Most people engage in crime at some point in their lives, but why does almost everybody stop soon after? And, why do a small number of offenders persist in crime? These two questions constitute the core of the field often known as life-course criminology. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to life-course criminology. It covers the dominant theories and methodologies in the field and equips you with all you need to succeed in your studies on the subject. The book:  • Discusses the methodologies of life-course and longitudinal research  • Explains and critiques the major theories of life-course criminology  • Considers the issues of risk, prediction, onset, persistence and desistance of criminal activity  • Draws on research from studies in Europe, the UK, US and Australia, including the Stockholm Life-Course Project Written by two leading figures in the field, this is an authoritative text that will guide you through your studies in life-course criminology, criminal career research, and developmental criminology.

The Methodologies of Life-Course Criminology

The Methodologies of Life-Course Criminology

Most textbooks on scientific methodology tell us that our choice of method is dependent on the research question we want to answer. The research question, in turn, grows out of the researcher’s interest and the philosophical underpinnings that more or less consciously inform the researcher’s view of reality, science, and truth. That is the case in an ideal situation, where both the researcher and his or her research are completely free and autonomous, independent of any external influences or boundaries.

However, anybody with the slightest experience of conducting research – here, we are mostly concerned with the social sciences – knows that these ideal circumstances are extremely rare to occur (if they ever do). In the ...

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