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NCJ Number: 99576 Find in a Library
Title: Assumption that Crime Is a Product of Environments Sociological Approaches (From Theoretical Methods in Criminology, P 223-243, 1985, Robert F Meier, ed. - See NCJ-99570)
Author(s): A K Cohen
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 21
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
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After distinguishing the sociological analysis of criminal behavior from a psychological analysis, this chapter examines sociological analysis in relation to various crime theories.
Abstract: In distinguishing between psychological and sociological analyses of crime, the chapter notes that whereas the psychological analysis focuses on the motivations and personal characteristics of those who commit criminal acts, sociological analyses focus on the interaction process and social systems that molded the offender and otherwise contributed to the crime event. Sociological analysis is then examined in relation to differential association theory, anomie theory, biological theories, labeling theory, and social control theory. The author concludes that all of the theories take environment into account in explaining the etiology of crime and develop sets of rules for distinguishing criminogenic environments. The chapter also examines three contributions to criminological theory (called 'converging' theories) that are divergent substantively but which converge on the same conception of the relationship among levels of explaining crime. The theories examined are those developed by Lofland, Cohen and Felson, and Colvin and Pauly. The chapter concludes that a sociologial analysis of crime should usually involve an examination of the total social system, although some properties of the system may prove to be more important than others. Eight references are listed.
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Labeling theory; Social control theory; Society-crime relationships; Sociological analyses; Sutherland's theory
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