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The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (7th edn)

Alison Liebling, Shadd Maruna, and Lesley McAra
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date: 22 May 2024

p. 151. Sociological theories of crimelocked

p. 151. Sociological theories of crimelocked

  • Paul Rock


This chapter describes how the sociology of crime originally stemmed from professional and political preoccupations with the problems presented by the practical management of crime and punishment in the emerging British state of the early nineteenth century but then evolved and expanded in a rather unsystematic fashion over some two centuries into a semi-detached academic discipline that addresses the various ways in which social order, social control, and social representations of rule-breaking are said to affect the aetiology of crime. It has never stopped swelling, fragmenting, and proliferating, partly because of a tendency for new generations of scholars to forget the past (see Plummer 2011), and partly in response to the emergence of new data, new methodologies (such as randomized control trials), new empirical areas (such as the global South), and new theoretical possibilities and political preoccupations (such as violence against women and girls) and social and ecological problems (such as climate change).

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