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The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (6th edn)

Alison Liebling, Shadd Maruna, and Lesley McAra
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date: 08 December 2021

p. 50122. Character, circumstances, and the causes of crime: towards an analytical criminologylocked

p. 50122. Character, circumstances, and the causes of crime: towards an analytical criminologylocked

  • Per-Olof H. Wikström

Abstract

This chapter analyses and explains acts of crimes as moral actions (i.e., actions guided by what is the right or wrong thing to do) within an analytical criminology framework. It outlines some common problems of current mainstream criminological theorizing and research, such as the lack of a shared definition of crime, the poor integration of knowledge about the role of people and places in crime causation, the frequent confusion of causes and correlates, and the lack of an adequate action theory, and proposes a more analytical criminology as the remedy. The chapter introduces Situational Action Theory (SAT), a general, dynamic, and mechanism-based theory about crime and its causes, designed to address these problems and provide a foundation for an analytical criminology. It concludes by briefly discussing main implications for the future direction of policy and prevention.

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