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Researching Theories of Crime and Deviance

Charis E. Kubrin, Thomas D. Stucky, and Marvin D. Krohn

Publication Date - 02 April 2008

ISBN: 9780195340860

368 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

This dynamic and compelling text offers a critical evaluation of the research methods that generate data, bridging the gap between theory and research in the study of crime and deviant behavior.


Many textbooks provide summaries and critiques of criminological theories, which are often supported by empirical evidence. However, this evidence is only as good as the research methods that were used to generate it. Where do these "facts" come from, and how reliable are they?

Researching Theories of Crime and Deviance offers a critical evaluation of the research methods that generate data, bridging the gap between theory and research in the study of crime and deviant behavior. This unique resource challenges students to carefully appraise--rather than blindly accept--the research techniques that are used to produce theories and scholarship.

In clear and engaging language, noted criminologists Charis E. Kubrin, Thomas D. Stucky, and Marvin D. Krohn assess the various research methods that have been used to test nine theoretical perspectives of crime. As they examine the processes and challenges of conducting theoretically directed research, the authors focus on sampling, measurement, and analytical issues. Coverage includes:

* Rational Choice/Deterrence Theory
* Trait Theories
* Social Disorganization Theory
* Anomie/Strain Theory
* Social Learning Theory
* Social Control Theory
* Labeling Theory
* Conflict Theory
* Integrated Theory

A dynamic and compelling text, Researching Theories of Crime and Deviance demystifies the research process, encouraging students to become better informed readers and researchers. It serves as an excellent resource for criminological theory courses, graduate-level research methods courses, and seminars that take a close look at the development of criminological theory and/or methods.

About the Author(s)

Charis E. Kubrin is Associate Professor of Sociology at George Washington University. She is coeditor of Crime: Readings (2007) and coauthor of Privileged Places: Race, Residence, and the Structure of Opportunity (2006).

Thomas D. Stucky is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is author of Urban Politics, Crime Rates, and Police Strength (2005).

Marvin D. Krohn is Professor and Chair of the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of Florida. He is coauthor of Gangs and Delinquency in Developmental Perspective (2003), which was a recipient of the American Society of Criminology's Michael J. Hindelang Award.


"I strongly recommend this book to both students and professional criminologists. The book fills a major gap in the field--the gap between crime theory and crime methods texts. The book focuses on how theories should be tested and it spends much time examining and critiquing the tests that have been done. In particular, the authors present very clear descriptions of each theory, describe the problems/issues that led to revisions in the theory, and present wonderful overviews and critiques of the best and latest research on each theory. All of the major theories are covered, and the book is written in a student friendly manner: each chapter is organized in the same (very logical) way, the authors regularly pose questions for students to consider, they write in a conversational style, and they clearly highlight key points. This book will become a standard text in the field."--Robert Agnew, Emory University

"The overall quality of this book is outstanding. It is completely unique. No other theory text offers its combination of clear explanations of major criminological theories, thorough but concise discussions of the testing of each theory, and insightful critiques of the methods used to test these theories. The amount of research reviewed in each chapter is absolutely astounding. The text is clearly written, well organized, and engaging. Reading this book should be mandatory for students, researchers, and theorists."--Ojmarrh Mitchell, University of Cincinnati

"This book will be a winner for those of us who see criminology theory as an ever-changing tool for research and policymaking. I'm not aware of any other textbook that unifies the study of theory and theory testing so well."--Bryan Vila, Washington State University

Table of Contents

    I. Introduction
    II. Rational Choice/Deterrence Theory
    III. Trait Theories
    IV. Social Disorganization Theory
    V. Anomie/Strain Theory
    VI. Social Learning Theory
    VII. Social Control Theory
    VIII. Labeling Theory
    IX. Conflict Theory
    X. Integrated Theory
    XI. Conclusion

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