You are here


A Contemporary Introduction

Additional resources:

November 2019 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

An introductory text for first year criminology students, covering the key questions, debates and theoretical models in the field, as well as themes of inequality, social justice, and human rights, to encourage an international or 'globalised' understanding of crime and justice matters.

The book provides students with a strong, interdisciplinary foundation to their criminological studies, covering all the key topics taught on a first year course, including:

  • The causes and prevalence of crime
  • Doing criminological research
  • The social divisions (class, power and inequality) that relate to crime and justice
  • The role of politics and the media
  • Punishment
  • Corporate crime and cybercrime
  • Global justice

All content is supported by case studies on contemporary issues, and online resources for students and lecturers, consisting of video interviews between the author and academics or practitioners in the field of criminology, addressing key topics outlined in the book and discussing case studies. There are also lecturer PowerPoint slides, testbank, and web links to blogs, datasets, specialised video and audio materials.

Chapter 1: Introducing the landscapes of criminology
Part one: Understanding the causes and prevalence of crime
Chapter 2: 'Theory', and its uses
Chapter 3: Criminological theories: the causes of crime
Chapter 4: Doing criminological research
Chapter 5: Counting crime
Part two: Social divisions and crime
Chapter 6: The politics of law and order
Chapter 7: Offenders and Victims
Chapter 8: Media and Crime
Part three: Dealing with Crime and justice
Chapter 9: Punishment
Chapter 10: Social policy and crime
Chapter 11: Global Justice
Chapter 12: Conclusion: criminology past, present and future


Click for online resources

Lecturer resources

  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Test Bank

Student resources

  • Video interviews between the author and academics/practitioners in the field of criminology.
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Links to further reading
  • Links to multimedia

A well-conceived and brilliantly executed textbook. It has tremendous coverage, ranging from theoretical models, measurement and conducting research, to politics, social policy, global justice and human rights. Through succinct and punchy prose Murphy conveys complex ideas with economy and clarity. With thoughtful visuals, well-designed review questions, activities and resources, this engaging book will be a hit with students and teachers alike.

Professor Deborah Oxley
Professor of Social Science History, University of Oxford

This is a particularly well organised text and will serve as a good introduction to criminology for undergraduates and others new to the subject. Thoughtful review questions and activities help students to maintain the learning process, and there is a good focus on the practical problems of criminological research. There is also a welcome emphasis on the global dimensions of criminology: in particular International trafficking networks and the interface between state crime and problems of international human rights enforcement.

John Lea
Honorary Professor of Criminology, Roehampton University

An essential resource for all criminology undergraduates. Packed with activities, discussion topics, sample essay questions and application of core principles. The Companion Website provides links to videos and online weblinks to additional resources. A 'must have' study guide. Nigel Rourke. Senior Lecturer in Criminology & Social Sciences: University of Cumbria.

Mr Nigel Rourke
Business Law and Social Science, University of Cumbria
November 19, 2019

An excellent book that covers many of the contemporary issues of the day. This is an easy read and can help any student of any level to understand criminology.

Dr Darren Woodward
Health and Social Sciences, University Centre Grimsby
November 8, 2019

A really useful introduction to criminology. perfect for undergraduate students.

Mr Louis Martin
School of Law, Staffordshire University
June 11, 2020

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from

ISBN: 9781526411419

ISBN: 9781526411402