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NCJ Number: 136139 Find in a Library
Title: State of Criminology: Theoretical Decay or Renaissance (From Advances in Criminological Theory, Volume 2, P 155-166, 1990, William S Laufer and Freda Adler, eds. -- See NCJ-136131)
Author(s): J Braithwaite
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Transaction Publishers
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Sale Source: Transaction Publishers
Rutgers-the State University
140 West Ethel Road
Units L-M
Piscataway, NJ 08854
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The paradox of the contemporary state of criminology is that criminological theory has been paralyzed by developments that should have enhanced it.
Abstract: Even though criminal behavior is disparate and complex, with different causal histories, general crime theories are still possible. The challenge for theoretical criminology is to take general, uncontroversial explanations of crime and give them the specificity of content that will ultimately build criminological theory into something that can provide new insights into crime. In particular, the study of how offenders perceive and problematize criminal law is important to identify how conflict over the content of law unfolds and to engender an appreciative stance toward the offender. Criminological theory has been paralyzed by developments that should have enhanced it such as a growing appreciation of ways criminals render criminal law problematic and the richness and diversity of variables involved in causal histories of particular crimes. The current state of criminology is thus one of abject failure in its own terms. The goal of criminology as a science should be to build theories of as general a scope as possible so that policymakers can work through the theories as alternative frameworks for evaluating particular policy interventions. 26 references
Main Term(s): Criminology theory evaluation
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory
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