In recent years, the lifecourse perspective has become a popular theoretical orientation toward crime. Yet despite its growing importance in the field of criminology, most textbooks give it only cursory treatment. Crime and the Lifecourse: An Introduction by Michael L. Benson provides a comprehensive overview of contemporary research and theory on the life-course approach to crime. The book emphasizes a conceptual understanding of this approach. A special feature is the integration of qualitative and quantitative research on criminal life histories. This book:
- provides an overview of the life course approach and describes the major concepts and issues in lifecourse theory as it applies to criminology
- reviews evidence on biological and genetic influences on crime
- reviews research on the role of the family in crime and juvenile delinquency
- provides a detailed discussion of the criminological lifecourse theories of Moffitt, Hagan, Sampson and Laub, and others
- discusses the connections between youthful crime and adult outcomes in education, occupation, and marriage
- presents an application of the lifecourse approach to white-collar crime
- discusses how macro sociological and historical developments have influenced the shape of the lifecourse in American society as it relates to patterns in crime.
Table of Contents
1. An Overview of Lifecourse Theory and Research 2. Biology and the Family: Initial Trajectories 3. Adolescence and Crime: Continuity, Change, and Cumulating Disadvantages 4. Adulthood and Aging Criminals 5. White-Collar Crime and the Lifecourse 6. Historical and Structural Contexts
Michael L. Benson is Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. He is a past President of the White-Collar Crime Research Consortium. In addition to numerous journal articles on white-collar crime, he co-authored White Collar Crime: An Opportunity Perspective and Combating Corporate Crime: Local Prosecutors at Work.
Professor Benson's revision of Crime and the Life Course is a major step forward in introducing and describing the myriad of research, theoretical, and policy issues at the center of developmental criminology in an accessible way to advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Academics and researchers will also benefit from Professor Benson's efforts to weave together the increasingly numerous strands of contemporary life course criminology into a coherent whole. This book represents the best current thinking on where we are as a field as well as what is still left undone. It should be required reading for every serious criminology student.
- Robert Brame, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Crime and the Life Course is a remarkable text that integrates a great deal of research and is written in an engaging and straightforward way. Benson takes the reader on a scholarly journey across the life course and explains how criminal behavior unfolds at different developmental stages. What separates this book from many others is that it is accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students, while also being of great importance to any serious scholar of crime. I fully anticipate that this book will move the field of criminology forward by generating new and innovative ideas about the development of criminal behavior over the life course.
- Kevin M. Beaver, Florida State University
This is an excellent, comprehensive, readable and informative review of the very important and central field of life-course criminology. It should be essential reading for all criminologists.
- Professor David P. Farrington. Cambridge University, Institute of Criminology
An excellent and much needed text, Crime and the Life Course provides a clearly written and engaging overview of the large body of work on life-course criminology. I especially like background information on the life-course perspective including its history and core concepts; the comprehensive descriptions of major theories and research, including quantitative and qualitative research; the efforts to integrate perspectives and research findings; and the discussion of policy implications. This should be the core text in any class on life-course criminology and a supplemental text in certain other classes, such as criminological theory.
- Robert Agnew, Emory University