The tenets of good theory include concepts being logically consistent, using parsimony (conciseness), being comprehensive in scope, being heuristic (yields something of value), and being testable. â€œBadâ€ theory refers to theories that are not testable and therefore nonfalsifiable. Freudian theory (psychodynamic) is an example of a nonfalsifiable theory, yet we still find it very useful in helping us think and conceptualize. Theories of crimes help us understand the genesis or origins of crimes in our communities. Some theories are macro in perspective, while others are very specific or micro. Criminological theories often are considered to be â€œmiddle range,â€ meaning they have applicability to specific populations but not to others.
Some of the theories you will be examining include labelingtheory, which views social labels as stigmata that impede a personâ€™s social progression (ex-con, former mental patient, whore, thief). Social structure theory focuses on economic reasons for crime such as poverty or living in high-poverty areas. Strain theory is the inability to achieve cultural goals through institutional means. Neutralization theory suggests that people are not criminals all the time but instead drift from conventional to illegal behaviors using rationalizations to justify their drifting. Social control theory is unique in asking the question why donâ€™tpeople commit crime and is explained via a personâ€™s attachments and stake in conformity.
For this Assignment you will apply theories to explain the risks of becoming an offender.
- Identify an article about a crime that you find of interest.
- Select three theories from the following list:
- Labeling Theory;
- Social Structure Theory;
- Strain Theory;
- Neutralization Theory;
- Social Control Theory.
- Review the theories presented in the video Forensic Insights: Theories of Criminal Behavior in your Learning Resources.
- Review the Learning Resources related to theories
- Use the Application of Theory template in the Learning Resources to apply each theory you selected to the case you selected.
Submit by Day 7.
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- Miller, L. (2012). Criminal psychology: Nature, nurture, culture. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
- Chapter 3, â€œPsychosocial Theories of Criminal Behaviorâ€ (pp. 63â€“96)
- Oâ€™Connor, T. (2004). In Crime theories, megalinks in criminal justice. Retrieved from http://www.newlearner.com/courses/hts/cln4u/pdf/crime_theories.pdf
- Document: Week 5 Application of Theory (Word Document)
- Laureate Education (Producer). (2016e). Forensic insights: Theories of criminal behavior [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 15 minutes.