Despite its wide usage, the concept of the “crime wave” has rarely been given explicit and detailed attention by criminologists. It is important that we understand where they come from, how they develop and what their consequences are. When Crime Waves offers an in-depth exploration of a large number of social issues involved in the study of crime waves. Issues such as how and why crime rates change over time, why some types of crime and not others come in waves, and the role played by the mass media, politicians, and interest group leaders in the promotion of crime waves are discussed to help students develop analytical skills and apply them to real-world situations.
Critically examines the phenomenon of crime waves in an engaging fashion; Provides multiple perspectives via historical and contemporary examples throughout the book; Delves into the role played by politicians and the media in creating the perception that a crime wave has occured; Presents themes of myth-making, cultural imagery, and social constructionism
When Crime Waves is intended to be a supplementary text for undergraduate criminology and sociology courses including Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice, Crime & Media, Crime & Society, Crime & Punishment, Sociology of Crime, Sociology of Deviance, Social Problems, and Criminal Behavior.
Vincent Sacco is a professor in the department of sociology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. His research interests are in criminology and urban sociology, which relate to the study of criminology, as well as the study of public perceptions of and reactions to crime. In approaching criminology, his work emphasizes the study of “criminal events” and investigates why some people are more likely to be victimized by crime; when and where crimes occur; and what contributes to the views on crime held by the police, lawmakers, and members of the general public.
Crime Waves by the Numbers
Crime Waves by the Numbers
This chapter is concerned with the statistical meaning of crime waves. Of course, one of the major ways in which we “know” a crime wave is under way is when crime statistics tell us so. Crime statistics, like many forms of social (and other) statistics, appear to us as objective facts. We contrast them in our minds with opinions or beliefs. Statistics, after all, are rich in scientific meaning (Pfuhl & Henry, 1993).
Most of us, however, have an uneasy relationship with social statistics. While we recognize numbers as facts, we also seem quite willing to dismiss statistics out of hand. “Figures don't lie,” we sometimes say. But we also like to recall British statesman Benjamin Disraeli's ...