Criminological Theory eBook (7e) : 9780134548562

Criminological Theory eBook (7e)

WilliamsáIII,F et al
Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Title type
NZ/Pacific customers only
This eText can only be purchased by people residing in New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga or Cook Islands with a credit card from the same country. Click here to find the Pearson website for your region.

For courses in Criminology, Criminological Theory, Theories of Crime, and Crime in America

The authoritative resource for concise, chronological coverage of all major sociological criminological theories


Much appreciated for its strong research orientation and detailed research bibliographies that show the relationship between theory, research, and policy, Williams and McShane’s Criminological Theory has been one of the most well-respected resources for undergraduate and graduate students nationwide for over 30 years. This book provides all of the key principles of the most researched theories in the field of criminology in a concise, clearly written, and economical format.  Chapters are logically arranged and include the social, cultural, and political context necessary to understand the times that generated and supported the various theories presented, and the book’s chronological map traces the development of each theory in relation to its predecessors and its role in the evolution of future theories. Each chapter ties into the preceding and subsequent chapter, adding cohesiveness to the theories. By understanding the relationship between early and present theory, students see the role played by the theorist more realistically, and can see themselves participating in theory as others before them have done.

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Table of contents
  • Preface 
  • 1.  Introduction 
  • 2.  The Classical School
  • 3.  The Positive School  
  • 4.  The Chicago School  
  • 5.  Differential Association Theory 
  • 6.  Anomie Theory  
  • 7.  Subculture Theories  
  • 8.  Labeling Theory   
  • 9.  Conflict Theory
  • 10. Gender-Based Theories  
  • 11. Social Control Theory
  • 12. Social Learning Theory
  • 13. Rational Theories
  • 14. Contemporary Theories of Process
  • 15. Contemporary Integrative and Critical Theories 
Features & benefits


A concise, clearly written, straight-forward approach

  • The consistent structure of the chapters gives readers the ability to accurately compare and contrast the theories with confidence.
  • The analysis of each theory highlights both the key elements and the distinctions between that theory and other theories, allowing students to remember the theories and apply them correctly.

Presents theories in a sociohistorical context, and examines the research and policies that were inspired by each theory

  • Students see clearly how and why certain theories evolved, why they were popular at particular points in time, and how they are still active and influential today.
  • Contemporary examples of theory in real life–including exhibits of recent, well-known crimes and criminals and information from new media–engage students in the material; illustrate how the theories apply to current events; motivate springboard discussions; and demonstrate how specific points in time are influenced by the political, economic, and cultural environments in which they occur.
    • For each theory, the authors engage the student in a logical classification process (Classification of the Theory) and provide a Summary as well as a list version of the Major Points of the Theory.
  • Each theory is updated with Current Directions as well as with the Policy Implications.
  • The chronological flow of the material allows students to build on what they have learned and better assess current events and their impact on the formation, testing, and modification of criminological theories.
  • The addition of situational action theory is included in an expanded array of integrated theories in contemporary criminology.

Enhances learning and ensures reinforcement of the concepts

  • Related Websites provide sources readers can use to incorporate additional material on the subjects.
  • Critical Thinking Questions and Practice Essay Questions help students write essays and complete assignments that reflect on their understanding of the material.
  • Practical help for writing at a professional level and mastering the basic elements of the various theories is incorporated.


Provides a valuable link to the research field

  • UPDATED extensive research bibliographies allow students to transition quickly to the vast resources available for further reading, and explore databases that shape crime policy in this country and around the world. The focus is on those sources that are readily available in most library collections both online and on campus.
  • The results of available research testing each theory provide students with access to the most current studies.
    • Students and instructors can select studies they want to explore in more depth.
    • Each chapter provides opportunities for students to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the individual research studies and their contributions to our understanding of each theory.
  • The sophisticated data collection and analysis techniques of current feminist research gives students a basic working knowledge of the principles of the gender gap. This new gender gap discussion allows students to see how current crime trends apply to broader multicultural, even global, studies of gender and crime


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