How do societies define crime, and how should it be punished or prevented? Which is a more criminal act, causing a death by dumping toxic material or by shooting a victim with a gun? Are criminals born or made? Criminology: Explaining Crime and Its Context, Tenth Edition, offers a broad perspective on criminological theory. It provides students of criminology and sociology with a thorough exposure to a range of theories about crime, contrasting their logic and assumptions, but also highlighting efforts to integrate and blend these frameworks. In this tenth edition, the authors have incorporated new directions that have gained traction in the field, while remaining faithful to their criminological heritage. Among the themes in this work are the relativity of crime (its changing definition) with abundant examples, historical roots of criminology and the lessons they have provided, and the strength and challenges of applying the scientific method. This revision offers new coverage of the growing problem of mental health and crime, a more tightly focused discussion of crime statistics, more global examples, and new material on human trafficking and on youth violence. Brown and Esbensen improve on this engaging and challenging introduction to the theory of crime and punishment, which is already perhaps the best criminology text available for undergraduates today.
Table of Contents
PART 1 Foundations for Criminology
1 Crime and Criminology
2 The Relativity of Law and Crime
3 Crime Statistics and the Distribution of Crime
PART 2 Theories of Crime
4 Deterrence and Rational Choice Theories of Crime
5 Positivism and BioPsychoSocial Criminology
6 Social Structure Theories of Crime
7 Social Process Theories of Crime
8 Social Reaction Theories of Crime
9 New Directions: Integration and a Life-Course Perspective
PART 3 Types of Crime
11 Economic Crime
12 Crimes without Victims and Victims without Crimes
13 Youth Violence
Stephen E. Brown is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Western Carolina University where he served as Department Head for over ten years. He received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology from the University of Maryland in 1979. He went through the professorial ranks at East Tennessee State University, serving as Department Chair for 11 years, and left as Professor Emeritus in 2008. Brown has published articles in a number of journals, including Criminology, Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Criminal Justice Review, Youth and Society, and Social Science Quarterly. His areas of research interest have been broad, covering topics such as family violence, deterrence, delinquency, and application of statistics within criminology. He has served as a Trustee on the board of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and as editor of the American Society of Criminology’s The Criminologist. He co-edited the Routledge Handbook on Deviance in 2018.
Finn-Aage Esbensen is E. Desmond Lee Professor of Youth Crime and Violence in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He served as Department Chair from 2009 to 2018. His previous faculty positions were at Western Carolina University (1982–1986) and the University of Nebraska at Omaha (1992–2001). In addition to these academic appointments, he has held research positions at the following institutions: the Center for Criminal Justice at Harvard Law School (1974); Catholic University (1976–1977); the Behavioral Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado (1980–1981); and the Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado (1987–1992). He received his B.A. and M.A. from Tufts University and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. He is the author of more than 100 articles and chapters examining, among other topics, youth gangs and violence, methodological issues, and victimization. His most recent book (with Cheryl L. Maxson), Gang Transitions and Transformation in an International Context, was published by Springer in 2016. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology (2014) and the Western Society of Criminology (2002). He is also the recipient of the Gerhard O.W. Mueller Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the Paul Tappan and President’s Awards from the Western Society of Criminology. From 1998 through 2001, he served as Editor of Justice Quarterly.
Gilbert Geis, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine, died November 10, 2012, at age 87. Geis received his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and was a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma and California State University, Los Angeles, before joining the University of California, Irvine faculty in 1971, where he played a significant role in establishing the School of Social Ecology and the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society. Geis had the honor of being a member of Lyndon Johnson’s President’s Commission on Crime, and was a former president of the American Society of Criminology and recipient of its Edwin H. Sutherland Award for outstanding research. He was the recipient of awards by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Western Society of Criminology, the American Justice Institute, and the National Organization for Victim Assistance. The National White-Collar Crime Research Consortium named its distinguished scholar award in his honor. Geis was a giant in criminology research and education with more than 500 articles and book chapters and 28 books to his name.
This textbook presents the data throughout the book so that every crime or every aspect of society that has an influence on crime is clearly visible to the students…[and] is very thorough in explaining these concepts using relevant examples that are both informational and interesting to the students. – Danny Hayes, Peru State College, USA
Criminology discusses crime in a global context, while at the same time, causes you to think deeper about issues with the provocative objective questions within the text. – Chioma Daisy Onyige, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
I like the study aids (objectives, terms, discussion questions, etc), and I appreciate the amount of charts and tables. I also appreciated the inclusion of globally-minded research and discussion because it is important that students understand that criminology is an international discipline, not merely a domestic one. – Caryn Saxon, Missouri State University, USA
I like the subsections of chapters within the text. I do think that organization helps the students. I find that they seem to remember groupings of theories better than the names within those groupings. – Jennifer Mongold, King University, USA