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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: 03 October 2022

p. 33414. The Metamorphosis of the Sociology of Crime and Deviancelocked

p. 33414. The Metamorphosis of the Sociology of Crime and Deviancelocked

  • 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 recent developments in the sociology of crime and deviance, with particular reference to the criticisms that have been hurled against it, as well as the emergence of alternative theories. It assesses the value of the major theories covered in this book in terms of prescience and explanatory rigour, along with the extent to which the approach has benefited from and contributes to allied fields. It considers the acceptance of the premise that crime and deviance were problematic, rather than immanent, properties of social conduct. This is followed by a discussion of ‘left realism’ and ‘right realism’ and an analysis of radical criminology, post-modern criminology, strain theory, labelling theory, control theories, radical theory, and cultural criminology. It concludes with a discussion of the need to put local concerns in global perspective with threats ranging from terrorism and narco-violence to state corruption, climate change, energy insecurities, and pandemic diseases.

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