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Crime and the American Dream / Edition 3

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Overview

The foundation of this book is institutional anomie theory, an offshoot of strain theory. It explores why America's over-emphasis on the pursuit of materialistic gain contributes to the country's high rates of violent crime.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Using current statistics and analysis of crime rates to develop their theory, Messner (sociology, SUNY, Albany) and Rosenfeld (sociology, U. of Missouri, St. Louis) advance the argument that exceptionally high crime rates in the US are due to distinctive sociological patterns, in particular, the formula for the American Dream<-->a strong emphasis on the goal of monetary success and a weak emphasis on the importance of the legitimate means for the pursuit of success. They conclude with a proposal for a mature society built on mutual support and collective obligations. This new edition addresses recent drops in crime rates and is updated throughout. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780534562779
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 12/28/2000
  • Series: Criminal Justice Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven F. Messner is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and has taught at Columbia University and Nankai University in the People's Republic of China. His research has focused primarily on the relationship between features of social organization and violent crime rates. His other books include PERSPECTIVES ON CRIME AND DEVIANCE, (with Allen E. Liska), THEORETICAL INTEGRATION IN THE STUDY OF DEVIANCE AND CRIME, (with Marvin D. Krohn and Allen E. Liska), and CRIME AND SOCIAL CONTROL IN A CHANGING CHINA (with Jianhong Liu and Lening Zhang). Dr. Messner has also authored numerous articles and book chapters on the topic of criminal violence and is a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology.

Richard Rosenfeld is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri ? St. Louis. His research interests include the social sources of criminal violence, crime statistics, and crime control policy. In addition to this text, Dr. Rosenfeld has recently published articles on the social determinants of support for the death penalty, the measurement of racial profiling in police-citizen encounters, and crime trends in the U.S. Dr. Rosenfeld is a member of the National Research Council's Committee on Law and Justice and a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology.

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Table of Contents

PREFACE. 1. A Society Organized for Crime. 2. By Any Means Necessary: Serious Crime in America. 3. Ships in the Night: Theoretical Perspectives in Contemporary Criminology. 4. Culture, Institutional Structure, and Social Control: A Sociological Explanation of Crime. 5. Strengthening Social Institutions and Rethinking the American Dream. REFERENCES. INDEX.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2002

    An Essential Text

    This is one of the best theoretical books that I had the pleasure of reading in graduate school. Messner and Rosenfeld offer a macro-level theory of crime that synthesizes extant perspectives in a fresh and unique manner. Now, as an instructor, I require my graduate students to read this book for a seminar on Law & Society.

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