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2. Books, journals, and articles  

This chapter first explains the nature of different books, journals, and articles encountered in the study of criminology. It introduces textbooks, edited collections, books of key readings, monographs, and dictionaries, together with journals as a key source of latest developments, research findings, criticism, and commentary. It moves on to consider how to find books and articles specified on a reading list. It then considers more generally how to find materials on a particular topic by developing a search strategy and using databases to locate relevant literature.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

15. Free will, classicism, and rational choice  

This chapter reflects on criminological theories. It begins by considering what a theory is, how a theory can be assessed, and exploring the overarching ideas in criminology. Criminological theory improves the understanding of why laws are made, how and why we enforce rules and punish those who break them, the effects of crime control, how and why people choose to break or obey rules, and the effects of rule breaking. The main theoretical schools in criminology include classicism, positivism, interpretivism, and critical criminology. The chapter then looks at the importance of free will and rational choice and demonstrates how these ideas in the 17th and 18th centuries underline the modern criminal justice system and may explain how and why we, as a society, feel we can and should punish those who choose to break the law.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

1. Studying criminology  

This chapter provides an overview of criminology, which is the scientific study of crime. ‘Criminologists’ are generally considered to be the lecturers, scholars, and researchers who create and impart criminological knowledge and understanding to inform the development of academic theories and arguments, and also of policies and practice relating to crime and people who come into conflict with the law. The study of criminology can be divided into three interconnected areas that each contribute to the understanding and knowledge of crime: defining and exploring crime, explaining crime, and responding to crime. We can view these three elements as not only a journey which leads on to research, but also as a triad of criminology. Ultimately, criminologists are interested in the sociological, psychological, legal, policy, and anthropological influences on defining, explaining, and responding to crime. The chapter details what criminology looks like as an academic subject.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

21. Surveillance and security in a risk society  

Richard Jones

This chapter considers the issues of security, risk, and surveillance. It discusses the meaning of these terms within criminology; introduces key relevant theories; summarizes criminological research in these areas; identifies some new security and surveillance technologies; and discusses their implications, concerns, and debates surrounding their use.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

7. Crime and media: understanding the connections  

Chris Greer

This chapter examines the link between crime and media. It summarizes major themes and debates that have shaped the research agenda, and considers some less well-rehearsed issues such as the changing global communications marketplace, the development of new media technologies, and the significance of these for understanding the connections between crime and media. The chapter is organized as follows. The first section offers some background information and addresses the crucial question of why exploring media images of crime and control is important. The second section considers how scholars have researched crime and media, and presents an overview of the main findings. The third section examines the dominant theoretical and conceptual tools that have been used to understand and explain media representations of crime. The final section considers the evidence for the influence of media representations, both on criminal behaviour and fear of crime.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

4. Theoretical criminology: a starting point  

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.

Book

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

Steve Case, Phil Johnson, David Manlow, Roger Smith, and Kate Williams

This book is the essential companion to exploring crime and criminal justice. It provides authoritative yet accessible coverage of all key topics of criminology, with a vibrant, student-focused approach that converts curiosity into critical analysis and students into criminologists. Its full coverage of today’s most pressing criminological issues includes chapters on global criminology (exploring organised crime, drug trafficking, people smuggling, cybercrime, and terrorism), social harm, and green criminology. The book also provides practical, focused guidance on beginning criminological studies and applying criminological knowledge to research, careers, and further study. The authors’ explanations are continually brought to life by the voices and experiences of a wide variety of people connected to criminology and the criminal justice system, from students and academics to prison officers and crime victims.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

12. Criminology and atrocity crimes  

Andy Aydın-Aitchison, Mirza Buljubašić, and Barbora Holá

This chapter explores the key concepts and history of criminology being correlated with atrocity. It explains that atrocity criminology will continue to develop in association with criminologies of overlapping and related phenomena, such as war and organisational crime. The international criminalization of atrocity has been addressed by many authors who emphasize different dimensions, including Austin Turk’s conflict theory. The chapter notes that aetiological inquiry on atrocity features multiple disciplines, integrating a breach of legal or moral prohibition, and theoretical resources that situate individual action in a wider context. It also acknowledges the dilemma surrounding the uniquely criminological approach to the problem of atrocity.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

4. How criminology produces knowledge  

This chapter investigates how researchers create knowledge in criminology. It covers two themes: first, the empirical research methods used in the discipline, and how understanding and knowledge of crime can be developed by applying, analysing, and evaluating criminological information. Secondly, the chapter discusses how this knowledge and understanding is influenced by the three important and interlinking factors of subjectivity (personal and disciplinary perspectives and opinions), supposition (guesswork, assumption), and study (for example, scholarship and conducting empirical and other types of research). ‘Empirical methods’ are the generation of evidence through (sensory) experience, particularly using experiments and observations. The chapter looks at the different research methods available to criminologists, covering both primary and secondary sources.

Chapter

Cover Criminology Skills

1. What is criminology?  

This introductory chapter attempts to answer the question ‘what is criminology?’ by exploring the origin of criminology as a discipline together with an overview of some of the types of question that may be of interest to criminologists. It sets out the structure of the remainder of the book, the first part of which introduces the source material that is commonly used in the study of criminology. The second part focuses on academic skills, while the final part concentrates on research methods.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

12. Cybercrime  

Matthew Williams and David Wall

This chapter examines the nature of cybercrime and its implications for criminology. It is organized as follows. The first part traces the evolution of the Internet as an environment for the emergence of cybercrime. The second considers the various conflicting definitional problems of cybercrime and offers a method of resolving them. The third part outlines the problems with measuring cybercrime before providing an indication of the scale of the problem. The fourth part briefly explores how those problems are being resolved. The fifth part looks at the governance and regulation of cybercrime, while the final part provides an overview of the various theoretical explanations.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

