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Authors: by Anthony Walsh (Author), Cody Jorgensen (Author)
Criminology: The Essentials, Third Edition, by Anthony Walsh and Cody Jorgensen, introduces students to major theoretical perspectives and criminology topics in a concise, easy-to-read format. This straightforward overview of the major subject areas in criminology still thoroughly covers the most up-to-date advances in theory and research. In the new full-color Third Edition, special features have been added to engage the reader in thinking critically about concepts in criminology.
1. An Overview of Crime and Criminology
2. Measuring Crime and Criminal Behavior
3. Victimology: Exploring the Experience of Victimization
4. The Early Schools of Criminology
5. Crime as Choice: Rationality, Emotion, and Criminal
6. Social Structural Theories
7. Social Process Theories
8. Critical and Feminist Theories
9. Psychosocial Theories: Individual Traits and Criminal
10. Biosocial Approaches
11. Developmental Theories: From Delinquency to Crime to
12. Crimes of Violence
14. Property Crime
15. Public Order Crime
16. White-Collar Crime
17. Organized Crime
About the Authors
There are a number of excellent criminological textbooks available to students and professors, so why this one? The reason is that the typical textbook has become inordinately expensive (often as high as $150), which is a true hardship for many students today. Many of the books are filled with enormous amounts of information that cannot possibly be digested in one semester. Additionally, there is so much to try to cover that professors may be reluctant to bring in additional materials such as journal articles that they may consider very important.
By way of contrast, this book provides the essentials of criminology in a relatively compact and affordable volume. It covers all the material that is necessary to know and eliminates what is merely nice to know. It does not inundate students with scores of minor facts that may turn them glassy eyed, but it does engage them in straightforward language with the latest advances in criminology from a variety of disciplines (and it costs them one-half to one-third the price charged for the glitzier hardback texts).
This book can serve as the primary text for an undergraduate course in criminology or as the primary text for a graduate course when supplemented by additional readings available on the SAGE website.
Structure of the Book This book uses the typical outline for criminology textbook topics and sections, beginning with the definitions of crime and criminology and measuring crime, proceeding into theories of crime and criminality, and then delving into typologies. We depart from the typical textbook sequencing in one way only—that of the ordering of the theory chapters.
Typical criminology textbooks begin with a discussion of biological and psychological theories and proceed to demolish concepts that others demolished decades ago, such as atavism and the XYY syndrome. Having shown how wrong these concepts were, and leaving the impression that those concepts exhaust the content of modern biological and psychological theories, they proceed to sociological theories.
Unfortunately, this is the exact opposite of the way that normal science operates. Normal science begins with observations and descriptions of 21 phenomena on a large (macro) scale and then asks a series of “why” questions that systematically takes them down to lower levels of analysis. Wholes are wonderful meaningful things, and holistic explanations are fine as far as they go. But they only go so far before they exhaust their explanatory power and before the data require a more elementary look.
This is how medical epidemiologists go about tracking down the causes of exotic diseases and why philosophers of science agree that holistic accounts describe phenomena, whereas reductionist accounts (examining phenomena at a more fundamental level) explain them. Scientists typically observe and describe what is on the surface of a phenomenon and then seek to dig deeper to find the fundamental mechanisms that drive the phenomenon.
In the natural sciences, useful observations go in both holistic and reductionist directions such as from quarks to cosmos in physics and from nucleotides to ecological systems in biology. There is no zero-sum
competition between levels of analysis in these sciences, nor should there be in ours. Thus, following our discussion of the early schools, we begin with the most holistic (social structural) theories. These theories describe elements of whole societies that are supposedly conducive to high rates of criminal behavior such as capitalism and racial heterogeneity. Because only a small proportion of people exposed to these alleged criminogenic forces commit crimes, we must move down to social process theories that talk about how individuals interpret and respond to structural forces. We then have to move to more individualistic (psychosocial) theories that focus on the traits and abilities of individuals that would lead them to arrive at different interpretations than other individuals and finally to theories (biosocial) that try to pin down the exact mechanisms underlying these predilections.
What’s New in the Third Edition?
A number of changes have been made to the third edition based on suggestions from users of previous editions. All the statistical information gathered from official sources (e.g., Uniform Crime Reports [UCR],
National Crime Victimization Survey [NCVS], National Incident-Based Reporting System [NIBRS]) has been updated from the latest sources available.
A discussion of deterrence theory and the death penalty has been added to the chapter on the early classical and positivist schools of criminology 22 (Chapter 4). This chapter is the first to include another addition to this third edition called Theory in Action. Each subsequent chapter includes such a section focusing on a particularly interesting case from real life that helps to illustrate the theories presented in that chapter.
There was also a call for additional critical theories. We thus added material on convict criminology and green criminology to other critical theories in Chapter 8. We also included boxes containing what we call.
Research Snippets in all chapters. These snippets contain brief overviews on interesting research pieces not included in the body of the text.
The biggest change is the addition of colleague Cody Jorgensen as coauthor of this book. Cody is a brilliant young scholar with expertise in forensic science, biosocial criminology, and policing. I hope that Cody.
will continue to police this book into many more editions after this old dude has laid down his pen for the last time. These many additions have naturally increased the number of pages in this book. I hope you will agree that this edition has increased qualitatively in direct proportion to its quantitative expansion.