A General Theory of Crime

Paperback (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$12.01
(Save 59%)
Est. Return Date: 07/29/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$17.03
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.90
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 83%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $4.90   
  • New (9) from $18.93   
  • Used (11) from $4.90   

Overview

By articulating a general theory of crime and related behavior, the authors present a new and comprehensive statement of what the criminological enterprise should be about. They argue that prevalent academic criminology—whether sociological, psychological, biological, or economic—has been unable to provide believable explanations of criminal behavior.

The long-discarded classical tradition in criminology was based on choice and free will, and saw crime as the natural consequence of unrestrained human tendencies to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. It concerned itself with the nature of crime and paid little attention to the criminal. The scientific, or disciplinary, tradition is based on causation and determinism, and has dominated twentieth-century criminology. It concerns itself with the nature of the criminal and pays little attention to the crime itself. Though the two traditions are considered incompatible, this book brings classical and modern criminology together by requiring that their conceptions be consistent with each other and with the results of research.

The authors explore the essential nature of crime, finding that scientific and popular conceptions of crime are misleading, and they assess the truth of disciplinary claims about crime, concluding that such claims are contrary to the nature of crime and, interestingly enough, to the data produced by the disciplines themselves. They then put forward their own theory of crime, which asserts that the essential element of criminality is the absence of self-control. Persons with high self-control consider the long-term consequences of their behavior; those with low self-control do not. Such control is learned, usually early in life, and once learned, is highly resistant to change.

In the remainder of the book, the authors apply their theory to the persistent problems of criminology. Why are men, adolescents, and minorities more likely than their counterparts to commit criminal acts? What is the role of the school in the causation of delinquincy? To what extent could crime be reduced by providing meaningful work? Why do some societies have much lower crime rates than others? Does white-collar crime require its own theory? Is there such a thing as organized crime? In all cases, the theory forces fundamental reconsideration of the conventional wisdom of academians and crimina justic practitioners. The authors conclude by exploring the implications of the theory for the future study and control of crime.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[The authors] present a tour de force critique of past research and offer nothing less than a theory that 'explains all crime, at all times.' . . . The intellectual weight of Gottfredson and Hirschi's efforts is . . . a 'must read' . . . provocative, brilliantly argued, and always challenging."—Robert J. Sampson, University of Chicago

"Most researchers who formulate theories of crime are timid, seeking to explain a small piece of the puzzle (e.g., gangs, female delinquency) at a specific point in time. Not so with Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi. In A General Theory of Crime they present a tour de force critique of the past research and offer nothing less than a theory that "explains all crime, at all times." Normally such a claim would be dimissed by criminologists as wishful thinking, perhaps worse. But the intellectual weight of Gottfredson and Hirschi's efforts is forcing criminologists to take notice and rethink some cherished assumptions. Indeed, this book is a "must read" that is provocative, brilliantly argued, and always challenging."—University of Chicago

"This book is well worthy of study and provides a comprehensive and challenging reading of theory and data."—British Journal of Criminology

"This book presents powerful arguments, turns many neat phrases, shows that much criminology is confused about its purpose or blind to its inconsistencies, demonstrates the profound implications of its argument for criminology, generally, and for the ways it is studied, specifically, and will almost convince a reader that black is white. . . .This is an excellent book. Nobody interested in crime and deviance can afford to ignore it."—American Journal of Sociology

"A General Theory of Crime effectively battles misconceptions about crime, criminals, and appropriate law-enforcement techniques that have all too long dominated thinking in the United States."—Criminal Law Bulletin

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804717748
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1990
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 316
  • Sales rank: 414,725
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)