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Cover

In Their Own Words

Criminals on Crime

Seventh Edition

Michael L. Birzer and Paul Cromwell

Publication Date - July 2016

ISBN: 9780190298272

448 pages
Paperback
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $79.99

The only anthology that provides students with access to the perspective of offenders

Description

The only anthology of its kind, In Their Own Words: Criminals on Crime, Seventh Edition, provides students with a nuanced perspective on how--and why--offenders make decisions that lead them to commit crimes. Featuring firsthand accounts from gang members, burglars, shoplifters, pimps, prostitutes, killers, robbers, addicts, rapists, drug smugglers, and white-collar offenders, the anthology helps students understand the offenders' motives, perceptions, decision-making strategies, and rationalizations for crime.

New to this Edition

  • Thorough revisions and updates throughout that reflect current scholarship
  • Five new chapters on auto thieves and restrictive deterrence, codes of violence among bar fighters, the illicit drug trade, commercial sex work on Chicago's South Side, and a promising desistence theory grounded in in-depth interviews of drug dealers
  • A reduction in the total number of chapters from twenty-six to twenty-three, providing instructors with a shorter volume that serves as an ideal supplemental reader

About the Author(s)

Paul Cromwell is Professor of Criminology and Director of Social Science at the University of South Florida.

Michael L. Birzer is Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of the School of Community Affairs at Wichita State University.

Previous Publication Date(s)

January 2013
March 2009
July 2005

Reviews

"In Their Own Words is a wonderful, thought-provoking anthology that gives readers the opportunity to view the criminal enterprise from the perspective of active criminals. This book is destined to become a classic!"--Richard R. Loder, Syracuse University

"This book helps students put a human face to theoretical concepts."--Richard Clark, John Carroll University

"I love the qualitative, offender-based approach."--Shawna Cleary, University of Central Oklahoma

