This assignment is designed to get students to 1) provide an overview of at least 2 major individual theories of crime and 2) summarize two articles (one from each theory) that tested the theories, 3) use the concepts from these theories to explain the criminality of an example of a criminal that the student identifies.
This assignment should be in essay format and the use of headings and subheadings is strongly encouraged. It should be between 4 to 7 pages, double spaced, times new roman font with one inch margins. It is due the last day of class. References should be listed at the end of the paper.
Content: Three parts
Part 1: Describe two of the major sociological theories that explain individual criminal behavior: Social Bond Theory, Differential Association Theory, General Strain Theory, Low Self Control Theory.
Be sure to identify and explain all concepts, including primary independent variables, mediating variables, moderating variables, and dependent variables. In the process be sure to speak to the basic assumption that each theory makes about human nature and as a result how it seeks to reduce crime. 2-3 pages (4 points)
Part 2: Locate a research article for each theory that you choose that examines whether the theory is accurate. Be sure to explain 1) the measures that are used to test the theory 2) the sample the theory was tested on, 3) what the research found. Be sure to list a full reference for each article. 1-2 pages (3 points)
Part 3: Identify a person who is criminal and explain their criminality using the theories that you explained. Given what the theories suggest, what should be done to attempt to reduce this person’s criminal behavior? 1-2 pages (4 points)
Note 1: Make sure to identify the concepts from the theory and discuss how these concepts apply to this criminal. Don’t just describe the criminal without making references to each theory.
Note 2: The person can be either real or fictional – they can come from a TV show, movie, the news, or your own experiences. You must use a preexisting character. That is, do not make someone up! If you use someone you know, please de-identify them. That is, I do not want people to provide me with the actual names of criminals that they personally know. If describing someone from your past (or yourself), please make up a fake name.
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