Essay on Criminological Theories

13456 Words54 Pages
Student Study Guide for Ronald L. Akers and Christine S. Sellers’

Criminological Theories:
Introduction, Evaluation, and Applications
Fourth Edition

Prepared by

Eric See
Youngstown State University

Roxbury Publishing Company
Los Angeles, California


Student Study Guide by Eric See for Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation, and Application , 4th Edition by Ronald L. Akers and Christine S. Sellers Copyright © 2004 Roxbury Publishing Company, Los Angeles, California. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
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Testability. To be valid and ultimately useful, a theory must be able to be subjected to scientific research. Theories may be untestable if they are tautological, propose causes that are not measurable, or are so open-ended that empirical findings can always be re-interpreted to support the theory. Theory. In simple terms, theory is an explanation of something. Theories of Criminal and Deviant Behavior. Theories in this category attempt to explain why an individual commits criminal or delinquent acts. Theories of Law and Criminal Justice. Theories in this category attempt to explain how laws are made, and how the criminal justice system operates as a whole. Usefulness. This refers to the real world applications that the theory proposes or suggests, and the ability to implement those applications. Key Concepts 1. Theories are useful tools that help us to understand and explain the world around us. In criminology, they help us to understand the workings of the criminal justice system and the actors in the system. 2. Theories suggest the way things are, not the way things ought to be. They are not inherently good or bad; however, they can be used for good or bad purposes. 3. A theory can try to explain crime for a large social unit or area (macro), or it can attempt to explain crime at the individual or smaller unit level (micro). 4. Because we are dealing with human behavior, the social sciences will never be like the hard sciences. In the hard sciences, the
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