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Ch 2: Theories of Crime

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and take self-assessment quizzes to learn more about the theories of crime. These video lessons are short and engaging and make learning easy!

Theories of Crime - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

There are numerous theories of crime, and the video lessons presented here outline many of them, highlighting origins, development, major researchers, or pros and cons. You'll gain a broad overview presented by a skilled instructor. At the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the classical school of criminology
  • Identify key points of other schools of criminology
  • Understand the origins of other theories of crime
  • Compare and contrast theories of crime

Video Objective
The Classical School of Criminology: Overview & Modern Influence Describe this school of criminology and its continued affect in the field
The Rational Choice Theory of Criminology: Definition, Assumptions, Pros & Cons Explain this theory, as well as its highlights and drawbacks
The Chicago School of Criminology: History & Researchers Discuss this theory, including its origins and key researchers
The Crime Control & Due Process Models of Criminology: Conservative vs Liberal Describe these models, and compare and contrast points of view
The Positivist School of Criminology: Overview, Influential Figures & Major Concepts Discuss this theory and its roots, including biological, psychological, and sociological approaches
Biological Theories of Crime: Overview, Features & Influences Describe this theory, including the role of DNA mapping in it
Individual Trait Theory of Criminology: Factors, Biases & Differing Views Outline key concepts in this theory
Psychological Theories of Crime: Overview, Assumptions & Weaknesses Describe these theories, and the pros and cons associated with them
Sociological Theories of Crime: Social Structure, Process & Conflict Theories Discuss these theories, as well as similarities and differences
Social Disorganization & Crime: Overview, Research & Findings Identify key parts of this theory, including research and results
Labeling Theory and Crime: Stigma & Retrospective and Projective Labeling Discuss key parts of this theory
The Social Control Theory of Criminology: Definition, Origins & Development Outline this theory and its origins
Social Learning Theory of Crime: Definition, Influences & Learning Processes Describe this theory of crime and its influences

12 Lessons in Chapter 2: Theories of Crime
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Classical School of Criminology & Its Influence Today

1. The Classical School of Criminology & Its Influence Today

Our judicial system is complex, and it's based on principles of crime and punishment that have been around for centuries. In this lesson, we'll explore the classical school of criminology and the five basic tenets of that form, which are its cornerstone.

The Rational Choice Theory of Criminology

2. The Rational Choice Theory of Criminology

Many people weigh pros and cons when they have to make a big decision. But is the same true for people trying to decide whether to commit a crime? Watch this lesson for more on the rational choice theory of crime and hedonistic calculus.

The Crime Control & Due Process Models of Criminology

3. The Crime Control & Due Process Models of Criminology

Is one person as important as society as a whole? In the study of crime, that is a major debate. In this lesson, we'll examine the different sides of the debate, the crime control and due process models, and how they fit into the justice system.

The Positivist School of Criminology

4. The Positivist School of Criminology

Are people who commit crimes fundamentally different from law-abiding citizens? In this lesson, we'll examine the positivist school of criminology, which tries to answer that question by examining the ways in which criminals and non-criminals are different.

Biological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

5. Biological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

Why do some people commit crimes, while others obey the law their whole lives? In this lesson, we'll examine one theory, the biological theory of criminology, including evidence supporting it and some of the shortcomings of the theory.

Individual Trait Theory of Criminology: Factors & Biases

6. Individual Trait Theory of Criminology: Factors & Biases

Ever wonder what makes a criminal mind different from yours? In this lesson, we'll delve into the individual trait theory of criminology, which tries to explain and treat criminal behavior based on personality traits.

Psychological Theories of Crime: Assumptions & Weaknesses

7. Psychological Theories of Crime: Assumptions & Weaknesses

What makes you or me different from a criminal offender? Watch this lesson to find out more about the psychology behind crime, including the four basic aspects of psychological theories of crime and some common criticisms of them.

Sociological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

8. Sociological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

Why do crime rates vary from community to community? In this lesson, we'll take a look at sociological theories of criminology, including the social learning and social conflict theories and sociological programs to prevent crime.

The Chicago School's Social Disorganization Theory

9. The Chicago School's Social Disorganization Theory

Why do some neighborhoods have higher crime rates than others? What elements make a community vulnerable to crime? Watch this lesson to find out about the Chicago School of Criminology and the social disorganization theory of crime.

Labeling Theory and Crime: Stigma & Retrospective and Projective Labeling

10. Labeling Theory and Crime: Stigma & Retrospective and Projective Labeling

Labeling others is common in our society. In this lesson, we discuss the specifics of labeling theory, including when and why people are labeled. We also distinguish between retroactive and projective labeling and briefly discuss Travis Hirschi's control theory.

The Social Control Theory of Criminology: Origins & Development

11. The Social Control Theory of Criminology: Origins & Development

When studying crime, many people ask questions about what causes criminals to commit crimes. But some people instead ask why people stay within the bounds of the law. In this lesson, we'll examine the social control theories of criminology.

The Social Learning Theory of Crime

12. The Social Learning Theory of Crime

How much do your friends influence your behavior? In this lesson, we'll examine the social learning theory of criminology, including the ideas of differential association and differential reinforcement, and when the tenets of social learning theory are most likely to happen.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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