This collection of original essays is an innovative, effective way to teach crime theory to undergraduates. Each essay brings an important crime theory to life by applying that theory to a current crime event or topic of interest to students. An original introductory essay by Don Gibbons explains the origins of these different explanations for criminal behavior, and how they are similar to and different from one another.
The Routine Activity Approach as a General Crime Theory
A paradigm is a fancy word for a general theory or framework that organizes a field of study (Kuhn 1962). Every science needs one to keep from going to pieces. Criminology lacks one. For example, a recent survey of criminologists found that no more than 17 percent agreed with any one general theory of crime (Ellis 1999). Indeed, criminologists dispersed their votes among 22 general theories. They did not even apply the same theories to serious and persistent offending that they applied to delinquency and minor offending. Some people will insist that criminology is a “multiple-paradigm” field, but that violates the very idea of a paradigm as a ...