Explaining Criminals and Crime is the first collection of original essays addressing theories of criminal behavior that is written at a level appropriate for undergraduate students. These clear, concise, accessible essays were written expressly for this book, either by the original author(s) of each theory or by a scholar who has written extensively about it.
All major contemporary criminological theories are covered in this book, including:
* Biological (Pauline Yaralian and Adrian Raine)
* Strain (Robert Agnew, Steve Messner, and Richard Rosenfeld)
* Social and Self Control (Travis Hirschi and Michael Gottfredson; John Laub, Robert Sampson, and Leanna Allen)
* Social Reaction (Ross Matsueda and John Braithwaite)
* Social Learning and Differential Association (Ronald Akers and Mark Warr)
* Social Disorganization (Ralph Taylor)
* Radical and Feminist (Michael Lynch and Paul Stretesky; Meda Chensey-Lind and Karlene Faith)
* Rational Choice and Routine Activities (Ronald Clarke and Derek Cornish; Marcus Felson)
* Integrated and Control Balance (Thomas Bernard and Charles Tittle)
Explaining Criminals and Crime also offers section introductions that provide a historical background for each theory, key issues that the theory addresses, and a discussion of any controversies generated by the theory.
Each theoretical essay contains:
* A discussion of the key theoretical concepts.
* The specific hypotheses derived from the theory.
* Existing empirical research on these hypotheses.
* Criticisms of the theory and efforts to deal with those criticisms.
* Policy implications of the theory.
Most criminological theories are published in journals or specialized texts and are written in language intended for other scholars. As a result, undergraduate and even graduate students in criminology and criminal justice find these readings quite difficult, which limits their understanding of the material. The essays and chapter introductions in Explaining Criminals and Crime are written with the undergraduate audience in mind.