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Demonic Theory

cause of crime: the devil, a demon, etc.

Classical Theory (person)


Classical Theory

people will weigh the pros and cons of a situation, if the pros outweigh the cons then they'll do the action; rational choice

Biological Theory (person)


Biological Theory

suggested that all criminals are evolutionary throwbacks; atavism


only ___ of prisoners are considered to be atavist

Chicago School

1. Human Ecology
2. Symbolic Interaction

(Chicago School) Human Ecology

(how do humans interact with their environment?)
(three ideas looked at:)
1. physical characteristics of neighborhood
2. economic characteristics
3. social demographics (race and ethnicity)

(Chicago School) Symbolic Interaction

- a person will act the way that they think others think that they should act
- social learning (you learn how to commit a crime based on who you hang out with)

Strain Theory

you become a criminal because of a gap between societal goals and your ability to gain those goals; if you dont have the means to get what you want, you may use criminal methods to gain those goals

(Strain Theory) General Strain Theory

strain causes anger, and with that anger you try to get back at the 'system' which is why you then perform crimes

Subculture Theory

those who experience similar types of strain will form groups together

Control Theory (person)


Control Theory

- asks why an individual doesn't commit a crime
- because of social bonds, belief in the moral authority of the law, self control theory - people with low/no self control

Labeling Theory

after a person is convicted of a crime and labeled a criminal, they internalize what that label is and accept that label as who they are

Critical Theory

capitalism creates more crime; when there is a demand, no matter what it is, there will be someone to supply for that demand

Routine Activities Theory

crime is going to occur when 3 things come together:
1. motivated offender
2. suitable target
3. lack of a capable guardian

Life Course Theory

suggests that the vast majority of people will commit a crime before the age of 18

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