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Criminological Theory: Past to Present

Essential Readings

Fifth Edition

Francis T. Cullen, Robert Agnew, and Pamela Wilcox

Publication Date - November 2013

ISBN: 9780199301119

688 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $79.95

The most comprehensive overview of classic and contemporary theories of crime, edited by leading scholars in the discipline


Criminological Theory: Past to Present--Essential Readings is a comprehensive reader that exposes students to both classic and contemporary theories of crime. Editors Francis T. Cullen, Robert Agnew, and Pamela Wilcox provide accessible yet detailed introductions, preparing students for what they are about to read and placing each selection in context. The fifth edition includes a new Part XIV, entitled "Paying Attention to Race: Theoretical Developments," and new readings covering biology and crime, defensible space, decision-making by criminals, environmental corrections, and the relationship between race, racism, and crime.

New to this Edition

  • A new Part XIV, entitled "Paying Attention to Race: Theoretical Developments"
  • New readings covering biology and crime, defensible space, decision-making by criminals, environmental corrections, and the relationship between race, racism, and crime

About the Author(s)

About the Editors

Francis T. Cullen is Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. He is a Past President of both the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. In 2010, he received ASC's Edwin H. Sutherland Award.

Robert Agnew is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at Emory University. He is the inventor of the influential "general strain theory." He is a Past President of the American Society of Criminology.

Pamela Wilcox is Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. She is noted for developing "multicontextual opportunity theory." Her recent publications include The Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory.

Previous Publication Date(s)

November 2013
March 2010
May 2006


"The approach of the book is cross-disciplinary, comprehensive, and historically based. It is the best out there."--Sharon C. Ostrow, Temple University

"If you want to enrich [this course] for your criminological theory students, adopt this book."--Judith Kirwan Kelley, Curry College

"Criminological Theory is an excellent compendium of selections by many of the major theorists in the discipline. It covers a wide range of theories both historically and conceptually."--Marvin D. Krohn, University of Florida

"Long a classic, Criminological Theory gets better with each new edition, none better than this one. The book is a must read for those concerned with the nature and effects of crime and social deviance. But I think it is just as important for all--whether students, scholars, or policy makers--who are rightly puzzled by the necessary troubles of life in complex societies."--Charles Lemert, Senior Fellow, Center for Comparative Research, Yale University; author and editor of Social Theory: the Multicultural, Global, and Classical Readings

Table of Contents

    INTRODUCTION: Understanding Criminological Theory: A Guide for Readers, Francis T. Cullen and Robert Agnew
    I. The Origins of Modern Criminology
    1. An Essay on Crimes and Punishments, Cesare Beccaria
    2. The Criminal Man, Cesare Lombroso
    II. Biosocial Traits and Theories of Crime
    3. Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency, Sheldon Glueck and Eleanor Glueck
    4. Biology and Crime, Melissa Peskin, Yu Gao, Andrea L. Glenn, Anna Rudo-Hutt, Yaling Yang, and Adrian Raine
    5. Personality and Crime: Are Some People More Crime Prone, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie E. Moffitt, Phil A. Silva, Magda Stouthamer-Loeber, Robert F. Krueger, and Pamela S. Schmutte
    6. The Development of Antisocial Behavior: An Integrative Causal Approach, Benjamin B. Lahey, Irwin D. Waldman, and Keith McBurnett
    III. The Chicago School: The City, Social Disorganization, and Crime
    7. Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas, Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay
    8. A Theory of Race, Crime, and Urban Inequality, Robert J. Sampson and William Julius Wilson
    9. Collective Efficacy and Crime, Robert J. Sampson, Stephen W. Raudenbush, and Felton Earls
    IV. Learning to Be a Criminal: Differential Association, Subcultural, and Social Learning Theories
    10. A Theory of Differential Association, Edwin H. Sutherland and Donald R. Cressey
    11. A Social Learning Theory of Crime, Ronald L. Akers
    12. Code of the Street, Elijah Anderson
    V. Anomie/Strain Theories of Crime
    13. Social Structure and Anomie, Robert K. Merton
    14. Delinquent Boys: The Culture of the Gang, Albert K. Cohen
    15. Crime and the American Dream, Richard Rosenfeld and Steven F. Messner
    16. Pressured Into Crime: General Strain Theory, Robert Agnew
    VI. Varieties of Control Theory
    17. Techniques of Neutralization, Gresham M. Sykes and David Matza
    18. Social Bond Theory, Travis Hirschi
    19. A General Theory of Crime, Michael R. Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi
    VII. Labeling, Interaction, and Crime: Societal Reaction and the Creation of Criminals
    20. Primary and Secondary Deviance, Edwin M. Lemert
    21. Crime, Shame, and Reintegration, John Braithwaite
    22. Defiance Theory, Lawrence W. Sherman
    VIII. Critical Criminology: Power, Peace, and Crime
    23. Criminality and Economic Conditions, Willem Bonger
    24. Crime in a Market Society, Elliott Currie
    25. Crime and Coercion, Mark Colvin
    IX. Feminist Theories: Gender, Power, and Crime
    26. Sisters in Crime, Freda Adler
    27. A Feminist Theory of Female Delinquency, Meda Chesney-Lind
    28. Masculinities and Crime, James W. Messerschmidt
    29. Toward A Gendered Theory of Female Offending, Darrell Steffensmeier and Emilie Allan
    X. Theories of White-Collar
    30. White-Collar Criminality, Edwin H. Sutherland
    31. Denying the Guilty Mind, Michael L. Benson
    32. Choosing White-Collar Crime, Neal Shover and Andy Hochstedler
    XI. Reviving Classical Theory: Deterrence and Rational
    33. Reconceptualizing Deterrence Theory, Mark C. Stafford and
    Mark Warr
    34. Crime as a Rational Choice, Derek B. Cornish and Ronald V.
    35. Armed Robbers in Action, Richard T. Wright and Scott H. Decker
    XII. Environmental Criminology
    36. Routine Activity Theory, Lawrence E. Cohen and Marcus Felson
    37. Situational Crime Prevention, Ronald V. Clarke
    38. Defensible Space, Oscar Newman
    39. Broken Windows, James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling
    XIII. Developmental Theories of Crime: Crime and the Life Course
    40. Pathways in the Life Course to Crime, Terrie E. Moffitt
    41. A Theory of Persistent Offending and Desistance From Crime, John H. Laub and Robert J. Sampson
    42. Cognitive Transformation and Desistance from Crime, Peggy C.Giordano, Stephen A. Cernkovich, and Jennifer L. Rudolph
    XIV. Paying Attention to Race: Theoretical Developments
    43. Getting Played, Jody Miller
    44. A Theory of African American Offending, James D. Unnever and Shawn L. Gabbidon
    XV. Pulling It All Together: Integrated Theories of Crime
    45. Toward an Interactional Theory of Delinquency, Terence P. Thornberry
    46. Social Support and Crime, Francis T. Cullen
    47. Why Criminals Offend: A General Theory of Crime and Delinquency, Robert Agnew
    XVI. Putting Theory to Work: Guiding Crime Control Policy
    48. Imprisoning Communities, Todd R. Clear
    49. Environmental Corrections, Francis T. Cullen, John E. Eck, and Christopher T. Lowenkamp
    50. Saving Children from a Life in Crime, David Farrington and Brandon C. Welsh

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