Crime Theories and Victimization Final Paper

I included the theories that we have gone over in this class directly below, and the instructions given by the Professor are below these theories.

In the class we learned about some structural theories on crime, and some social theories on crime.

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Some structural theories include macro-perspectives, and micro-perspectives on crime.

1) Macro-perspectives: Durkheim’s Societal Spectrum, and Merton’s Anomie in American Society, 1938.
2) Micro-perspectives: Agnew’s General Strain Theory, and Human Ecology and Social Disorganization


Some social theories include three perspectives that all fall underneath the Social Process Paradigm.

1. Learning Theories: Differential Association, Aker’s Social Learning Theory, and Labeling Theory.
2. Control Theories: Social Bonding Theory, and General Theory of Crime
3. Developmental Theories: Moffit’s Taxonomy, and Sampson/Laub’s Age-Graded Theory



Throughout the semester, you have learned about the most used theoretical paradigms that attempt to explain why crime occurs. For this assignment you will have to pick a scene or plot line from movie or a television show where a crime occurs, explain that crime through three specific theories, and then decide which theory best explains the crime and which has the best policy implications to address that particular type of crime (they do not have to be the same theory, but they can be). One theory might explain crime well but might not offer really easy-to-implement or even realistic policy options. Your paper will have three major components that are outlined below.


Start your paper with a short introductory section consisting of about three or four paragraphs. You can introduce your paper in any way that you like but it must flow into component 1. A good rule of thumb is to start really broad and reel it into what your paper will be about. Maybe discuss to what extent the crime you will be explaining in your paper occurs on a national or global level. Or maybe discuss an attention-grabbing incident that might have recently occurred. For example, if you are going to talk about child sexual exploitation, you might want to mention how Jefferey Epstein’s story rocked the world as an introduction to your paper.


Component 1: Describe the Crime, Offender, and Victim/Target


Pick a scene from a movie or television show where a crime occurs. It can be any crime whether it is teenagers smoking pot, a serial killer abducting a victim, or a business executive involved in insider trading (while you can go with murder, I think it would be more interesting if you go with something more prevalent). Tell me what movie or TV show this is from. And explain the scene or plot line in detail. What crime occurs? What led to the crime? Who is the offender and what are their reasons for committing the crime? Describe the victim and what led to their victimization. Then tell me what the result of the crime was. Did the victim die? Did the offender get away? In other words, describe the crime you will explain subsequently and provide enough context to drive your explanation home. Here you might also like to think how this fictious crime compares to what you have learned about crime in your other CRJ classes.


Component 2: Apply Three Theories to the Crime


Pick three theories within three different perspectives and explain the crime through the lens of those theories. For instance, Social Bonding Theory falls under the Control Perspective. You must use Social Bonding Theory as one of your theoretical explanations. If you do choose SBT, you cannot choose another control theory for your second explanation. For each of the three theories you choose, you have to provide a detailed explanation of each theory (citing the textbook and other sources), then you have to find and explain 2 scholarly articles that support each theory, and one that does not support each theory (and cite them). Then you must explain the crime through each one of these theories and choose, which theory, in your educated opinion best explains the crime.


Component 3: Policy Implications


After you have described the crime, explained it through your three theories, and decided which theory best explains the crime, you have to come up with 3 policies or programs that you think will address the type of crime you chose. Each of your three policy ideas must be rooted in one of your theories. Then explain which policy idea is the most “realistic” or feasible and why you think so. Considering which theory best explained the crime and which offers the most feasible policy implications, which theory of the three theories do you think is most useful to scholars, politicians, and practitioners. These must be actual policies or programs that exist. I do not want you to make something up out of thin air. Cite peer-reviewed articles here.


End your paper with a paragraph or two explaining what you learned about theory, crime, and policy.


You will need to write this in APA, with proper in-text citations and a reference list. The paper should be between 2750 and 3000 words in length. You will use at least 12 sources that are considered academic. Your textbook also counts as part of the 12. Use textbooks or peer-reviewed work as sources. You must use TIMES NEW ROMAN, 12pt font (black ink).


You will hand in a draft for me to provide feedback which will count for 10 of the 30 points, while the final draft will count 20/30. Due dates for the rough and final drafts are listed in the class calendar below.


During our “Final Paper Work Days” you may (if you choose) schedule Zoom meetings with me for individualized help on your drafts.


Grading Criteria


F= You plagiarized, handed in nothing, did not follow any instructions, or the project was not fully completed.


D= You followed some instructions, the project was mostly completed, showed poor written skills. Did not make a good case.


C=You followed most instructions, showed relatively OK written skills, but still lacked quality in some areas.


B= You did everything I asked for and showed good written skills.


A= You exceeded expectations in every aspect of the project.

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