Author: Tony Lawson and Tim Heaton
ISBN No: 9 780 2302 178
Review date: 23/02/2024
No of pages: 352
Year of publication:
What do sociologists mean when they talk about 'crime' and 'deviance'? Can we use theory to explain why individuals break the law? And how do we measure criminal behaviour in modern society? This book uses key concepts and essential theory to explore these questions and explain their answers.
The second edition of this student-focused text continues to offer clear and structured guidance on the sociology of crime and deviance. With basic definitions and clear analysis of theory and statistics, this book gives its reader the tools to build their knowledge and understanding of the topic.
One way of studying crime is with a sociological approach, and a textbook to get you thinking.
One textbook – Crime and Deviance, by publisher Palgrave – lends itself to use by the private security manager, as it stresses how the reader should debate the material. So while the book is aimed at the exam student, security managers can use it to ask questions of society around them: do women do different crimes from men? Why are there human rights and other lawyers, in the business of victims going to law? How do you define a criminal and deviant; why is it ok to sunbathe nude on the holiday beach abroad, but not on the workplace lawn? The authors suggest a distinction between ‘consensus crimes’ such as murder that we can agree are truly unacceptable; and ‘conflict crimes’, illegal but not always viewed as such (watching Premier League football on the pub big screen live?). Less helpful to the corporate security reader is the Marxist view that capitalism is ‘crimogenic’ and that staff in big businesses are more or less compelled to commit crimes to make profits. But for controls, ‘the predatory and criminal nature of modern capitalism is revealed’. This may outrage you; it may be laughably simplistic (and do regulators and people in government not do fraud?!). Nor is this textbook well-disposed to private security, suggesting ‘a whole new industry is growing up that has a stake in crime’, including insurance and personal protection devices. How though does this tally with the chapter on official crime statistics, which have limitations to put it politely?!