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Understanding DevianceA Guide to the Sociology of Crime and Rule-Breaking

Understanding Deviance: A Guide to the Sociology of Crime and Rule-Breaking (7th edn)

David Downes, Paul Rock, and Eugene McLaughlin
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date: 28 January 2022

p. 30513. Public Criminology

Theory and Policylocked

p. 30513. Public Criminology

Theory and Policylocked

  • David Downes, David DownesEmeritus Professor, London School of Economics
  • Paul RockPaul RockEmeritus Professor, London School of Economics
  •  and Eugene McLaughlinEugene McLaughlinProfessor of Criminology, City University

Abstract

This chapter examines the implications of theories of crime and deviance for public policy and practice. It first considers why criminologists devote few of their resources to political activity in general and the making of public policy in particular, with emphasis on the issues of role-definition, translatability, and salience. It then turns to some theoretical perspectives about the relationship between deviance and social policy, focusing on the work of the Chicago School of Sociology as well as functionalist theories, anomie theory, and the projects that put forward a theory based on a detailed analysis of the links between crime, delinquency, and social structure. It also looks at the work of Thomas Mathiesen in the field of a critical criminological penal reform project that advocates abolitionism. The chapter concludes with a discussion of public criminology.

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