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Third Edition
Edited by:

September 2007 | 528 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The Third Edition of Crime: Readings features the latest theoretical and empirical works on crime, maintaining an ideal balance between major theoretical explanations of crime and crime control and each respective theoretical treatment while tying in policy issues. Updated and revised, the readings in this edition have been carefully pruned by the editors for maximum impact, providing undergraduate students with an accessible introduction to major issues in the field while eliminating excessive technical, methodological details that might hamper comprehension. This anthology includes both traditional yet still vital theories used by scholars of crime and newer explanations for law-violating behavior. Covering a realm of diverse criminological literature, the editors include a variety of readings that reflect the range of perspectives about the causes of criminal behavior and how best such behavior should be addressed.

New to the Third Edition

  • Links criminological theories with the latest empirical research: The book features even more discussion of the ties between theory and actual policy in the Part introductions and in several new articles.
  • Highlights recent developments in the field: The editors address a number of new issues related to crime control and also place greater emphasis on critical criminology, psychological, and biological approaches.
  • Recognizes the growing importance of comparative criminology: This edition includes a number of articles by criminologists from outside of North America, providing a more comprehensive and global perspective.
  • Keeps readers up-to-date in the literature: The sections on the history of criminology, research methods, and correlates of crime incorporate recent publications, and the section on enduring and changing patterns now includes entries on gangs, sex offenders, cyber crime, and terrorism.
  • Inspires students to think critically about the theory and research of crime: Revised discussion and essay questions maximize student reflection on the concepts covered and include web-based data to give students practical experience working with criminological research.

Companion Web Site
Homework assignments and data exercises have been moved to a companion Web site at

Intended Audience

This is an excellent text for undergraduate courses such as Introduction to Criminology and Criminological Theory in the fields of criminal justice, sociology, law and society, and social work.

