Introduction to Criminology

Introduction to Criminology
Why Do They Do It?

Second Edition
Experience with SAGE edge

February 2017 | 616 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Introduction to Criminology: Why Do They Do It?, Second Edition offers a contemporary and integrated discussion of the key theories that help us understand crime in the 21st century. With a focus on why offenders commit crimes, this bestseller skillfully engages students with real-world cases and examples to help students explore the fundamentals of criminology. To better align with how instructors actually teach this course, coverage of violent and property crimes has been integrated into the theory chapters, so students can clearly understand the application of theory to criminal behavior.
Unlike other introductory criminology textbooks, the Second Edition discusses issues of diversity in each chapter and covers
many contemporary topics that are not well represented in other texts, such as feminist criminology, cybercrime, hate crimes, white-collar crime, homeland security, and identity theft. Transnational comparisons regarding crime rates and the methods other countries use to deal with crime make this edition the most universal to date and a perfect companion for those wanting to learn about criminology in context.


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Order using bundle ISBN 978-1-5063-8324-8
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SAGE Premium Video: Boost Comprehension. Bolster Analysis.

Available via the Interactive eBook, SAGE Premium Video is tied to learning objectives and curated and produced exclusively for this text. SAGE Premium Video brings concepts to life and appeals to different learning styles, featuring SAGE-original video including interviews, personal stories, crime profiles, author discussions, and other clips that bring deeper, more applied understanding of criminology.

About the Authors
Chapter 1: Introduction to Criminology
Key Concepts to Understanding Criminology  
The Criminal Justice System  
Criminology Theory  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 2: Measuring Crime
Crime Data From Law Enforcement Agencies  
Crime Data from Victims of Crime: The National Crime Victimization Survey  
Crime Data from Self-Report Surveys  
Additional Approaches to Collecting Crime Data  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web resources  
Chapter 3: Classical School of Criminology Thought
Pre-Classical Perspectives of Crime and Punishment  
The Age of Enlightenment  
The Classical School of Criminology  
Impact of Beccaria’s Work on Other Theorists  
The Neoclassical School of Criminology  
Loss of Dominance of Classical/ Neoclassical Theory  
Policy Implications  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 3  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 4: Contemporary Classical and Deterrence Research
Rebirth of Deterrence Theory and Contemporary Research  
Rational Choice Theory  
Routine Activities Theory  
Policy Implications  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 4  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 5: Early Positivism
Early Biological Theories of Behavior  
Lombroso’s Theory of Atavism and Born Criminals  
AFTER Lombroso: The IQ-Testing Era  
Body Type Theory: Sheldon’s Model of Somatotyping  
Policy Implications  
Case Study Revisited: Javier  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 5  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 6: Modern Biosocial Perspectives of Criminal Behavior
Nature Versus Nurture: Studies Examining the Influence of Genetics and Environment  
Cytogenetic Studies: The XYY Factor  
Hormones and Neurotransmitters: Chemicals That Determine Criminal Behavior  
Brain Injuries  
Central and Autonomic Nervous System Activity  
Biosocial Approaches Toward Explaining Criminal Behavior  
Policy Implications  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 6  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 7: Psychological/ Trait Theories of Crime
Early Psychological Theorizing Regarding Criminal Behavior  
John Bowlby: Attachment Theory  
Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 7  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 8: Social Structure Theories of Crime I
Early Theories of Social Structure: Early to Late 1800s  
Durkheim and the Concept of Anomie  
Merton’s Strain Theory  
Variations of Merton’s Strain Theory  
General Strain Theory  
Summary of Strain Theories  
Policy Implications of Strain Theory  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 8  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 9: Social Structure Theories of Crime II
The Ecological School and the Chicago School of Criminology  
Shaw and McKay’s Theory of Social Disorganization  
Cultural and Subcultural Theories of Crime  
Criticisms of Cultural Theories of Crime  
Policy Implications  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 9  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Key Terms  
Chapter 10: Social Process and Control Theories of Crime
Learning Theories  
Differential Reinforcement Theory  
Psychological Learning Models  
Neutralization Theory  
Control Theories  
Early Control Theories of Human Behavior  
Early Control Theories of Crime  
Modern Social Control Theories  
Integrated Social Control Theories  
A General Theory of Crime: Low Self-Control  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 10  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 11: Labeling Theory and Conflict/Marxist/ Radical Theories of Crime
Labeling Theory  
Foundation of Labeling Theory  
Evaluating Labeling Theory  
Conflict Perspectives  
The Conservative (Pluralist) Conflict Perspectives  
The Radical Conflict Perspectives  
Additional Explanations of Crime Using a Marxist Framework  
Evaluating Conflict Theories  
Additional Critical Theories  
Policies Related to Labeling and Conflict Theories of Crime  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 11  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 12: Feminist Theories of Crime
Feminist Perspectives on Gender  
Traditional Theories of Female Crime  
Feminist Critiques of Previous Research Studying Women and Crime  
Liberation Thesis  
Power-Control Theory  
Feminist Perspectives on Understanding Crime and Criminal Behavior  
Critiques of Feminist Theories  
Policies Based on Feminist Theories of Crime  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 12  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 13: Developmental/ Life-Course Perspectives criminality
Basic Concepts and Early Developmental Theory  
Antidevelopmental Theory: Low Self-Control Theory  
Modern Developmental/Life-Course Perspectives  
Policy Implications  
Summary of Theories in Chapter 13  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 14: White-Collar Crime, Organized Crime, and Cybercrime
What is White-Collar Crime?  
Definitions and History of White-Collar Crime  
Incidence and Impact of White-Collar Crime on Society  
Types of White-Collar Crime  
Theoretical Explanations of White-Collar Crime  
What is Organized Crime?  
Criminal Justice Responses to Organized Crime  
What is Cybercrime?  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 15: Hate Crimes, Terrorism, and Home land Security
What Is a Hate Crime?  
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994  
Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996  
Campus Hate Crimes Right to Know Act of 1997  
Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009  
Model State Legislation: Hate Crimes/ Violence Against People Experiencing Homelessness  
School Attacks  
Disparity in Rates of Committing Multicide Across Race and Religious Ideology  
What Is Terrorism?  
Financial Support  
Influence of the Media  
Domestic Terrorism  
What Is Homeland Security?  
Definition of Homeland Security  
Homeland Security Organizational Network  
Bureaucratic Problems and Solutions  
Issues Related to Civil Liberties  
Human Rights  
The Constitution  
Policy Implications  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  
Chapter 16: Drugs and Crime
Commonly Abused Drugs  
Trends of Drug Use  
The Drug-Crime Link  
Modern Policies Related to Reducing Drug Use  
Recommendations for Future Policies  
Key Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Web Resources  


