The Study of Violent Crime: Its Correlates and Concerns

The Study of Violent Crime: Its Correlates and Concerns

The Study of Violent Crime: Its Correlates and Concerns

The Study of Violent Crime: Its Correlates and Concerns


Violence is a complex subject that is rooted in a multitude of disciplines, including not only criminology but also psychology, sociology, biology, and other social science disciplines. It is only through understanding violence as a concept that we can hope to respond to it appropriately and to prevent it. The Study of Violent Crime: Its Correlates and Concernsis a comprehensive text that provides a current analysis of violence and violent crime in the United States.

Topics discussed include:

  • The history of violence in Europe and America
  • Whether violent behavior can be predicted
  • Possible correlates of violence, including values, poverty, low education, abuse and neglect, alcohol abuse, and shame
  • Sociological theories surrounding crime causation, including social control, conflict and strain, and anomie
  • Psychological approaches to understanding violence from Freud, Bentham, Skinner, and others
  • Biological theories and the influence of positivism and determinism
  • The role of early exposure to violence on future behavior and programs to counteract these effects
  • Gang activity and hate crimes
  • The history of punishment and its effectiveness
  • Victimology and victimization

Organized in logical fashion, each chapter builds on previous ones and makes use of concrete examples to clarify concepts. Action boxes help readers focus on salient points and review questions appear at the end of each chapter, enabling readers to test their assimilation of the material.


As the plan to write this book began to develop, a few central points became immediately apparent. First, the concept of violence represents a vast collection of behaviors and cognitions within a theoretical domain whose parameters are extremely ambiguous. Of course, there are distinctions between the types of violence and their nature, which can be clearly articulated, but the causal and correlational variables that contribute to the acts of violence are legion. As a result, it was quickly determined that an attempt to cover the entire domain of violence within a single book is futile and may even result in further confounding the already misunderstood concept of violence and its attendant characteristics that have such a profound impact on ideology and beliefs.

The latent theme of this book is to provide a current analysis of violence and violent crime perpetrated by adult offenders within the United States of America. The concept of latent is strategic and purposeful. The reason is that to understand adult violence in the United States one must explore historical trends in violence, including trends in other countries as a result of the United States as such a young populace. In addition, it is important to explore developmental processes, including some important facts related to juvenile violence, to understand adult violence.

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