Pro Academia Help

Criminology Assignment Short


The purpose of this short essay is for students to demonstrate critical thinking skills when it comes to analyzing Rational Choice Theory. Specifically, I want to gauge how well you understand: a) the underlying assumptions of rational choice theory; b) how to apply the underlying assumptions of rational choice theory to specific crime types; and c) how deterrence theory fits within rational choice theory.


There are three parts to this short essay. The first part calls for students to make an argument regarding the rationality of crime. The second part calls for students to use examples of specific crime types to support their argument concerning the rationality of crime. The last part asks students to explain the effects of deterrence as it relates to your argument concerning the rationality of crime.

To summarize, these are the elements you need to address in your essay:
1) Make an argument stating whether or not you feel criminal activity is rational.

2) Identify and explain which crime types support your argument regarding the relationship between rationality and crime.

3) Based on your argument regarding the relationship between rationality and crime, describe how effective deterrence would be (or would not be) for reducing crime and why?


Your short essay must be double-spaced with 12-point font and no longer than 3 pages.

Criminological Theories Choice Theory (Neoclassical)

Classical Theory

Cesare Beccaria

1760s to Present

Criminals weigh the costs and benefits and make a conscious, rational choice to commit crime.

General Deterrence; Specific Deterrence; Routine Activities

Rational choice; offense- and offender-specific; just desserts; situational crime prevention; deterrence incapacitation

Trait Theory

Positivist Theory

Biosocial Theories (Sociobiology)

Cesare Lombroso; Edward O. Wilson

1870s to Present

The basic determinants of criminal behavior are biologically based and inher- ited. These include chemical, neurological and genetic conditions.

Biochemical Theory; Neurolog- ical Theory; Genetic Theory; Evolutionary Theory; Arousal Theory; Attachment theory

Diet and crime; metabolism; hormonal influences; PMS; neurophysiology; ADHD; genetics

Psychological Theories

Sigmund Freud; Albert Bandura; Jean Piaget; Lawrence Kohlberg

1920s to Present

Abnormal personality and psychological traits are the key determinant of anti-social behavior. There is a link between mental illness, personality disorders, and crime.

Psychodynamic Theory; Behavioral Theory; Social Learning Theory; Cognitive Theory; Moral Development Theory

Id, ego, superego; disorders; behavior modeling; infor- mation processing; antiso- cial personality; intelligence; moral development; nature versus nurture


Main Theorists


Major Premise


Key Ideas

© R

eu te

rs /L

ui s

Ri ve

ra /L

an do


© A

P Im

ag es

/W ac

o Tr

ib un

e He

ra ld

, Je

rry L

ar so




Sociological Theory

Edwin Sutherland; Travis Hirschi; Edwin Lemert; Howard Becker

1930s to Present

Criminal behavior is a function of the interaction between individuals and society; criminality occurs as a result of group interaction and the socialization process.

Social Learning Theory; Differential Association Theory; Neutralization Theory; Social Control Theory; Labeling Theory; Social Reaction Theory

Socialization; peer relations; family relations; differential association; techniques of neutralization; self-concept; social bond; stigma; retro- spective reading; primary and secondary deviance

Social Structure Theory

Social Process Theory

Clifford R. Shaw & Henry D. McKay; Walter Miller; Albert Cohen; Richard Cloward & Lloyd Ohlin

1920s to Present

Social and economic forces are the key determinants of criminal behavior patterns. Crime is the result of an individual’s location within the structure of society.

Social Disorganization Theory; Strain Theory; Anomie Theory; Institutional Anomie; General Strain Theory (GST); Cultural Deviance Theory; Theory of Delinquent Subcultures; Theory of Differential Opportunity

Poverty; transitional neighbor- hoods; concentric zones; subcul- ture; cultural transmission; social ecology; collective efficacy; relative deprivation; anomie; conduct norms; focal concerns; differential opportunity

Developmental Theory

Life Course Latent Trait

Multifactor Theory Sheldon & Eleanor Glueck; John Laub & Robert Sampson

1930s to Present

As people go through the life course, social and personal traits undergo change and influence behavior.

Social Development Model; Interactional Theory; General Theory of Crime and Delin- quency; Age-Graded Theory

Problem behavior syndrome; pathways to crime; turning points; social capital

James Q. Wilson & Richard Herrnstein; Travis Hirschi & Michael Gottfredson

1980s to Present

A master trait that controls human development inter- acts with criminal opportunity.

