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Criminology (3rd edn)

Chris Hale, Keith Hayward, Azrini Wahidin, and Emma Wincup
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date: 01 October 2023

4. Theoretical criminology: a starting pointlocked

4. Theoretical criminology: a starting pointlocked

  • Keith Hayward
  •  and Wayne Morrison


This chapter offers a comprehensive introduction to how criminological theory has developed and is used. It presents a series of theoretical vignettes, each of which provides both an accessible introduction to a particular theory and informed signposts to more detailed readings. The discussions cover criminology's two founding doctrines: the ‘classical’ and ‘positivist’ approaches to the study of crime; biological, genetic, and psychological explanations of crime; the Chicago School of sociology; the ‘labelling’ perspective; Marxist/radical criminology; criminological realism; control theory; and cultural criminology.

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