What is Crime?: Controversies Over the Nature of Crime and what to Do about it

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Stuart Henry, Mark Lanier
Rowman & Littlefield, 2001 - Social Science - 258 pages
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For decades, scholars have disagreed about what kinds of behavior count as crime. Is it simply a violation of the criminal law? Is it behavior that causes serious harm? Is the seriousness affected by how many people are harmed and does it make a difference who those people are? Are crimes less criminal if the victims are black, lower class, or foreigners? When corporations victimize workers is that a crime? What about when governments violate basic human rights of their citizens, and who then polices governments? In What Is Crime? the first book-length treatment of the topic, contributors debate the content of crime from diverse perspectives: consensus/moral, cultural/relative, conflict/power, anarchist/critical, feminist, racial/ethnic, postmodernist, and integrational. Henry and Lanier synthesize these perspectives and explore what each means for crime control policy.
 

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Contents

Crime in Context The Scope of the Problem
xiii
Classic Statements
15
The Nature of Crime
17
Who Is the Criminal?
25
Defining Patterns of Crime and Types of Offenders
35
Defenders of Order or Guardians of Human Rights?
63
New Directions
97
Crime as Social Interaction
99
Racing Crime Definitions and Dilemmas
153
Constitutive Definition of Crime Power as Harm
163
A NeedsBased Social Harms Definition of Crime
177
Integrating Approaches
203
Crime as Disrepute
205
The Prism of Crime Toward an Integrated Definition of Crime
225
Index
243
About the Contributors
251

Defining Crime in a Community Setting Negotiation and Legitimation of Community Claims
113
The Medias Role in the Definition of Crime
137

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About the author (2001)

Stuart Henry is professor and director of interdisciplinary studies at Wayne State University, where he also serves as associate dean of the College of Lifelong Learning.
Mark M. Lanier is associate professor of criminal justice and legal studies at the University of Central Florida.

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