General Theory of Crime (GTC); Integrated Cognitive Antisocial Potential (ICAP) Theory; Differential Coercion Theory; Control Balance Theory

Impulsive personality; low self-control; latent traits

Critical Theory

Willem Bonger; Ralf Dahrendorf; George Vold; Karl Marx

1960s to Present

Inequality between social classes (groups) results in condi- tions that empower the wealthy and disenfranchise the less fortunate; these are the root causes of crime. It is the ongo- ing struggle for power, control, and material well-being that produces crime.

Critical Criminology; Instru- mental Theory; Structural Theory; Left-Realism; Critical Feminism Power-Control Theory; Peacemaking Criminology

Power; social conflict; marginal- ization; capitalism; social class; globalization; left realism; exploitation; patriarchy; restor- ative justice; social justice; rein- tegrative shaming; restoration

Marxist/Conflict Theory

© A

P Im

ag es

/A tla

nt a

Jo ur

na l-C

on st

itu tio

n, C

ur tis

C om

pt on




Criminology The Core

LARRY J. SIEGEL University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Australia • Brazil • Japan • Korea • Mexico • Singapore • Spain • United Kingdom • United States



© 2011, 2008 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this work covered by the copyright herein may be reproduced, transmitted, stored, or used in any form or by any means graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, scanning, digitizing, taping, Web distribution, information networks, or information storage and retrieval systems, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2009940270

ISBN-13: 978-0-495-80983-8

ISBN-10: 0-495-80983-7

Wadsworth 20 Davis Drive Belmont, CA 94002 USA

Cengage Learning is a leading provider of customized learning solutions with offi ce locations around the globe, including Singapore, the United K ingdom, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, and Japan. Locate your local offi ce at

Cengage Learning products are represented in Canada by Nelson Education, Ltd.

To learn more about Wadsworth, visit

Purchase any of our products at your local college store or at our preferred online store

Criminology: The Core, Fourth Edition Larry J. Siegel

Senior Publisher: Linda Schreiber-Ganster

Senior Acquisitions Editor: Carolyn Henderson Meier

Senior Developmental Editor: Shelley Murphy

Assistant Editor: Megan Power

Editorial Assistant: John Chell

Media Editor: Ting Jian Yap

Senior Marketing Manager: Michelle Williams

Marketing Assistant: Jillian Myers

Senior Marketing Communications Manager: Tami Strang

Content Project Manager: Christy Frame

Creative Director: Rob Hugel

Senior Art Director: Maria Epes

Print Buyer: Paula Vang

Rights Acquisitions Account Manager, Text: Bob Kauser

Rights Acquisitions Account Manager, Images: Robyn Young and Bill Jentzen

Production Service: Aaron Downey, Matrix Productions Inc.

Photo Editor/Researcher: Linda L Rill

Copy Editor: Connie Day

Cover Designer: Riezebos Holzbaur/Tim Heraldo

Cover Illustration: Noah Woods

Compositor: Pre-Press PMG

For product information and technology assistance, contact us at Cengage Learning Customer & Sales Support, 1-800-354-9706.

For permission to use material from this text or product, submit all requests online at

Further permissions questions can be e-mailed to

Printed in the United States of America 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 14 13 12 11 10




This book is dedicated to my grandchildren:

The brilliant and handsome Jack Macy

The talkative and beautiful Brooke Macy

The gorgeous princess and ballet dancer,

Kayla Jean Macy




LARRY J. SIEGEL was born in the Bronx in 1947. While living on Jerome Avenue and attending City College of New York in the 1960s, he was swept

up in the social and political currents of the time. He became intrigued with

the influence contemporary culture had on individual behavior: Did people

shape society or did society shape people? He applied his interest in social

forces and human behavior to the study of crime and justice. After graduating

CCNY, he attended the newly opened program in criminal justice at the State

University of New York at Albany, earning both his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees

there. After completing his graduate work, Dr. Siegel began his teaching career

at Northeastern University, where he was a faculty member for nine years.

After leaving Northeastern, he held teaching positions at the University of

Nebraska–Omaha and Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. He is currently

a professor at the University of Massachusetts–Lowell. Dr. Siegel has written

extensively in the area of crime and justice, including books on juvenile law,

delinquency, criminology, criminal justice, and criminal procedure. He is a

court certified expert on police conduct and has testified in numerous legal

cases. The father of four and grandfather of three, Larry Siegel and his wife,

Terry, now reside in Bedford, New Hampshire, with their two dogs, Watson

and Cody.

