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Criminological Theories and Criminal Careers
Criminological Theories and Criminal Careers

In this chapter, we begin our attempt at unpacking the field of crime and the life course in greater detail. As was suggested in the previous chapter, life-course criminology rose to fame and controversy in questions surrounding the heart of the criminological enterprise: why do people engage in rule-breaking behavior? How can we explain the empirical finding that most do so only a few times and then quit, while a few continue much longer? Proponents of the criminal career approach gave one answer, while those of the propensity approach gave another, with subsequent policy implications to follow. Life-course criminology insists that if we want to find answers to these questions, we must follow individuals through ...

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