Table of Contents

    Preface
    Acknowledgments
    About the Editors
    About the Contributors
    SECTION I: DOING FIELDWORK WITH OFFENDERS
    Introduction
    Chapter 1. Researching Crack Dealers: Dilemmas and Contradictions, Bruce A. Jacobs
    Jacobs points out the inherent dangers associated with studying street criminals.
    Chapter 2: Consenting to Talk: Why Inmates Participate in Prison Research, Heith Copes and Andy Hochstetler
    Copes and Hochstetler discuss the motives of incarcerated offenders in their decision to discuss their crimes and behaviors with researchers.
    SECTION II: CRIMINAL LIFESTYLES AND DECISION MAKING
    Introduction
    Chapter 3. Deciding to Commit a Burglary, Richard T. Wright and Scott H. Decker
    Wright and Decker explore the motives that drive the decision to commit a burglary.
    Chapter 4. Opportunities and Decisions: Interactional Dynamics in Robbery and Burglary Groups, Andy Hochstetler
    The author analyzes the decision-making process of offenders working in groups.
    Chapter 5. Auto Theft and Restrictive Deterrence, Bruce A. Jacobs and Michael C. Cherbonneau
    The authors analyze the restrictive deterrence decision making strategies of thirty-five active auto thieves.
    SECTION III: PROPERTY CRIME
    Introduction
    Chapter 6. Establishing Connections: Gender, Motor Vehicle Theft, and Disposal Networks, Christopher W. Mullins and Michael C. Cherbonneau
    The authors examine the gendered nature of motor vehicle theft.
    Chapter 7. "The Devil Made Me Do It": Use of Neutralizations by Shoplifters, Paul Cromwell and Quint Thurman
    Cromwell and Thurman discuss the justifications, excuses, and neutralizations used by shoplifters to explain their crimes.
    Chapter 8. Identity Theft: Assessing Offenders' Motivations and Strategies, Heath Copes and Lynne Vieraitis
    Copes and Vieraitis shed light on the motives, perceptions of risk, and strategies involved in identity theft.
    SECTION IV: VIOLENT CRIME
    Introduction
    Chapter 9. Gendering Violence: Masculinity and Power in Men's Accounts of Domestic Violence, Kristin L. Anderson and Debra Umberson
    The authors reveal the strategies used by abusing males in an effort to portray themselves as rational and nonviolent.
    Chapter 10. Serendipity in Robbery Target Selection, Bruce A. Jacobs
    Jacobs argues that robbers select their victims based not on rational processes, but on serendipity--victims are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    Chapter 11. Peaceful Warriors: Codes for Violence Among Adult Male Bar Fighters, Heith Copes, Andy Hochstetler, and Craig J. Forsyth
    The authors elaborate on a code of violence as part of a system of order and honor as articulated by a network of white, working-class males in a southern U.S. city who participate in bar fights.
    SECTION V: OCCUPATIONAL AND WHITE-COLLAR CRIME
    Introduction
    Chapter 12. Crime on the Line: Telemarketing and the Changing Nature of Professional Crime, Neal Shover, Glenn S. Coffey, and Dick Hobbs
    Shover and his associates examine the lifestyles and motivations of individuals engaged in illegal telemarketing.
    Chapter 13. Drugged Druggists: The Convergence of Two Criminal Career Trajectories, Dean A. Dabney and Richard C. Hollinger
    Dabney and Hollinger explicate both the onset and progression of illicit prescription drug abuse by pharmacists.
    SECTION VI: ILLEGAL OCCUPATIONS
    Introduction
    Chapter 14. The "Myth of Organization" of International Drug Smugglers, Scott H. Decker and Jana S. Benson
    The authors examine drug smuggling from the perspective of those most in the know: the individuals whose roles facilitate the trade.
    Chapter 15. Informal Control and Illicit Drug Trade, Scott Jacques and Richard T. Wright
    Jacques and Wright use the rational-choice and opportunity perspectives to explore how and why the frequency and seriousness of popular justice affect the prices and rate of drug sales.
    Chapter 16. A Perversion of Choice: Sex Work Offers Just Enough in Chicago's Urban Ghetto, Eva Rosen and Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh
    Using in-depth interviews and participant observation, Rosen and Venkatesh investigate Chicago's sex work economy.
    SECTION VII: GANGS AND CRIME
    Introduction
    Chapter 17. Gang-Related Gun Violence: Socialization, Identity, and Self, Paul B. Stretesky and Mark R. Pogrebin
    The authors examine how gang socialization leads to gun-related violence.
    Chapter 18. Gender and Victimization Risk Among Young Women in Gangs, Jody Miller
    Miller explores the extent to which being a female member of a youth gang shapes girls' risk of victimization.
    Chapter 19. Voices from the Barrio: Chicano/a Gangs, Families, and Communities, Marjorie S. Zatz and Edwardo L. Portillos
    The authors examine gang members and their families to ascertain the impact of gang activity on the community at large.
    SECTION VIII: DRUGS AND CRIME
    Introduction
    Chapter 20. "E" is for Ecstasy: A Participant Observation Study of Ecstasy Use, Wilson R. Palacios and Melissa E. Fenwick
    Palacios and Fenwick examine the "club" culture and crime.
    Chapter 21. "Cooks are Like Gods": Hierarchies in Methamphetamine-Producing Groups, Robert Jenkot
    Jenkot reports on his study of methamphetamine-producing groups and identifies the various roles and statuses involved in the process.
    SECTION IX: QUITTING CRIME
    Introduction
    Chapter 22. Getting Out of the Life: Crime Desistance by Female Street Offenders, Ira Sommers, Deborah R. Baskin, and Jeffery Fagan
    The authors examine the process by which women offenders desist from crime.
    Chapter 23. The Victimization-Termination Link, Scott Jacques and Richard T. Wright
    Jacques and Wright analyze the process by which middle-class drug dealers desist from their illicit enterprise.

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