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Crime and Everyday Life

Crime and Everyday Life
A Brief Introduction

Sixth Edition

October 2018 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Crime and Everyday Life offers a bold approach to crime theory and crime reduction. Using a clear, engaging, and streamlined writing style, the Sixth Edition illuminates the causes of criminal behavior, showing how crime can affect everyone in both small and large ways. Renowned authors Marcus Felson and Mary Eckert then offer realistic ways to reduce or eliminate crime and criminal behavior in specific settings by removing the opportunity to complete the act. Most importantly, this book teaches students how to think about crime, and then do something about it.

Preface to the Sixth Edition
About the Authors
1. Eight Fallacies About Crime
The Dramatic Fallacy  
The Cops-and-Courts Fallacy  
The Not-Me Fallacy  
The Innocent-Youth Fallacy  
The Ingenuity Fallacy  
The Formally Organized Crime Fallacy  
The Big Gang Fallacy  
The Agenda Fallacy  
Main Points  
Projects and Challenges  
2. The Chemistry for Crime
Risky Settings  
Stages of a Criminal Act  
First Three Elements of a Criminal Act  
Eck’s Crime Triangle  
Predatory Crimes  
Calming the Waters and Looking After Places  
Hot Products  
The General Chemistry of Crime  
Main Points  
Projects and Challenges  
3. Offenders Make Decisions
The Decision to Commit a Crime  
How Violence Erupts  
Main Points  
Projects and Challenges  
4. Bringing Crime to You
Stages in the History of Everyday Life  
Life and Crime in the Convergent City  
Crime and the Divergent Metropolis  
Crime in the Cyber Age  
Main Points  
Projects and Challenges  
5. Teenage Crime
Muscles, Babies, and the Historical Role for Youths  
Modern Role for Youths  
Hour-for-Hour Risks  
Time With Peers  
Parental Efforts to Delay Peer Dominance  
Main Points  
Projects and Challenges  
6. Big Gang Theory
Defining Gang Crimes  
Big Gang Theory  
Confusion About Gangs  
The Reason for a Gang  
Main Points  
Projects and Challenges  
7. How Crime Multiplies
Crime Multipliers  
Moving Stolen Goods  
Main Points  
Projects and Challenges  
8. Situational Crime Prevention
Four Natural Experiments  
Crime Analysis Today  
Diverse Applications of Situational Crime Prevention  
Main Points  
Projects and Challenges  
9. Local Design Against Crime
Securing Communities  
The Offender–Target Convergence Process  
Seven Studies in Reducing Local Crime  
Main Points  
Projects and Challenges  
10. The Age of Exposure
Organizational Exposure  
Crimes of Specialized Access  
Electronic Exposures  
Technological Leaps and Cultural Lags  

“A brief easy-to-read book on crime and crime prevention based on the routine activity approach and opportunity theory.”

Ellen G. Cohn, Ph.D.
Florida International University

“A concise, intuitive, and well-written book that could be used as a text in crime analysis courses or as a supplementary reading in course such as criminology or nature of crime.”

Daniel Osborne
Empire State College

“This is a well-written textbook, providing information on how to effectively reduce crime. I love the way the text is structured and the examples used to support material covered in each chapter. The text is well-written, easy for students to follow, and overall, just an interesting text.”

James L. Wright
Dalton State College

Crime and Everyday Life is a text with a down-to-earth approach to crime causation and crime prevention. The book is relatable to students interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement, social work, counseling, teaching, urban planning, and many other professions not typically thought of as being related to crime.”

Luis F. Nuño
California State University at Los Angeles

“It’s very accessible to a wide array of students.”

Michael S. Barton
Louisiana State University

“This text is fun to read—it's seamless, light, and readable while remaining the most informative text out there for around two decades. Material in this text sticks with students. I've said it for years, this is the one book criminal justice students must read.”

Shawna Cleary
University of Central Oklahoma
Key features


  • The most current crime and victimization statistics are included throughout the text, in addition to new examples of practical application of theory.
  • POP (Problem-Oriented Policing) Center guidelines and citations are incorporated, including Closing Streets and Alleys to Reduce Crime, Speeding in Residential Areas, Robbery of Convenience Stores, and use of the Situational Crime Prevention Evaluation Database.
  • “Projects and Challenges” at the end of each chapter provide readers with the opportunity to reflect and effectively apply the concepts learned.


  • A new chapter (Chapter 10) on the impact of technology on crime defines an “age of exposure,” revealing how large organizations and the internet widen the exposure to crime victimization.
  • An expanded discussion of crime in the cyber age throughout the text, including cultural lag theory, demonstrates how technology can quickly evolve and create complex problems, while society struggles to adjust.
  • Chapters 3 and 4 from the previous edition have been combined to present a cohesive and concise picture of how offenders make decisions.
  • Chapter 5 includes new research and discussions on the influence of adolescent peer groups and the risks of adolescent participation in crime.
  • Chapters 8 and 9 from the previous edition have been combined to reflect the role of moving stolen goods as a crime multiplier.
  • Thoroughly updated references, examples, and data offer students the most up-to-date and relevant information.

Sample Materials & Chapters

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