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The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Theory

The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Theory

Edited by:

July 2010 | 552 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Theory recenters theory in the boldest, most thought-provoking form possible within the criminological enterprise. Written by a team of internationally respected specialists, it provides readers with a clear overview of criminological theory, enabling them to reflect critically upon the variety of theoretical positions - traditional, emergent and desirable - that are constitutive of the discipline at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Each chapter has been specially commissioned to include the following:

  • A brief historical overview of the theoretical perspective 
  • Core ideas and key associated concepts
  • A critical review of the contemporary status of the perspective
  • Reflections on future developments

In addition, the Handbook features a substantive introduction by the editors, providing a review of the development of criminological theory, the state of contemporary criminological theory and emergent issues and debates.

The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Theory is an indispensable international resource for libraries and scholars of all levels studying the rapidly developing, interdisciplinary field of criminology.


Eugene McLaughlin and Tim Newburn
Laura A Baker, Catherine Tuvblad and Adrian Raine
Genetics and Crime
Darrick Jolliffe and David P Farrington
Individual Differences and Offending
Ronald L Akers and Gary F Jensen
Social Learning Theory
Process and Structure in Criminal and Deviant Behavior

Simon Hallsworth and Tara Young
Street Collectives and Group Delinquency
Social Disorganization, Subcultures and beyond

Robert Agnew and Timothy Brezina
Strain Theories
Ray Paternoster and Ronet Bachman
Control Theories
John Muncie
Labelling, Social Reaction and Social Constructionism
Eugene McLaughlin
Critical Criminology
Gregg Barak
Integrative Criminology
Roger Matthews
Realist Criminology Revisited
Sharon Chamard
Routine Activities
Kathleen Daly
Feminist Perspectives in Criminology: A Review with Gen Y in Mind
David P Farrington
Life-Course and Developmental Theories in Criminology
Ronald V Clarke
Crime Science
Tony Jefferson
Psychosocial Criminology
Jeff Ferrell
Cultural Criminology
The Loose Can[n]on

Pat O'Malley
Governmental Criminology
Susanne Karstedt
New Institutionalism in Criminology
Approaches, Theories and Themes

Lawrence W Sherman
Defiance, Compliance and Consilience
A General Theory of Criminology

Lee E Ross
A Vision of Race, Crime and Justice through the Lens of Critical Race Theory
Rob White
A Green Criminology Perspective
Katja Franko Aas
Global Criminology
Michael Cavadino
Paul Rock
Approaches to Victims and Victimization
Chris Greer
News Media Criminology

A good introductory textbook for undergraduate criminology students

Mr Mark Jagus
Law, Derby College
September 10, 2020

An impressive collection of material, with wide ranging work from accomplished academics and researchers.
An important book covering a range of crucial issues.

Mr Matthew Scandrett
(FSSH) Criminology , London Metropolitan University
May 19, 2015

This is an excellent introduction to criminological theory. Its strength lies in being an edited volume and not reliant on one or several writers trying to summarise the vast canon of theory, always a tough call. What were provided with is an impressive array of leading scholars with dedicated chapters outlining the entire theoretical corpus, including newer areas of theoretical endeavour. Mostly this consists of sophisticated treatments avoiding vulgar readings and simplistic understandings common to many introductionary texts. Consequently i have no trouble in recommending this text to all my first year undergraduate students, in fact, I urge them to go out and buy it!
I have only two criticisms; firstly there is no chapter on state crime and political crime. Whilst were provided with a good discussion of critical criminology this is wholly inadequate in light of the recent revelations from Wikileaks and Snowden, as well as a host of other exposes concerning the illegal and corrupt activities of numerous state security agencies and the police. The state is a criminal par excellence and it's an oversight not to provide a more thorough treatment of this. Secondly, I thought there were two weaker chapters (gender and crime; cultural criminology) that meander around whilst adding little to understanding the subjects they try and present. But in light of what is a very good effort, these are small criticisms.

Mr Kris Christmann
Centre of Applied Criminology, Huddersfield University
April 26, 2015

The book wasn't exactly what I expected as the content was generally only suitable for students with an efficient background in criminological theory. I will reccomend it to the LRC as it would be a valuable research tool for Level 6, dissertation, and postgraduate students.

Mr Richard Turner
Criminal Justice, Doncaster University Centre
April 21, 2015

This book is an essential text for students. It provides clear guidance and explanation on key criminological theories.

Dr Lisa Sugiura
Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, Southampton University
November 17, 2014

This book provides an excellent collection of criminological perspectives. It is accessible to students wishing to find information and is clearly written. A welcome recommended text for students.

Miss Emma Conduct
School of Applied Social Science, Brighton University
August 14, 2014

One of a number of general books for criminological theory but one that is set out quite well which enables students to find initial information with links to more in depth coverage elsewhere. For that reason, it is one of the first ports of call for students grappling with theoretical challenges

Mr Ashley Tiffen
Institute of Policing and Criminal Justice Studies, University of Cumbria
April 8, 2014

The text is extremely useful to any criminology student. The book proves most useful when looking at specialist aspects of criminological study and is presented in a clear and accessible format.

Mr Lewis Simpson
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education
April 3, 2014

This book provides an excellent collection of criminological theorising. It enables the reader to reflect critically upon the theoretical positions posed and how they can be applied to contemporary issues/problems.

Mr Gareth Addidle
Criminology, Plymouth Business School
March 28, 2014

An excellent addition to the criminology theory genre of texts; thorough, accessible and well-written.

Ms Helen Arnold
Social Science , University Campus Suffolk
December 4, 2013

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