The Search for the Causes of Crime

A History of Theory in Criminology

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About the Book

For centuries scholars have studied the possible causes of criminal behavior in the hopes of shedding light on one of society’s most persistent problems. This volume examines criminology from the perspective of those centuries of study. Written by a psychologist who has worked extensively with the criminal population, it focuses on the diverse theories that have been offered and the ways in which they contribute to the modern view of the criminal.
The correlates of crime such as age, gender, race and IQ are discussed along with more random factors such as choice and chance. Theories of biology, psychology and sociology are all discussed. Criminological sources from the 18th century through the end of the 20th are cited and major developments noted. Finally, a brief preview of 21st century criminology considers how the lessons of the past might be adapted and drawn upon for future discoveries.

About the Author(s)

Psychologist Michael Dow Burkhead has worked in varying capacities with criminal offenders for 25 years and has written a number of articles regarding the treatment of mentally ill prisoners and the death penalty. Also the author of The Treatment of Criminal Offenders (2007), he lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Michael Dow Burkhead
Foreword by Michael Braswell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 276
Bibliographic Info: photos, tables, diagrams, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2222-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Michael C. Braswell     1

Preface     3

Part One: Introduction-The Explanation of Crime

1. Setting the Stage      9

2. Schools of Criminology      36

3. Correlates of Crime: Age, Gender, Race, and IQ      46

Part Two: Biological Explanations for Crime

4. The History of Biology and Crime      67

5. Heritability      91

6. Evolution and Crime      99

7. Broken Brains and Other Neurological Factors      111

Part Three: Psychological Explanations for Crime

8. Psychopathy      121

9. Learning Theory and Crime      156

Part Four: Sociological Explanations for Crime

10. The History of Sociology and Crime      171

11. A Sampling of Theories      189

Part Five: Conclusion

12. Lessons from the History of Criminology      227

Suggested Reading      237

Notes      241

References      255

Index      265