An Introduction to Criminological Theory: 5th Edition (Paperback) book cover

An Introduction to Criminological Theory

5th Edition

By Roger Hopkins Burke


668 pages | 4 Color Illus.

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This book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to criminological theory for students taking courses in criminology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Building on previous editions, this book presents the latest research and theoretical developments. The text is divided into five parts, the first three of which address ideal type models of criminal behaviour: the rational actor, predestined actor and victimized actor models. Within these, the various criminological theories are located chronologically in the context of one of these different traditions, and the strengths and weaknesses of each theory and model are clearly identified. The fourth part of the book looks closely at more recent attempts to integrate theoretical elements from both within and across models of criminal behaviour, while the fifth part addresses a number of key recent concerns of criminology: postmodernism, cultural criminology, globalization and communitarianism, the penal society, southern criminology and critical criminology. All major theoretical perspectives are considered, including:

  • classical criminology,
  • biological and psychological positivism,
  • labelling theories,
  • feminist criminology,
  • critical criminology and left realism,
  • situation action,
  • desistance theories,
  • social control theories,
  • the risk society, postmodern condition and terrorism.

The new edition also features comprehensive coverage of recent developments in criminology, including ‘the myth of the crime drop’, the revitalization of critical criminology and political economy, shaming and crime, defiance theory, coerced mobility theory and new developments in social control and general strain theories. This revised and expanded fifth edition of An Introduction to Criminological Theory includes chapter summaries, critical thinking questions, policy implications, a full glossary of terms and theories and a timeline of criminological theory, making it essential reading for those studying criminology and taking courses on theoretical criminology, understanding crime, and crime and deviance

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: crime and modernity

Part One: The rational actor model of crime and criminal behaviour

2. Classical criminology

3. Populist conservative criminology

4. Contemporary rational actor theories

Part Two: The predestined actor model of crime and criminal behaviour

5. Biological positivism

6. Psychological positivism

7. Sociological positivism

8. Women and positivism

Part Three: The victimized actor model of crime and criminal behaviour

9. Labelling theories

10. Conflict and radical theories

11. The gendered criminal

12. Critical criminology

Part Four: Integrated theories of crime and criminal behaviour

13. Sociobiological theories

14. Environmental theories

15. Social control theories

16. Situational action theories

17. Desistance theories

18. Left realism

Part Five: Crime and criminal behaviour in the age of moral uncertainty

19. Crime and the postmodern condition

20. Cultural criminology and the schizophrenia of crime

21. Crime, globalization and the risk society

22. Rediscovering critical criminology

23. Living in penal society

24. Radical moral communitarian criminology

25. Conclusions: criminology in an age of austerity

Criminological theory timeline




About the Author

Roger Hopkins Burke is the author of numerous books and articles in the areas of criminology, criminal justice and social philosophy. He was formerly Principal Lecturer and Criminology Subject Leader at Nottingham Trent University, UK, and is currently an independent consultant.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology