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. “Bad” theory refers to theories that are not testable and therefore non falsifiable. Freudian theory (psychodynamic) is an example of a non falsifiable 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 “middle range,” meaning they have applicability to specific populations but not to others.
Some of the theories you will be examining include labeling theory, which views social labels as stigmata that impede a person’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 don’t people commit crime and is explained via a person’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:
Social Structure 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.