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Crime and Criminology-1

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/b978-1-42246-332-1.50005-1
  • Criminology
  • Social Sciences


Publisher Summary Crime is a relative phenomenon. There are many differences in public views on crime issues. The views of crime shift dramatically across time and space. These shifts are driven by ideology and they inject biases that lead to emotional exploitation of the public by politicians and the media. Criminologists vary considerably in the methods they employ, what they see as the goals of criminology, what constitutes “crime,” and the paradigm or theoretical perspective that guides their work. Most criminologists view crime through a social science lens, calling for empirical testing of theories, some advocate qualitative approaches, arguing that observing statistical patterns may miss the human. This chapter discusses the works from a variety of methodological perspectives and it reflects the dominance of the scientific approach. There is a stronger tie between the scientific studies of criminologists and public policy. Conceptions of crime fall along a continuum from relatively narrow to quite broad. There are five paradigms that explain crime: free will or rational choice, positivism, interactionism, the critical perspective, and integration. Criminological works are always colored by the ideological biases of the times. The chapter examines the gender implications of various theories.

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