Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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p. v

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Preface

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pp. vii-ix

This book has its origins in an earlier book I wrote, Why Do Criminals Offend? A General Theory of Crime and Delinquency (Agnew, 2005). I have long felt that each of the major theories in criminology has something useful to say about the causes of crime, and this book was my effort to integrate them into a general theory. The theory I developed...

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1. A Divided Criminology

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pp. 1-11

This book is about the underlying assumptions that criminologists make about the nature of crime, people, society, and reality. I describe the assumptions that different groups of criminologists make in each of these areas, noting that they are often opposed. For example, some criminologists assume that people are naturally...

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2. The Scope of the Discipline

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pp. 12-43

Simon Pemberton (2007:27–28), a critical criminologist, discusses his visit to the American Society of Criminology (ASC) meetings in the following quote, with the ASC being the leading organization for academic and research criminologists in the...

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3. Determinism versus Agency

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pp. 44-71

Once criminologists have described the nature of crime, they are in a better position to examine its causes and make recommendations for its control. In particular, what causes individuals and groups to intentionally harm others without legitimate justification or excuse, to risk public condemnation, and/or to risk state...

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4. The Nature of Human Nature

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pp. 72-117

Given that crime is at least partly caused by forces beyond the individual’s control, it is critical to ask about the nature of these forces. In particular, what individual and environmental forces increase the likelihood of crime? There are literally thousands of characteristics that might impact crime. These characteristics include aspects of the individual’s...

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5. The Nature of Society

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pp. 118-166

Criminologists not only make assumptions about the nature of people but about the nature of society as well. Some assume that society is characterized by consensus. People hold similar values, have compatible interests or goals, and generally get along. Others assume that society is characterized by conflict. People in different groups hold different...

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6. The Nature of Reality

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pp. 167-190

Previous chapters have dealt with the assumptions that criminologists make about the nature of crime, people, and society. As indicated, these assumptions have a fundamental impact on the causes of crime that are considered and the crime control strategies that are recommended. Once these causes and strategies are identified, criminologists...

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7. A Unified Criminology

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pp. 191-202

I began this book by stating that criminology is a divided discipline, comprised of theories and perspectives that are at odds with one another. These theories and perspectives focus on different types of crime, identify different causes, employ different methods, and/or make different recommendations for controlling crime. Criminologists have responded...

Notes

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pp. 203-216

Bibliography

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pp. 217-240

Name Index

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pp. 241-248

Subject Index

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pp. 249-252

About the Author

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p. 253