Completely updated and revised throughout, and featuring a new full-color design, this book provides a sociological perspective on crime and criminal justice by treating social structure and social inequality as central themes in the study of crime–and major factors in society's treatment of criminals. It gives explicit attention to key sociological concepts such as poverty, gender, race, and ethnicity, and demonstrates their influence on crime.
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A Sociological Understanding
Steven E. Barkan
With its hallmark critical approach, Criminology: A Sociological Understanding offers a sociological perspective on crime and criminal justice. This viewpoint emphasizes the need to understand the social causes of criminal behavior in order to reduce crime. The text addresses two central themes in the sociological understanding of criminal justice:
¿The degree to which race and ethnicity, gender, and social class affect the operation of the criminal justice system
¿The extent to which we rely on the criminal justice system to reduce crime.
New to the fourth edition is expanded coverage of mass murder and serial killing, “Review and Discuss” questions at the end of each section, and summary tables of major criminological theories.
“Thoroughly researched, brilliantly analyzed, and written for the broadest student audience, this book clearly stands out among the highest quality introductory texts in criminology. It offers not only superior comprehensiveness but top-level scholarship as well. The way in which both the criminological and law and society literatures are woven throughout is what makes this book unique and important for students. Barkan has an uncanny ability to relate complex ideas, theories, and social problems in the clearest and most interesting manner without losing a bit of meaning. Moreover, his treatment is right on the mark. I highly recommend Criminology: A Sociological Understanding. It is truly an outstanding book.”
Henry N. Pontell, University of California, Irvine
“Barkan is an unabashed sociologist … I like the fact that he takes a stand on certain issues. Too often textbooks, in their attempt to appear neutral, become bland as paste to read and appear to be little more than encyclopedias of criminology. Barkan’s text is well- written … and it communicates well.”
Theodore R. Curry, University of Texas at El Paso
“The level of material is absolutely appropriate for students ranging from freshmen to seniors. Barkan presents the contents of each chapter in such a fashion that lower division students are not overwhelmed by the complexity of the subject material and upper division students will have their interests stimulated by the broad range of topics covered.”
Kent Bausman, Maryville University—St. LouisAbout the Author:
Steven E. Barkan is professor of sociology at the University of Maine, where he has taught since 1979. His teaching and research interests include criminology, sociology of law, and social movements. He is the 2008-2009 president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems and had previously served as a member of the SSSP Board of Directors, as chair of its Law and Society Division and Editorial and Publications Committee, and as an advisory editor of its journal, Social Problems. He has served on the student paper award committees of the Crime, Law, and Deviance and Sociology of Law sections of the American Sociological Association. Professor Barkan has written many journal articles dealing with topics such as racial prejudice and death penalty attitudes, views on police brutality, political trials, and feminist activism. These articles have appeared in the American Sociological Review, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Journal of Crime and Justice, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, Social Forces, Social Problems, Sociological Forum, Sociological Inquiry, and other journals. He has also authored the forthcoming text, Law and Society: An Introduction, with Prentice Hall.
Professor Barkan welcomes comments from students and faculty about this book. They may email him at BARKAN@MAINE.EDUor send regular mail to: Department of Sociology, 5728 Fernald Hall, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469—5728.
Professor Barkan recently won the 2006 "Texty" award for outstanding textbook!
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