Criminology: Theories, Patterns, and Typologies (10th by Larry J. Siegel

By Larry J. Siegel

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Additional resources for Criminology: Theories, Patterns, and Typologies (10th Edition)

Example text

Those who hold political power rely on criminal law to formally prohibit behaviors believed to threaten societal well-being or to challenge their authority. S. criminal law incorporates centuriesold prohibitions against the following behaviors harmful to others: taking another person’s possessions, physically harming another person, damaging another person’s property, and cheating another person out of his or her possessions. Similarly, the law prevents actions that challenge the legitimacy of the government, such as planning its overthrow, collaborating with its enemies, and so on.

Tied to the local dance scene, ecstasy and ketamine use has skyrocketed, in synch with the traditional drug of choice, heroin. In sum, the crime problems we experience at home are not unique to the United States. CRITICAL THINKING 1. While risk factors at all levels of social and personal life contribute to violence, people in all nations who experience change in societallevel factors—such as economic inequalities, rapid social change, and the availability of firearms, alcohol, and drugs—seem the most likely to get involved in violence.

35 The research conducted by criminologists then helps shape the direction of their legal decision making. Theory Construction and Testing Social theory can be defined as a systematic set of interrelated statements or principles that explain some aspect of social life. At their core, theories should serve as models or frameworks for understanding human behavior and the forces that shape its content and direction. Because, ideally, theories are based on verified social facts—readily observed phenomenon that can be consistently quantified and measured—criminological theorists use the scientific method to test their theories.

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