criminological theories

While all criminological theories are designed to explain the causes and realities of criminal activity, new theory development often results from dissatisfaction with existing theoretical explanations. For example, social structure theories attributing crime to social factors were created in part as a response to biological theories that focused on individual’s biology as an explanation for criminal involvement.


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For your research paper, choose four of the specific criminological theories (rational choice, labeling, etc.) discussed during this course and write a paper tracing how the theories build upon and challenge one another. You must show that you have a basic working knowledge of each of your four theories. Where do the theories affirm or contradict one another in terms of crime causation? How might they have been created to fill gaps in one another’s approaches and findings?




The assignment is to be a typed. Your paper must have at least four scholarly sources. All papers must be submitted to the instructor by the designated deadline. Assignments not meeting this requirement will not be accepted. No late papers will be accepted. If you suspect a problem will arise, submit your paper early. Emailed assignments will not be accepted except in extreme circumstances with the approval of the instructor before the due date. *** As part of the overall grade for this assignment, all students are required to give an oral presentation of their topic choice on an assigned date TBA.


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