable multimedia activities and auto-graded assessments to drive student engagement and ensure accountability. Unparalleled in its ease of use and built for dynamic teaching and learning, Vantage offers customizable LMS integration and best-in-class support.
  • Crime statistics have been updated throughout to better reflect the most recent crime data available.
  • Case studies and the Why Do They do It? sections have been updated throughout, highlighting a combination of historical and contemporary cases to provide students with more opportunities to apply theories to actual crimes.
  • Recent major social events, such as the George Floyd protests, are discussed in detail with particular focus on their relevance for specific theoretical perspectives.
  • Information related to changes in crime trends and criminal behavior during and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been added throughout, such as information pertaining to changes in interpersonal violence trends, hate crimes targeting Asian Americans, and changes in homicides.
  • Information on a range of contemporary topics has been revised, including legalization of marijuana use; mass shooting events, including notable school shooting events; the opioid epidemic; challenges facing law enforcement; and gun control.
  • Theory in Action Videos: These clips include candid interviews with former offenders that reinforce theoretical concepts for students.
  • What Were They Thinking? Videos: Co-author Stephen G. Tibbetts explores an interesting or unusual crime, and links it to concepts discussed in the chapter.
  • Chapter-opening Case Studies present real-life cases that introduce the concepts discussed in the chapter; cases are revisited throughout the chapter to contextualize the theories and concepts.
  • Why Do They Do It cases give students an opportunity to critically analyze the high profile cases they hear about in the news.
  • Special typology chapters review contemporary topics such as cybercrime, hate crimes, terrorism, white collar/corporate crime, and drug-related offenses.
  • An entire chapter devoted to Feminist criminological theories gives attention to a topic not adequately covered in most other introductory textbooks.
  • Applying Theory to Crime boxes help students apply the chapter concepts to violent and property crimes within the context of theory chapter.
  • Learning Checks throughout the chapters help students test their knowledge and reading retention.
  • Policy Implications sections at the end of chapters further demonstrate the application of the theories.
Vantage Reference: 
Introduction to Criminology - Vantage Learning Platform

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