Why Do Criminals Offend? A General Theory of Crime and Delinquency

ISBN-10: 0195330463
ISBN-13: 9780195330465
Edition: 2005
Authors: Robert Agnew
List price: $69.95 Buy it from $9.06
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Description: This book focuses on what is probably the most frequently asked question about crime: Why do criminals offend? Renowned criminologist Robert Agnew draws on a broad range of crime theories and the latest research to present a general theory of crime  More...

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Book details

List price: $69.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 8/11/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 246
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

This book focuses on what is probably the most frequently asked question about crime: Why do criminals offend? Renowned criminologist Robert Agnew draws on a broad range of crime theories and the latest research to present a general theory of crime and delinquency, rich with student-accessible examples. The general theory integrates the essential arguments from social learning, social control, self-control, strain, labeling, social support, bio-psychological, and other theories. And it draws on the latest research examining the relationship between crime, individual traits, and the social environment--including family, school, peer, and work environments. Agnew's general theory is concise and written at a level readily accessible to undergraduates. It provides a good sense of the major causes of crime and how they mutually influence and interact with one another to affect crime. Key points are illustrated with examples from qualitative and quantitative research, and each chapter ends with a set of thought-provoking discussion questions. While the book focuses on explaining why some individuals are more likely than others to offend, the general theory is also used to explain group differences in crime rates and patterns of offending over the life course. Further, the theory is used to evaluate current efforts to control crime and suggest new crime control initiatives.

Robert Agnew is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Sociology at Emory University and President Elect of the American Society of Criminology. He is also the author of many books, including Criminological Theory: Past to Present; Pressured into Crime: An Overview of General Stain Theory; and Why Do Criminals Offend? A General Theory of Crime and Delinquency.

Introduction: A General Theory of Crime and Delinquency
Why I Wrote This Book and What I Hope to Accomplish
The Questions a General Theory of Crime Must Answer
A General Theory
That Answers
These Questions
Runs the Risk of Being
Too Complex
My Approach to Constructing a General Theory of Crime
What the Theory Is Designed to Explain
Testing and Applying the Theory
Acknowledgments: The General Theory
Is Built on the Work of Numerous Others
Conclusion
Discussion and Study Questions
Crime Is Most Likely
When the Constraints Against
Crime Are Low and the Motivations for Crime Are High
Constraints Against Crime
The Motivations for Crime
Long-lasting and Situational
Constraints and Motivations
Is Crime Influenced by Factors Other
Than Constraints and Motivations?
Conclusion
Discussion and Study Questions
A Range of Individual and Social Variables Affect the Constraints
Against and the Motivations for Crime
The Dominant Strategy for Grouping the Causes of Crime Into a Smaller Number of Categories
An Alternative Strategy for Grouping the Causes of Crime Into a Smaller Number of Categories
The Key Variables in the Five Life Domains
The Relative Importance of the Life Domains at Different Stages in the Life Course
Conclusion
Discussion and Study Questions
The Web of Crime
The Life Domains Affect One Another
Although Some Effects Are Stronger Than Others
The Effects of the Self (Irritability and Low Self-Control) on the Other Life Domains
The Effect of the Family (Poor Parenting and No/Bad Marriages) on the Other Life Domains
The Effect of School (Negative School Experiences and Limited Education) on the Other Life Domains
The Effect of Peers (Peer Delinquency) on the Other Life Domains
The Effect of Work (Unemployment and Bad Jobs) on the Other Life Domains
Summary: The Effects of the Life Domains on One Another Over the Individual''s Life
Conclusion
Discussion and Study Questions
Crime Affects Its ''Causes'' and Prior Crime Affects Subsequent Crime
The Effect of Crime on the Life Domains
The Direct Effect of Prior Crime on Subsequent Crime
The Effect of Prior Crime on Subsequent Crime Depends on the Reaction to Crime and the Characteristics of the Criminal
Summary
Discussion and Study Questions
The Causes of Crime Interact in Affecting Crime and One Another
The Core Propositions of the General Theory (Up to Now)
The Causes of Crime Interact in Affecting Crime and One Another
General Principle: A Cause Is More Likely to Lead to Crime When Other Causes Are Present
Some Illustrative Interactions
The Life Domains Interact in Affecting One Another
Summary
Discussion and Study Questions
The Causes Tend to Have Contemporaneous and Nonlinear Effects on Crime and One Another
Effects Are Largely Contemporaneous in Nature, Although Each Cause Has a Large, Lagged Effect on Itself
Effects Are Nonlinear
Summary
Discussion and Study Questions
The Life Domains Are Influenced by a Range of Outside Factors, Including Biological and Environmental Factors
Outside Factors That Affect the Life Domains
A Note on Larger Social and Cultural Influences
An Overview of the General Theory of Crime
Summary
Discussion and Study Questions
Using the General Theory to Explain Group Differences in Crime
How Might the General Theory Explain Group Differences in Crime Rates
Explaining Age Differences in Crime
Explaining Sex Differences in Crime
Explaining ''Life-Course Persistent'' and ''Adolescent-Limited'' Offending
Summary
Discussion and Study Questions
Testing the General Theory
Testing the Core Propositions of the General Theory
Summary
Discussion and Study Questions
Recommendations for Controlling Crime
How Effective Is the ''Get Tough'' Approach to Controlling Crime?
How to Make Arrest and Official Sanctions More Effective
Rehabilitation and Prevention Programs
Some General Guidelines for Rehabilitation and Prevention Programs
The General Theory as an Integrated Theory of Crime
Considers a Broad Range of Variables
Considers a Broad Range of Intervening Mechanisms
Groups the Specific Causes of Crime Into Cluster

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