22. Victims  

Pamela Davies

This chapter explores the parameters of the study of the crime victim, and the history and scope of the academic subdiscipline within criminology known as victimology. It discusses victimological perspectives; researching victims of crime; and the extent, nature of, and risks to criminal victimization. The final section examines public policy and practice, considering how and why ‘victim’ is a problematic concept in the context of compensation. It problematizes a number of taken-for-granted victimological concepts, such as victimization and crime victim. This section also shows that key concepts, such as victim precipitation, culpability, provocation, and ideal victim connect to particular ways of constructing the crime victim and understanding victimization.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

13. Global criminology 1  

Comparative criminology

Sacha Darke

This chapter presents an overview of global criminology, introducing the overarching theme and concept of globalisation and drawing comparisons between crime and justice in different countries. Today, criminologists who research other parts of the world increasingly turn to international definitions of crime, and international understanding of the causes of crime and the effectiveness and legitimacy of the various forms of crime control. In doing so, criminologists in the Global North are becoming more aware that they need to diversify the discipline further to include the knowledge and viewpoints of researchers from the Global South. The emerging area of global criminology is divided into two broad areas of research interest. The first, comparative criminology, focuses on identifying and understanding convergences and divergences in crime and justice between nations and regions. The second area, transnational criminology, explores the nature of organised, state, and corporate crimes and responses to organised crimes that cross borders.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

18. Critical criminology  

This chapter investigates critical criminology. The strands that are widely regarded as most important in the development of critical criminology are labelling perspectives, Marxist-inspired critical theories, power perspectives, and feminist perspectives. The ideas and insights contained within these theories inspired and prepared the ground for more recent developments in the field, including cultural criminology and convict criminology. Critical criminology not only suggests that we make small alterations to criminal justice systems; instead, it requires us to question everything we think we ‘know’ about these systems and the societies and communities in which we live. It questions how and why we control behaviour, looks at power from the perspective of the oppressed or the powerless, and suggests alternative narratives that should be part of our accepted knowledge base.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

20. Right and left realism  

This chapter focuses on realist criminologies which emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The two main strands were right realism and left realism, so called because of the political leanings that influenced them. Realist criminologies were, in basic terms, theoretical developments grounded in and informed by sociological positivism (right realism) and critical criminologies (left realism). Realism itself is an important social scientific concept, developed to try to provide a basis for understanding social realities which are not directly observable or precisely measurable, but undoubtedly have material substance and affect human behaviour, such as the law. More recently, we have seen a further variation emerge in the form of ‘ultra-realist’ criminology, which seeks to challenge and extend the definition of ‘crime’ to encompass the idea of ‘social harm’, thereby making a connection with concerns about the environment or damaging state and corporate activity.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

17. Feminist criminology: Inequalities, powerlessness, and justice  

Michele Burman and Loraine Gelsthorpe

This chapter addresses complexities and continuing concerns in thinking about feminist perspectives and contributions to criminology. It charts feminist contributions to criminology over time, dwelling on paradigmatic shifts in substantive, epistemological, and methodological terms, and the ways in which feminism has transformed criminological research and practice. The chapter explores contemporary feminist research agendas focused on issues of powerlessness, justice, and inequality, addressing research on violence against women, digital technology, human trafficking, migration, and criminal justice. The notion of feminist criminology as a transitional phase towards a more humanistic stance in relation to crime and justice in a globalized context is also explored.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

18. Crime, culture, and everyday life  

Jeff Ferrell and Jonathan Ilan

This chapter focuses on the cultural significance of crime. It examines the way in which crime and culture intertwine within the lived experiences of everyday life, and argues that a host of urban crimes are perpetrated by actors for whom transgression serves a number of purposes. The chapter charts a world of underground graffiti artists, gang members, street muggers, and other ‘outsider’ criminals, whose subcultures are increasingly the subject of media, corporate, and political interest.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

5. Researching crime and criminal justice  

Emma Wincup

This chapter charts the development of the empirical research tradition in criminology; outlines the range of research designs and methods available to criminological researchers; draws attention to the particular challenges criminologists face when conducting research; and identifies new methodological developments currently influencing criminology.

Chapter

Cover Criminology Skills

8. Referencing and avoiding plagiarism  

This chapter focuses on referencing and avoiding plagiarism. It explains the meaning of plagiarism in detail and introduces the Harvard style of referencing. It explains when references must be provided in order to avoid inadvertent plagiarism. The chapter discusses referencing printed materials, government publications, legal sources, audio-visual sources, and electronic sources consistently and thoroughly using Harvard (name-date) referencing.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

25. Crime and consumer culture  

Keith Hayward and Oliver Smith

Proceeding from a theoretical perspective, this chapter examines the various relationships that exist between consumer culture and crime. The chapter starts by looking at criminology’s past, and a short review of some of the main theories/theorists that have actually trained attention on consumerism as a criminogenic phenomenon. This section also includes a critique of the supposed oppositional potential of consumerism that dominated the social sciences until relatively recently. Turning to the present, the chapter then introduces three distinct but complementary perspectives that offer a more useful and critical explanation of ‘the crime-consumerism nexus’. First, cultural criminology addresses the criminogenic impact of global capitalism at the level of cultural discourse and everyday transgression. Second, ultra-realist criminology identifies the damage caused by consumer capitalism, and more specifically how the dominance of neoliberal ideology shapes the deep-rooted desires and drives behind much identity-driven criminality. Finally, the deviant leisure perspective draws on both these positions to illustrate how dominant forms of commodified leisure drive a range of social, environmental, and individual harms. The relationship between crime and consumerism is not a simple one but, as this chapter argues, it is one that demands serious and critical criminological attention.