Geoffrey R. Skoll (auth.)'s Contemporary Criminology and Criminal Justice Theory: PDF

By Geoffrey R. Skoll (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230101119

ISBN-13: 9780230101111

ISBN-10: 1349379611

ISBN-13: 9781349379613

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Extra info for Contemporary Criminology and Criminal Justice Theory: Evaluating Justice Systems in Capitalist Societies

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They then have to account for noncriminal behavior. Usually they account for noncriminal behavior by ignoring the fact that most, by far the overwhelming amount, of behavior by noncriminals (cf. non-PIMs) and criminals (PIMs) does not violate legal prohibitions. Just as the physicist’s theory implied an epistemological question about why people thought PIMs mimic, so effective criminal justice theories ask why people think there is a category of people, criminals, who produce crime by their behavior.

Reason-action explanations focus on actors. They try to give objective reasons why people act within a context of social forces. Reason-action explanations bring together objective covering laws of the social sciences with the recognition that history proceeds not by the abstract laws of social structures alone, but also by individuals taking certain courses of action. It brings human agency back into the causal equation. Hermeneutic explanations also recognize human agency but pay less attention to objective laws.

Consider an example of a famous bit of scientific research, that undertaken by Charles Darwin. The first stage of his research was exploratory. He set off on the HMS Beagle December 27, 1831, to survey the natural history (as science was called then) of South America. Initially, Darwin’s purpose was to explore. As part of his exploration he brought instruments and accoutrements, perhaps chief among them his notebooks, to record what he observed. That is, Darwin prepared himself to record his observations by describing them—the second goal of research.

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Contemporary Criminology and Criminal Justice Theory: Evaluating Justice Systems in Capitalist Societies by Geoffrey R. Skoll (auth.)


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