Instructor Teaching Site
SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.
  • A Microsoft® Word® test bank is available, containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to ease preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for use when creating the syllabi for your courses.
  • Lively and stimulating class assignments to reinforce active learning. The assignments apply to individual or group projects.
  • Video, audio, and website links which appeals to students with different learning styles
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter to encourage students to think critically.
Student Study Site
SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. SAGE edge content is open access and available on demand. Learning and teaching has never been easier!

SAGE edge for Students
 provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.
  • A customized online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience
  • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Video, audio, and website links which appeals to students with different learning styles
  • Chapter outlines summarize key concepts in each chapter to help you prepare for quizzes and exams. EXCLUSIVE! access to SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter to encourage students to think critically.

 “In depth coverage of theories, much more thorough than many of the other ‘Intro’ books out there in terms of theory coverage.”

Dan Dexheimer
San Jose State University

“It is comprehensive and well-organized. The features such as Case Study and Why Do They Do It? add much to the material. The videos and other links help students receive the same information from different mediums.”

Terri L. Earnest
University of Texas at San Antonio

“Clear and easy to understand. Excellent examples with visuals…”

Shanell Sanchez-Smith
Colorado Mesa University

“Right level of difficulty for upper-division, general students. Not too simplistic but not just for CJ majors…”

Bradley Wright
University of Connecticut

“The book is well written, in a clear and direct manner. Complex theories and ideas are presented in a very clear, linear, fashion…Excellent visuals (charts, tables, pictures).”

Christopher Salvatore, PhD
Montclair State University
Key features


  • An increased emphasis on victimization (Ch.1) focuses on victims of crimes and presents key concepts in victimology.
  • A new chapter dedicated to measuring crime (Ch.2) offers students a stronger foundation for understanding how crime data enhances our understanding of criminal activity.
  • A new section on multicide gives students a deeper look into the motivations behind mass murders, school shootings, and issues of race and religious ideology related to these crimes. 
  • Up-to-date research, statistics, and coverage of key issues in the field present students with information on topics such as gun control, mental health, disparity in the criminal justice system, cybercrime and internet fraud, hate crimes, and terrorism.
  • Critical thinking questions are included with all of the features to provide students with a clear connection between the real-world examples and theory.
  • Revised learning objectives align with Bloom's taxonomy to better guide students through the pedagogical framework. 


  • An Interactive eBook is available with the new edition of this text. This dynamic eBook is ideal for students in online and traditional courses who prefer a more contemporary, multimedia-integrated presentation for learning. It provides students with integrated links to engaging video and audio as well as access to complete academic and professional articles, all from the same pages found in the printed text. Students will also have immediate access to study tools such as highlighting, bookmarking, note-taking, and more!

  • SAGE original video is included in the interactive eBook, featuring candid interviews with former offenders as well as author-led discussions on learning tips and “weird crimes”. These unique videos connect criminological theories to real-life stories that students will remember.

  • Chapter-opening vignettes present real-life cases that tie directly to the concepts discussed in the chapter. These cases are revisited throughout the chapter as students to contextualize the theories and concepts.

  • Why Do They Do It: High Profile Cases give students an opportunity to critically analyze some of the most high profile cases they hear about in the news.

  • The text incorporates a world view in criminology  by presenting transnational comparisons regarding crime rates and the systems other countries employ to deal with crime.

  • An entire chapter is devoted to Feminist criminological theories, a topic not given adequate attention in most other introductory textbooks.

  • Applying Theory to Crime boxes help students  apply the chapter concepts to violent and property crimes.

  • Chapter-opening Learning Objectives help prepare students to focus on concepts they will learn throughout the chapter.

  • Learning Checks throughout the chapters help students test their knowledge and reading retention.

  • Policy Implications sections at the ends of chapters demonstrate the applications of the theories.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2

Chapter 10

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ISBN: 9781506378435
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