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Criminological Theory

Criminological Theory
The Essentials

Fourth Edition

January 2022 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Criminological Theory: The Essentials, Fourth Edition offers students a brief yet comprehensive overview of classic and contemporary criminologists and their theories. Putting criminological theory in context, acclaimed authors Stephen G. Tibbetts and Alex R. Piquero examine policy implications brought about by theoretical perspectives to demonstrate to students the practical application of theories to contemporary social problems. The new edition has been thoroughly updated with the latest theoretical extensions and empirical research and  links have been made to specific theories and recent events, including the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

Chapter 1. Introduction to the Book: An Overview of Issues in Criminological Theory
Chapter 2. Preclassical and Classical Theories of Crime
Chapter 3. Modern Applications of the Classical Perspective: Deterrence, Rational Choice, and Routine Activities or Lifestyle Theories of Crime
Chapter 4. Early Positive School Perspectives of Criminality
Chapter 5. Modern Biosocial Perspectives of Criminal Behavior
Chapter 6. Early Social Structure and Strain Theories of Crime
Chapter 7. The Chicago School and Cultural and Subcultural Theories of Crime
Chapter 8. Social Process and Learning Theories of Crime
Chapter 9. Social Reaction and Critical Models of Crime
Chapter 10. Feminist Models of Crime
Chapter 11. Life-Course Perspectives of Criminality
Chapter 12. Integrated Theoretical Models and New Perspectives of Crime


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Online resources included with this text:
The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint®slides, and helpful web resources provided by the authors.
Key features


  • All chapters have been substantially updated with the latest theoretical extensions and empirical research, such as like behavioral economics, risk terrain modeling, the Integrated Cognitive Antisocial Potential (ICAP) theory, and more. Additionally, the relevance of the theory (and subsequent research) to criminal justice policy and links to cross-national and cross-cultural issues has been expanded throughout.

  • Chapter 11 on developmental and life-course criminology has been expanded to include a history on criminal careers as well as more recent theoretical frameworks.

  •  Where relevant, links have been made to specific theories and recent events, including the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

  •  Coverage of critical topics, such as the influence of employment on criminal behavior, the success of early childhood and school-based delinquency prevention programs, and federal sentencing guidelines in regard to crack versus powder cocaine have been expanded throughout.

  •  Statistics, graphs, and tables have all been updated to demonstrate the most recent trends in criminology.


  • The book’s brief coverage of the essential topics of criminological theory provides instructors a flexible alternative to larger texts
  • Case studies that examine offender motives help students apply the theories discussed to interesting and memorable examples.
  • Policy is integrated into each chapter to allow students to see the practical policy implications of each theory. 
  • Glossary of key terms contains a small working vocabulary and definitions for important or frequently encountered concepts

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ISBN: 9781071838242