skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Celebrates National Library Week April 12-18

National Library Week

Started in 1958, National Library Week is a nationwide observance celebrated by all types of libraries - including the NCJRS Virtual Library. NCJRS invites you to explore the breadth and scope of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection and services. With more than 220,000 collection documents and 60,000 online resources, including all known Office of Justice Programs works, it is one of the world’s largest criminal justice special collections.

We encourage your Feedback. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Virtual Library and Abstracts Database, how you access the collection, and any ways we can improve our services.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 078660     Find in a Library
Title: Criminological Theory and Ideology - Four Analytical Perspectives in the Study of Crime and the Criminal Justice System (From Essays on the Theory and Practice of Criminal Justice, P 143-160, 1977, by Robert M Rich - See NCJ-78656)
Author(s): F Hornum ; F Stavish
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 18
  Annotation: Functionalism, conflict theory, interactionist theory, and learning theory are briefly described as analytical perspectives developed in sociological and social-psychological theory, and the contribution of each to criminological study is discussed.
Abstract: Functionalism is a macrotheoretical perspective which views all societies as having certain social needs (functional prerequisites in Parsonian terminology) which must be met irrespective of time and place. Society is characterized by value consensus, which is represented in law as a means of mediating between conflicting interest groups by upholding values fundamental to the maintenance of the social order and the public interest. The assumptions of the functionalist school have been especially productive in the study of the etiology of criminal behavior and in organizational analyses of the criminal justice system. Conflict theory, as a macrotheoretical perspective, views society's condition as a reflection of the material circumstances existing in a particular historical period. Society is perceived as a plurality of interest groups with differing value systems, with the dominant value system being implemented in law to protect and serve the interests of the ruling class. The conflict theory has been especially useful in examining the historical development of criminal law and criminal justice policy, as well as in analyzing interest group influences on laws and patterns of social control. The interactionist and social learning theories are more microanalytic than the functional and conflict theories. Social learning theory views behavior as learned from the models and influences in a person's environment, and the interactionist theory focuses on the nature of the environmental impetus and individual response as the arena determining behavior. Each of these theories is helpful in narrowing the focus on human behavior to the direct influences that may govern behavior in a given environment. Thirty notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Crime control model ; Individual behavior ; Criminology ; Conflict theory ; Interactionist theory ; Functionalism ; Social Learning
Sale Source: University Press of America
Marketing Director
4720 Boston Way
Lanham, MD 20706
United States of America
Country: United States of America
Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.