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NCJ Number: 118598 Find in a Library
Title: Rejecting Individualism: The Social Roots of Crime (From Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences, P 47-81, 1989, J Robert Lilly, et al, - See NCJ-118596)
Author(s): J R Lilly; F T Cullen; R A Ball
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 35
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Chicago School and Merton's strain theory represent early, yet bold and influential, efforts to show how the fabric of American society -- its slums and the contradictions between its cultural prescriptions and social structure -- generates high rates of crime.
Abstract: They rejected as simplistic, if not as incorrect, previous theories that located crime causes within individuals. Instead, they argued that the social organization of society constrains what people learn to become and what they might be pressured into doing. Changes in the social context made each of these perspectives reasonable to a significant number of criminologists. For the Chicago School, the rapid growth and increasing diversity of urban America gave legitimacy to a theory that linked crime to these social transformations; for strain theory, the emergence of equal opportunity as a sociopolitical agenda provided an ideal context in which "opportunity theory" could win followers. The history of these perspectives shows how criminological theory can direct, or at least justify, criminal justice policy.
Main Term(s): Society-crime relationships
Index Term(s): Opportunity theory; Strain theory
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