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Introduction to Criminology

Introduction to Criminology
Why Do They Do It?

Third Edition
Additional resources:

January 2020 | 560 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Introduction to Criminology: Why Do They Do It? offers a contemporary and integrated discussion of key criminological theories to help students understand crime in the 21st century. Focusing on why offenders commit crimes, authors Pamela J. Schram and Stephen G. Tibbetts apply established theories to real-life examples to explain criminal behavior. Coverage of violent and property crimes is included throughout theory chapters so that students can clearly understand the application of theory to criminal behavior. The Third Edition includes new and expanded coverage of timely topics, such as victimization, measuring crime, multicide, gun control, and hate crimes.

INSTRUCTORS: Introduction to Criminology: Why Do They Do It? is accompanied by a complete teaching and learning package! Contact your rep to request a demo.
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Chapter 1. Introduction to Criminology

Key Concepts to Understanding Criminology

The Criminal Justice System

Criminology Theory


Chapter 2. Measuring Crime

Crime Data From Law Enforcement Agencies

Crime Data from Victims of Crime: The National Crime Victimization Survey

Crime Data from Self-Report Surveys

Additional Approaches to Collecting Crime Data

Chapter 3. Classical School of Criminology Thought

Pre-Classical Perspectives of Crime and Punishment

The Age of Enlightenment

The Classical School of Criminology

Impact of Beccaria’s Work on Other Theorists

The Neoclassical School of Criminology

Loss of Dominance of Classical/Neoclassical Theory

Policy Implications

Chapter 4. Contemporary Classical and Deterrence Research

Rebirth of Deterrence Theory and Contemporary Research

Rational Choice Theory

Routine Activities Theory

Policy Implications

Chapter 5. Early Positivism

Early Biological Theories of Behavior

Lombroso’s Theory of Atavism and Born Criminals

After Lombroso: The IQ-Testing Era

Body Type Theory: Sheldon’s Model of Somatotyping

Policy Implications

Chapter 6. Modern Biosocial Perspectives of Criminal Behavior

Nature Versus Nurture: Studies Examining the Influence of Genetics and Environment

Cytogenetic Studies: The XYY Factor

Hormones and Neurotransmitters: Chemicals That Determine Criminal Behavior

Brain Injuries

Central and Autonomic Nervous System Activity

Biosocial Approaches Toward Explaining Criminal Behavior

Case Study Revisited: The Spahalski Brothers

Policy Implications

Chapter 7. Psychological/Trait Theories of Crime

Early Psychological Theorizing Regarding Criminal Behavior

Modern Versions of Psychological Perspectives of Criminality

Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System

Policy Implications of Psychological/Trait Theories

Chapter 8: Social Structure Theories of Crime I

Early Theories of Social Structure: Early to Late 1800s

Durkheim and the Concept of Anomie

Merton’s Strain Theory

Variations of Merton’s Strain Theory

General Strain Theory

Summary of Strain Theories

Policy Implications of Strain Theory

Chapter 9: Social Structure Theories of Crime II

The Ecological School and the Chicago School of Criminology

Shaw and McKay’s Theory of Social Disorganization

Cultural and Subcultural Theories of Crime

Criticisms of Cultural Theories of Crime

Policy Implications

Chapter 10: Social Process and Control Theories of Crime

Learning Theories

Differential Reinforcement Theory

Control Theories

A General Theory of Crime: Low Self-Control

Policy Implications

Chapter 11: Labeling Theory and Conflict/Marxist/Radical Theories of Crime

Labeling Theory

Foundation of Labeling Theory

Evaluating Labeling Theory

Conflict Perspectives

Evaluating Conflict Theories

Additional Critical Theories

Policies Related to Labeling and Conflict Theories of Crime

Chapter 12: Feminist Theories of Crime

A Brief History of Feminism in the United States

Feminist Perspectives on Gender

Traditional Theories of Female Crime

Liberation Thesis

Power-Control Theory

Feminist Perspectives on Understanding Crime and Criminal Behavior

Policies Based on Feminist Theories of Crime

Chapter 13. Developmental/Life-Course Perspectives criminality
Basic Concepts and Early Developmental Theory

Antidevelopmental Theory: Low Self-Control Theory

Modern Developmental/Life-Course Perspectives

Policy Implications


What is White-Collar Crime?

