Criminological Theories

Definitions for criminological theories of crime

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Labelling
People in power decide what acts are crimes, and the act of labeling someone a criminal is what makes him a criminal. Once a person is labeled a criminal, society takes away his opportunities, which may ultimately lead to more criminal behavior.
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Strain Theory
Most people have similar aspirations, but they don’t all have the same opportunities or abilities. When people fail to achieve society’s expectations through approved means such as hard work and delayed gratification, they may attempt to achieve succ
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Rational Choice Theory
People generally act in their self-interest and make decisions to commit crime after weighing the potential risks (including getting caught and punished) against the rewards.
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Differential Association
People develop motivation to commit crime and the skills to commit crime through the people they associate with.
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Classicism
A school of thought based upon utilitarian notions of free will and the greatest good for the greatest number. At its core, classical criminology refers to a belief that a crime is committed after an individual weighs the pros and cons. The decision
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Routine Activities Theory
This theory states that for crime to be committed, three elements must be present: an available target, a motivated offender, and a lack of guardians.
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Techniques of neutralisation
This type of technique helps a person justify committing a crime by making it seem that although the act itself might be wrong, under certain conditions it is all right.
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Sub-cultural Theory
A group of delinquent peers who may influence an individual to commit criminal acts in order to receive approval from the group. The group encourages different values as they are unable to conform to the values of the main culture.
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Conflict Theory
The view that society is divided into two or more groups with competing ideas and values. The group(s) with the most power makes the laws and controls society. Groups lacking the formal power to make the rules still maintain their own group norms, an
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Marxism
This theory explains both law and criminal justice, and focuses upon the division between the ruling-class elite and the laborers. In a capitalist society, the ruling-class elite (bourgeoisie) control the means of production, which allows them to con
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Feminist Theory
This theory attempts to define criminology and criminal justice based upon the experiences, understanding, and view of the world as perceived by women. It tries to counter most theories of criminology that have been developed, tested, and applied by
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Chivalry Hypothesis
The view that male police officers, prosecutors, and judges tend to have traditional views of women and girls. As a result, the officials are more lenient on the females for committing criminal acts than on their male counterparts.
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Positivism
Crime is caused or determined. Lombroso placed more emphasis on biological deficiencies, whereas later scholars would emphasize psychological and sociological factors. Use science to determine the factors associated with crime.
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Card 2

Front

Most people have similar aspirations, but they don’t all have the same opportunities or abilities. When people fail to achieve society’s expectations through approved means such as hard work and delayed gratification, they may attempt to achieve succ

Back

Strain Theory

Card 3

Front

People generally act in their self-interest and make decisions to commit crime after weighing the potential risks (including getting caught and punished) against the rewards.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

People develop motivation to commit crime and the skills to commit crime through the people they associate with.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

A school of thought based upon utilitarian notions of free will and the greatest good for the greatest number. At its core, classical criminology refers to a belief that a crime is committed after an individual weighs the pros and cons. The decision

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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