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  5. Criminology: A Sociological Understanding

Criminology: A Sociological Understanding, 6th edition

  • Steve E. Barkan

Published by Pearson (February 28th 2014) - Copyright © 2015

6th edition

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Taking a sociological perspective, this book offers award-winning coverage of criminology and highlights issues of race, ethnicity, gender and social class throughout.


Criminology: A Sociological Understanding, 6e, provides a sociological perspective on crime and criminal justice by treating social structure and social inequality as central themes in the study of crime—and major factors in society's treatment of criminals. It gives explicit attention to key sociological concepts such as poverty, gender, race, and ethnicity, and demonstrates their influence on crime. Moving beyond simple “get tough” approaches, the book emphasizes the need to understand social causes of criminal behavior in order to significantly reduce it. This sixth edition continues to include certain chapters that remain uncommon in other criminology texts, including Chapter 2: Public Opinion, the News Media, and the Crime Problem; Chapter 11: Violence Against Women; Chapter 14: Political Crime; and Chapter 18: Conclusion: How Can We Reduce Crime? In addition, the book’s criminal justice chapters, Chapter 16 (Policing: Dilemmas of Crime Control in a Democratic Society) and Chapter 17 (Prosecution and Punishment), continue to address two central themes in the sociological understanding of crime and criminal justice: (1) the degree to which race and ethnicity, gender, and social class affect the operation of the criminal justice system; and (2) the extent to which reliance on the criminal justice system can reduce the amount of crime. Throughout the text, key concepts are supported with a comprehensive package of pedagogical material and teaching/learning aids.


Teaching and Learning Experience

This book offers a unique sociological introduction to the field of criminology. It provides:

  • A unique sociological perspective: Emphasizes the need to understand social causes of criminal behavior in order to significantly reduce it
  • Award-winning coverage: Features topics not covered in other introductory criminology texts
  • Strong pedagogical features: Gives students the tools to master key concepts faster and more effectively while making class preparation quick and easy for instructors

Table of contents

CHAPTER 1 Criminology and the Sociological Perspective
CHAPTER 2 Public Opinion, the News Media, and the Crime Problem
CHAPTER 3 The Measurement and Patterning of Criminal Behavior
CHAPTER 4 Victims and Victimization


CHAPTER 5 Classical and Neoclassical Perspectives
CHAPTER 6 Biological and Psychological Explanations
CHAPTER 7 Sociological Theories: Emphasis on Social Structure
CHAPTER 8 Sociological Theories: Emphasis on Social Process
CHAPTER 9 Sociological Theories: Critical Perspectives


CHAPTER 10 Violent Crime: Homicide, Assault, and Robbery
CHAPTER 11 Violence Against Women
CHAPTER 12 Property Crime and Fraud
CHAPTER 13 White-Collar and Organized Crime
CHAPTER 14 Political Crime


CHAPTER 15 Consensual Crime
CHAPTER 16 Policing: Dilemmas of Crime Control in a Democratic Society
CHAPTER 17 Prosecution and Punishment
CHAPTER 18 Conclusion: How Can We Reduce Crime?

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