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Criminological Theories

Criminological Theories
Traditional and Non-Traditional Voices and Themes

  • Imogene Moyer - Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Criminology, USA

August 2001 | 392 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

As an experienced teacher of criminological theory at graduate and undergraduate levels, Imogene Moyer grew increasingly dissatisfied with the somewhat narrow focus of the books available. In her new text, Moyer has succeeded in presenting instructors and students with a comprehensive and engaging alternative.

Moyer takes a multidimensional approach to the subject by including "new" theorists such as

W.E.B. DuBois, Pauline Tarnowsky, Frank Tannenbaum, Ruth Shonle Cavan, and Sally Simpson, often allowing the theorists' original source material to speak for them. Chapters are devoted to recently developed perspectives, particularly from women and people of color, which provide readers with a broader understanding of crime and criminal behavior.

Criminological Theories is organized in a chronological order, beginning with the 18th century classical school ¾ focusing on Beccaria and Bentham ¾ and ending with the late 20th-century peacemaking perspective. In each chapter Moyer analyzes the assumptions the theorists have made about people and society and includes discussions of the cultural and historical settings in which the theories were developed, along with biographies of specific theorists and their lifetime contributions. The theme of the interrelationship theory, research, and policy runs throughout the book, with policy implications and applications frequently addressed.

While it is not essential for all scholars to agree on a particular theory's value, Imogene Moyer has provided the background and insights necessary to understand and appreciate the diverse and valuable theoretical viewpoints that have contributed to criminology today.

1. The Expansion of Criminological Theory
2. The Classical School
3. The Positivist School
4. The Functionalist Perspective
5. The Chicago School
Ayn Embar-Seddon
6. The Control Theorists
Cavit Cooley
7. The Interactionist School
8. Conflict/Radical Marxist Theories
9. Feminist Criminology
10. Peacemaking in Criminology

Some good theories. Easy to read for students.

Miss Sam Shepley
Law, Oldham College
October 4, 2022

An interesting book which is recommended on the reading list. Useful for students.

Mrs Chrissie Draper
Educational Psychology, Derby College
March 19, 2021

Writing wasn't very engaging

Dr Robert Duran
Criminal Justice Dept, New Mexico State University - Las Cruces
January 17, 2013
Key features
  1. Original source material included in chapters/let's students gain an understanding of the theorists in their own words.
  2. Biographical inserts with photos/ provides the social context for the theorists.
  3. More theories from minority viewpoints than other crim. theory texts/ the field is getting away from the Wisdom of Old White Men (don't quote that!) to include more of the minority voices who play an increasing role in criminology and the criminal justice system.


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