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Criminological Theories

by: rayparkerjr

Criminological Theories Justice 2004

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About this Document

These notes cover the material that's in our textbook for Chapter 1 pages 1-14.
Crime and Criminalities
Abdullah Cihan
Class Notes
IntotoCriminological, Theory




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by rayparkerjr on Monday August 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Justice 2004 at East Central Community College taught by Abdullah Cihan in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Crime and Criminalities in Criminal Justice Studies at East Central Community College.


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Date Created: 08/29/16
Criminological Theories Chapter 1 Book Notes Pages 1-14 What are theories?  Theories are tentative answers to commonly asked questions about events and behavior. Types of Criminological Theories  Criminology is defined as the study of the entire process of lawmaking, lawbreaking and law enforcing. Theories of making and enforcing criminal law  Answers to questions of how or why a certain behavior and people become defined and are dealt with as criminal in society.  Why we have the laws that we have and why CJ systems operates the way it does. Theories of Criminal and Deviant Behavior  Answer the questions of why social and legal norms are violated. o Why are variations in grp crimes rates of crime and deviance o Why are some individuals more likely than others to commit criminal and deviant acts  A theory that address broader questions about differences across society or major groups in society is called macro theory.  A theory that focuses on specifically on small groups or individual differences if referred to as micro level of analysis/theory.  Structural theories however, also include implicit or explicit statements regarding the process by which these structural conditions produce high or low crimes rates  Processual theories assert tht individual commits criminal acts because he or she has experience a particular life history, possessed a particular set of individual characteristics, or encountered a particular situation. Criminal for evaluating theory  Criminological theories must be judged by scientific criteria.  Most important is empirical validity—the extent to which a theory can be verified or refuted with carefully gathered evidence.  Logical consistency, scope and parsimony. o Scope refers to the range of phenomena that’s proposes to explain  Crime of checks forgery a better scope would be of crimes checks for all crimes including check forgery. o Parsimony refers to the closeness and abstractness of a set of concepts and proposition, also a desirable set of characteristics in scientific theory.  Testability o Empirical falsification-must be open to new that may counter or disprove its hypothesis with negative findings. o Tautology- is a statements or hypothesis that is true by definition or involves circular reasoning... o Imitations is defined as one engaging in acts after he or she has watched them beings engaged in by others. o Empirical Validity- is the most important criterion for judging theory  Means that its supported by research evidence.  Ex) Deterrence theory- if data does not show it true than its doesn’t have empirical validity.  Concepts of causality and Determinism o Traditional concept of causality- in science is cause X must precede and produce effect of Y o Necessary condition- to be a cause of X must be both a necessary condition and a sufficient condition. o Probabilistic concept of causality - is more application for assessing the empirical validity of criminological theories. o Soft determinism- allows for human agency and recognizes that various factors influence and limit actions but leave room for individual choices that cannot be completely predicted  Quality of Empirical Test of Theory o Not all empirical tests of theories of equal methodological quality. o Good studies use the proper analysis that is individual or small grps for micro level theories and communities, nations, and societies for macro level analysis. Usefulness and Policy Implications  Outcome evaluation- utilize experimental designs, with both pre and post intervention measures, and random assignment of subjects to treatment and contrl conditions offer most credible results  Process evaluation sees that the program has indeed be implemented in the proper manner with the proper participants as specified by the theory and goals underlined in the program.  Ideology- is form of philosophical and pragmatic debates over societys contrl of crime may be informed by theory and have relevance to the application of theory, but the are not themselves theoretical explanations of why laws are formulated and enforced of why people commit crimes.  Emphasis on Empirical Validity and Applications of Theories.


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