Criminology final assignment



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For most, if not all, intents and purposes, this course has been divided into two sections: (1) presociological theories of crime that were prevalent into the middle of the 20th century, and; (2) sociological theories of crime that occupied a predominate position in criminology in the later part of the 20th century. Below, you will find two columns, one listing the pre-sociological theories of crime (Column A), and one listing sociological theories (Column B). Choose one theory from Column A and compare and contrast it with two theories from Column B.


Answer the questions:

  • What do each of these theories set out to demonstrate?
  • How do they propose to answer question 1?
  • What are the major strengths of this theory?
Column A – Phil/Bio/Psych Theories Column B – Sociological Theories
Classical School / Rational Choice Ecological Theories / Chicago School
Atavism and Biological Positivism Sociological Learning Theories
Eugenics / Hereditary Theories Functionalism & Anomie
Psychological Positivism Strain Theory & Anomie
Psychological Learning Theories Subcultural Perspectives
  Social Control/Bond Theories
  Symbolic Interaction/Labeling Theory
  • What are its shortcomings?
  • What does it do that the other two theories you are examining do not do?


Once you have answered these questions, to conclude, provide some assessment of the state-ofplay in criminology circa 1970. What is left to be learned, or has not been addressed? Given what has been demonstrated in this class, what do you find either positive or negative about the overall status of criminology? What questions remain outstanding that theory should address (and that will perhaps be covered in CC390)? Where were we, in 1970, on Stanley Cohen’s pursuit of the “holy grail” of criminology?



For each different theory, your answers to the questions above should not exceed two pages, and your final answer should not exceed one page, so in total your assignment should not exceed 7 pages. There is no need for an introduction. Write clearly, concisely, and efficiently. Use words like ontology, epistemology, rationality, inductive, deductive, paradigm, causation and/or etiology, logic, explanatory framework, etc. effectively and where appropriate. Be sure to use Times New Roman font, 12pt, double spaced, 1” margins all around. Be sure to clearly identify the theory you are analyzing at the beginning of each response.

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