Ross L. Matsueda
Marvin E. Wolfgang
the Editors
James F. Short, Jr.
Introduction: On Crime, Criminals, and Criminologists
Part I: What Is Criminology? The History and Definitions of Crime and Criminology
John Hagan
Defining Crime: An Issue of Morality
C. Ronald Huff
Historical Explanations of Crime: From Demons to Politics
Part II: How Do We View Crime? Images of Crime, Criminality, and Criminal Justice
Franklin E. Zimring
A Youth Violence Epidemic: Myth or Reality?
Drew Humphries
Realities and Images of Crack Mothers
Ronald Weitzer and CHaris E. Kubrin
Breaking News: How Local TV News and Real-World Conditions Affect Fear of Crime
Katherine Beckett and Theodore Sasson
The Politics of Crime
Part III: Enduring and Changing Patterns of Crime
Finn-Aage Esbensen and Frank M. Weerman
Youth Gangs and Troublesome Youth Groups in the United States and the Netherlands: A Cross-National Comparison
Terance D. Miethe, Jodi Olson, and Ojmarrh Mitchell
Specialization and Persistence in the Arrest Histories of Sex Offenders: A Comparitive Analysis of Alternative Measures and Offense Types
Majid Yar
The Novelty of 'Cybercrime': An Assessment in Light of Routine Activity Theory
Gary LaFree and Laura Dugan
How Does Studying Terrorism Compare to Studying Crime?
Part IV: How is Crime Measured? The Observation and Measurement of Crime
Steven F. Messner, Glenn D. Deane, Luc Anselin, and Benjamin Parson Nelson
Locating the Vanguard in Rising and Falling Homicide Rates across U.S. Cities
Delbert S. Elliot and Suzanne S. Ageton
Reconciling Race and Class Differences in Self-Reported and Official Estimates of Delinquency
Jody Miller and Norman A. White
Gender and Adolescent Relationship Violence: A Contextual Examination
John Hagan, Wenona Rymond-Richmond, and Patricia Parker
The Criminology of Genocide: The Death and Rape of Darfur
Part V: Who Are the Criminals? The Distribution and Correlates of Crime
Eric Baumer, Julie Horney, Richard Felson, and Janet L. Lauritsen
Neighborhood Disadvantage and the Nature of Violence
Thomas McNulty and Paul E. Bellair
Explaining Racial and Ethnic Differences in Adolescent Violence: Structural Disadvantage, Family Well-Being, and Social Capital
Travis Hirschi and Michael Gottfredson
Age and the Explanation of Crime
Josine Junger-Tas, Denis Ribeaud, and Maarten J. L. F. Cruyff
Juvenile Delinquency and Gender
Part VI: How Do We Explain Crime? Foundational Theories of Modern Criminology, Part I
Clifford R. Shaw and Henry McKay
Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas
Jeffrey D. Morenoff, Robert J. Sampson, and Stephen W. Raudenbush
Neighborhood Inequality, Collective Efficacy, and the Spatial Dynamics of Urban Violence
Edwin Sutherland
A Theory of Crime: Differential Association
Andy Hochstetler, Heith Copes, and Matt DeLisi
Differential Association in Group and Solo Offending
Robert K. Merton
Social Structure and Anomie
Sang-Weon Kim and William Alex Pridemore
Poverty, Socioeconomic Change, Institutional Anomie, and Homicide
Part VII: How Do We Explain Crime? Foundational Theories of Modern Criminology, Part II
Marvin E. Wolfgang and Franco Ferracuti
The Subculture of Violence
Justin W. Patchin, Beth M. Huebner, John D. McCluskey, Sean P. Varano, and Timothy S. Bynum
Exposure to Community Violence and Childhood Delinquency
Travis Hirschi
Causes and Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency
Angela Huebner and Sherry Betts
Exploring the Utility of Social Control Theory for Youth Development: Issues of Attachment, Involvement, and Gender
Edwin Schur
Labeling Criminals
Jon Gunnar Bernburg, Marvin D. Krohn, and Craig J. Rivera
Official Labeling, Criminal Embeddedness, and Subsequent Delinquency: A Longitudinal Test of Labeling Theory
William J. Chambliss
Crime and Subcultural Contradictions
David Jacobs, Jason T. Carmichael, and Stephanie L. Kent
Vigilantism, Current Racial Threat, and Death Sentences
Part VIII: How Do We Explain Crime? Contemporary Theories and Research, Part I
Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi
The Nature of Criminality: Low Self-Control
Ojmarrh Mitchell and Doris Layton Mackenzie
The Stability and Resiliency of Self-Control in a Sample of Incarcerated Offenders
Robert J. Sampson and John H. Laub
Toward an Age-Graded Theory of Informal Social Control
Robert J. Sampson, John H. Laub, and Cristopher Wimer
Does Marriage Reduce Crime? A Counterfactual Approach to Within-Individual Causal Effects
Lawrence E. Cohen and Marcus Felson
Social Change and Crime Rate Trends: A Routine Activity Approach
George Tita and Elizabeth Griffiths
Traveling to Violence: The Case for a Mobility-Based Spatial Typology of Homicide
Robert Agnew
Foundation for a General Strain Theory of Crime and Delinquency
Lisa M. Broidy
A Test of General Strain Theory
Part IX: How Do We Explain Crime? Contemporary Theories and Research, Part II
Elijah Anderson
The Code of the Streets
Eric A. Stewart and Ronald L. Simons
Structure and Culture in African-American Adolescent Violence: A Partial Test of the Code of the Street Thesis
Barbara Hudson
Beyond White Man's Justice: Race, Gender and Justice in Late Modernity
Hillary Potter
An Argument for Black Feminist Criminology: Understanding African-American Women's Experiences With Intimate Partner Abuse Using an Integrated Approach
James Q. Wilson and Richard Hernstein
A Bio-Psychological Theory of Choice, from Crime and Human Nature
Joanne Savage and Bryan Vila
Human Ecology, Crime, and Crime Control: Linking Individual Behavior and Aggregate Crime
Terrie E. Moffitt, Avshalom Caspi, Honalee Harrington, and Barry J. Milne
Males on the Life-Course-Persistent and Adolescence-Limited Antisocial Pathways
Kimberly Hanson Breitenbecher
The Relationships Among Self-Blame, Psychological Distress, and Sexual Victimization
Part X: How Do We Control Crime? Crime and Social Control
Steven F. Messner and Richard Rosenfeld
Strengthening Institutions and Rethinking the American Dream
James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling
Broken Windows: The Police and Neighborhood Safety
Michael L. Radelet and Marian J. Borg
The Changing Nature of the Death Penalty Debates
Barry C. Feld
Abolish the Juvenile Court: Youthfulness, Criminal Responsibility, and Sentencing Policy
Mara F. Schiff
The Impact of Restorative Interventions on Juvenile Offenders
Bruce Western and Becky Pettit
Beyond Crime and Punishment: Prisons and Inequality
Key features
  • Increased discussion of policy ties to theory in both the Part introductions and with new articles
  • Greater emphasis on both biological and psychological theories, echoing the recent developments in the field
  • More contemporary issues are included in this edition, keeping the readers up-to-date in the literature
  • Newly revised discussion and writing questions that better focus students' reflection on the material
  • Homework assignments and data exercises have been moved to a companion website (

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