About the Author

The author with his wife, Therese, in Italy




Brief Contents

Chapter 1 Crime and Criminology 3

Chapter 2 The Nature and Extent of Crime 27

Chapter 3 Victims and Victimization 59

Part 1 Concepts of Crime, Law, and Criminology

Part 2 Theories of Crime Causation Chapter 4 Choice Theory: Because They Want To 83

Chapter 5 Trait Theory 107

Chapter 6 Social Structure Theory 135

Chapter 7 Social Process Theories 167

Chapter 8 Social Conflict and Critical Criminology 197

Chapter 9 Developmental Theories: Life-Course and Latent Trait 225

Part 3 Crime Typologies Chapter 10 Violent Crime: Personal and Political 253

Chapter 11 Property Crimes 293

Chapter 12 Enterprise Crime: White-Collar Crime, Cyber Crime, and Organized Crime 315

Chapter 13 Public Order Crimes 349

Part 4 The Criminal Justice System Chapter 14 The Criminal Justice System 381



This page intentionally left blank





Chapter 1

Crime and Criminology 3 What Criminologists Do: The Criminological Enterprise 4

Criminal Statistics/Crime Measurement 4

Sociology of Law / Law and Society / Socio-Legal Studies 5

Developing Theories of Crime Causation 5

Policy and Practice in Criminology Should Sex Offenders Be Registered? 6

Understanding and Describing Criminal Behavior 7

Penology: Punishment, Sanctions, and Corrections 7

Victimology 8

A Brief History of Criminology 9

Classical Criminology 9

Positivist Criminology 10

Sociological Criminology 11

Confl ict Criminology 12

Developmental Criminology 12

Contemporary Criminology 13

Deviant or Criminal? How Criminologists Defi ne Crime 14

Profiles in Crime Kiddie Porn 15 Becoming Deviant 15

The Concept of Crime 16

Consensus View of Crime 17

Confl ict View of Crime 17

Interactionist View of Crime 17

A Defi nition of Crime 17

Crime and the Criminal Law 18

Common Law 18

Contemporary Criminal Law 19

The Evolution of Criminal Law 20

Ethical Issues in Criminology 21

Thinking Like a Criminologist 22

Summary 23

Key Terms 24

Critical Thinking Questions 24

Chapter 2

The Nature and Extent of Crime 27 Primary Sources of Crime Data 28

Offi cial Records: The Uniform Crime Report 28

NIBRS: The Future of the Uniform Crime Report 31

Survey Research 31

Profiles in Crime A Pain in the Glass 32 The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) 32

Self-Report Surveys 34

Evaluating Crime Data 36

Crime Trends 37

Trends in Offi cially Recorded Crime 37

Trends in Victimization 38

Race, Culture, Gender, and Criminology International Crime Trends 40

What the Future Holds 41

Crime Patterns 43

The Ecology of Crime 43

Part 1 Concepts of Crime, Law, and Criminology

Preface xiv

© R

eu te

rs /P

au l S

ak um

a/ Po

ol /L

an do




viii Contents

Current Issues in Crime Explaining Trends in Crime Rates 44

Use of Firearms 46

Social Class, Socioeconomic Conditions, and Crime 48

Age and Crime 48

Gender and Crime 49

Race and Crime 51

Chronic Offenders/Criminal Careers 53

What Causes Chronicity? 54

Implications of the Chronic Offender Concept 54

Thinking Like a Criminologist 55

Summary 55

Key Terms 56

Critical Thinking Questions 57

Chapter 3

Victims and Victimization 59 The Victim’s Role 60

Victimization’s Toll on Society 60

Economic Loss 60

Blaming the Victim 61

Long-Term Stress 61

Fear 62

Antisocial Behavior 63

The Nature of Victimization 63

The Social Ecology of Victimization 63

The Victim’s Household 64

Victim Characteristics 64

Victims and Their Criminals 67

Theories of Victimization 68

Victim Precipitation Theory 68

Lifestyle Theories 69

Deviant Place Theory 70

Current Issues in Crime Escalation or Desistance? The Effect of Victimization on Criminal Careers 71

Routine Activities Theory 71

Caring for the Victim 74

Victim Service Programs 75

Victims’ Rights 77

Profiles in Crime Jesse Timmendequas and Megan’s Law 78

Thinking Like a Criminologist 79

Call to Action

Calculate Price

Price (USD)