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Understanding Deviance

A Guide to the Sociology of Crime and Rule-Breaking

Seventh Edition

David Downes, Paul Rock, and Eugene McLaughlin

Publication Date - May 2016

ISBN: 9780198747345

448 pages
9.7 x 6.7 inches

In Stock

In this authoritative, critical, and insightful guide to crime and deviance, the discipline's leading experts challenge students to question assumptions


In Understanding Deviance, Seventh Edition, leading experts David Downes, Paul Rock, and Eugene McLaughlin examine the major sociological theories behind crime and deviance, covering their development, recent research, and varying perspectives on their explanations of criminality. The authors discuss key debates in depth, challenging students to question assumptions and explore new avenues of scholarship. An extensive bibliography provides references to a wide range of both classic and lesser-known texts.

New to this Edition

  • A completely new chapter on victimology
  • Reassesses the legacy and relevance of past sociological theorizing in the field of crime and deviance
  • Discusses the significance of the emergence of cultural, public, and global criminologies
  • Further clarifies the relationship between crime, crime control, and the "risk society"
  • Offers a fresh look at the applied policy relevance of academic theorizing
  • Considers the twenty-first-century challenges facing criminology, placing the much-heralded fall in crime rate across most democratic and developed societies in perspective

About the Author(s)

David Downes is Emeritus Professor of Social Administration and a member of the Mannheim Centre of Criminology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Paul Rock is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and a member of the Mannheim Centre of Criminology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Eugene McLaughlin is Professor of Criminology and a member of the Department of Sociology at the City University of London.

Previous Publication Date(s)

March 2011
January 2007

Table of Contents

    1. Theoretical Contexts: The Changing Nature and Scope of the Sociology of Crime and Deviance
    2. Sources of Knowledge about Crime and Deviance
    3. The Chicago School of Sociology
    4. Functionalism: The Durkheim Legacy
    5. Anomie and Strain Theory
    6. Culture and Subculture
    7. Symbolic Interactionism
    8. Phenomenology
    9. Control Theories
    10. Radical Criminology
    11. Feminist Criminology
    12. Victimology
    13. Public Criminology: Theory and Policy
    14. The Metamorphosis of the Sociology of Crime and Deviance