Incidence and Impact of White-Collar Crime on Society

Types of White-Collar Crime

Theoretical Explanations of White-Collar Crime

Organized Crime


Chapter 15. Hate Crimes, Terrorism, and Homeland Security

Hate Crime



Homeland Security

Policy Implications

Chapter 16. Drugs and Crime

Commonly Abused Drugs

Trends of Drug Use

The Drug-Crime Link

Modern Policies Related to Reducing Drug Use

Recommendations for Future Policies



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  • eQuizzes that allow students to practice and assess how much they’ve learned and where they need to focus their attention; and
  • Learning Check answers that provide students with the correct answers to questions in the textbook. 
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  • an intuitive, simple format that makes it easy to integrate the material into your course with minimal effort;
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    • diagnostic chapter Coursepack chapter quizzes that identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives
    • test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation
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    • instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided;
  • assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the Interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE Coursepacks) that is tied to learning objectives, and curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life, featuring: 
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  • Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the Coursepack for every video resource, listing the chapter to which the video content is tied, matching learning objective(s), a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions; 
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  • lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions;
  • integrated links to the Interactive eBook that make it easy for students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources, including SAGE Premium Video; and
  • all tables and figures from the textbook. 

"Schram and Tibbetts provide a thorough introduction to the study of crime and deviance. A must-read for anyone seriously interested in learning about the causes and correlates of criminal behavior."

Eric J. Connolly
Sam Houston State University

"The text has supplemental material as well as case studies to back up the content. It is easy to read and students will like the colorful print and text type."

Christen C. Shea
Polk State College
Key features
  • An expanded discussion of victimization focuses on victims of crime and presents key concepts in victimology.
  • An entire chapter dedicated to measuring crime provides students a foundation to understanding and appreciating how crime data enhance our understanding of criminal activity.
  • New case studies help explain and apply the theories of the given chapter to actual offenses.
  • A new section on multicide examines the motivations behind mass murders and school shootings, as well as issues of race and religious ideology linked to these types of crimes.
  • Up-to-date coverage of contemporary issues includes gun control, mental health, disparity in the criminal justice system, cybercrime and Internet fraud, hate crimes, and terrorism.
  • Additional critical thinking questions help students understand the connection between real-world examples and theory.
  • Revised learning objectives follow Bloom’s taxonomy and provide students with a clearer pedagogical framework.



  • SAGE Premium Video in the accompanying interactive eBook bring concepts to life.
    • Author Videos: In these videos, co-author Stephen G. Tibbetts introduces and summarizes key concepts in the chapter. 
    • Student on the Street Videos: These videos feature interviews with students, illustrating common misconceptions of criminal justice. 
    • Theory in Action Videos: These clips include candid interviews with former offenders and cement theoretical concepts for the students.
    • What Were They Thinking? Videos: In these videos, co-author Steven G. Tibbetts provides an example of a bizarre crime and links it back to theoretical concepts discussed in the chapter. 
  • Chapter-opening vignettes present real-life cases that tie directly to the concepts discussed in the chapter; cases are revisited throughout the chapter as students to contextualize the theories and concepts.
  • Why Do They Do It cases give students an opportunity to critically analyze some of the most high profile cases they hear about in the news.
  • An entire chapter devoted to Feminist criminological theories gives attention to a topic not adequately covered in most other introductory textbooks. 
  • Applying Theory to Crime boxes help students apply the chapter concepts to violent and property crimes within the context of theory chapter.
  • Learning Checks throughout chapters help students test their knowledge and reading retention.
  • Policy Implications sections at the ends of chapters demonstrate the applications of the theories.

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