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Name Instructor Class December 4, 2013 Chapter 15, “Development of Criminals: Life-Course Theories” In Chapter 15, the “Development of Criminals: Life-Course Theories,” of Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences, Lilly, Cullen, and Ball (2011) discussed life-course-based theories of criminality…
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Download file to see previous pages 385). Lilly et al. mentioned studies on “criminal careers,” where scholars became interested in the life-course development of criminal behaviors- when it started (onset), how long it persisted (duration or persistence), how frequently it was conducted (incidence), and how it ended (desistance) (Lilly et al. 386). They talked about an unusual insight: childhood experiences can impact adolescent delinquency, and if this is true that criminality roots in childhood, not adolescence years, then many theories of delinquency and crime are partially or completely invalid (Lilly et al. 386). Integrated theories of crime are not designed to be life-course theories, but they represented the early initiatives of the latter (Lilly et al. 387). Integrates theories use two or more theories in gathering insights about crime, specifically from the dominant frameworks that affect criminological study, differential association/ social learning theory, strain theory, and control/social bond theory (Lilly et al. 387). Integrated theorizing has the strengths of: (1) resolving the weaknesses of one theory and (2) finding connections among theories. Integrated theorizing, however, has its weaknesses: (1) it makes an assumption that the knowledge on criminal knowledge will immediately grow from mixing theories and (2) it can lead to weak theories because of haphazard selection of concepts and insights from different theories (Lilly et al. 388). Elbert Elliott, Suzanne Ageton, and Rachelle Canter presented the “integrated strain-control paradigm,” which suggests that factors from particular theories might be more significant at specific life stages (such as childhood instead of adolescence) and there could be more than one route to delinquency (Lilly et al. 389). These scholars focused on the importance of “early socialization outcomes,” wherein children experience strong or weak bonds (after the social control theory). The social bonds are “integration” or “external” or “social” bond and commitment, also called the “internal” or “personal” bond (Lilly et al. 389). Those who have found strong bonds during childhood and continue them in adolescence have a low likelihood of delinquent engagement, while weak childhood bonds create a clear pathway to established criminal involvement (Lilly et al. 389). Elliott et al. considered the possibility of a “second pathway to delinquency” that occurs when some children with strong bonds become delinquents because of strains, personal and/or social, that decrease “commitment” to and “integration” into society (Lilly et al. 389). Terence Thornberry (1987) offered the interactional theory, where he asserts that human behaviors happen through social interaction, so the former are best explained through analyzing their interactive processes (Lilly et al. 390). He asserted that changing interactions between the child and other people and social institutions can be triggers of criminal behaviors (Lilly et al. 390). In addition, Thornberry (1987) gave an autonomous role to delinquents, where they also shape their social surroundings as an element of the “interactive system” (864 qtd. in Lilly et al. 390). He concluded that there is enough evidence to support his theory’s assertion that delinquency is embedded in a structure of mutually-reinforcing causal relations (Lilly et al. 39 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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