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Criminology (3rd edn)

Chris Hale, Keith Hayward, Azrini Wahidin, and Emma Wincup
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date: 23 February 2024

1. What is crime? Contrasting definitions and perspectiveslocked

1. What is crime? Contrasting definitions and perspectiveslocked

  • Wayne Morrison


This chapter, which introduces some of the complex interrelationships surrounding the various ways that crime is constructed and objectified, shows that, in practice and in the literature, there is much disagreement over the exact definition of a crime. It discusses four frameworks in which to make sense of how crime is defined: (a) crime as a social construction; (b) crime as a product of religious authority/doctrine; (c) crime as a reflection of nation-state legality; and (d) more recent concepts beyond the nation state derived from social and political theory.

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