Theoretical Integration in the Study of Deviance and Crime

Problems and Prospects

Edited by Steven F. Messner, Marvin D. Krohn, and Allen E. Liska

Series: SUNY series in Critical Issues in Criminal Justice, SUNY series in Deviance and Social Control
Paperback : 9780791400012, 352 pages, July 1989
Hardcover : 9780791400005, 352 pages, July 1989

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Table of contents

Strategies and Requisites for Theoretical Integration in the Study of Crime and Deviance
Allen E. Liska, Marvin D. Krohn, and Steven F. Messner

Part I. Micro-Level Integration
1. The Social Behaviorist's Perspective on Integration of Theories of Crime and Deviance
Ronald L. Akers
2. Exploring Alternatives to Integrated Theory
Travis Hirschi
3. Reflections on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Theoretical Integration
Terence P. Thornberry
4. A Theory of Mental Illness: An Attempted Integration of Biological, Psychological and Social Variables
Walter R. Grove and Michael Hughes
5. Cognitive Consistency in Deviance Causation: A Psychological Elaboration of an Integrated Systems Model
Ronald A. Farrell
6. Theory Integration Versus Model Building
Margaret Farnworth

Part II. Macro-Level Integration
7. Political Decisionmaking and Ecological Models of Delinquency: Conflict and Consensus
Robert J. Bursik, JR
8. Towards an Integrated Theory of Criminal Behavior
Charles F. Wellford
9. The Discipline as Data: Resolving the Theoretical Crisis in Criminology
Victoria L. Swigert
10. A Theoretical Approach to Integration
Thomas J. Bertrand
11. Prospects for Synthetic Theory: A Consideration of Macro-Level Criminological Activity
Charles R. Tittle
12. Three Perennial Issues in the Sociology of Deviance
Jack P. Gibbs

Part III. Cross-Level Integration
13. Deviance and Differentiation
Robert F. Meier
14. Micro- and Macro-Structures of Delinquency Causation and Power-Control Theory of Gender and Delinquency
John Hagan
15. Strategies for Cross-Level Theorizing: Comments on the Meier and Hagan Papers
Craig B. Little
16. Exploring Integration of Theoretical Levels of Explanation: Notes on Gang Delinquency
James F. Short, JR
17. Confronting Control Theory's Negative Cases
Peggy C. Giordano
18. The Challenge and Promise of Theoretical Integration in Criminology
Roland Chilton
List of Contributors


How to best generate theoretical growth in the contemporary study of deviance and crime has been the source of much debate. This book represents a diverse range of viewpoints concerned about theoretical integration and its benefits.

The chapters encompass both discussion of the requisites for integrating theories and examinations of methodological strategies to test these theories. By providing a source for those grappling with the issue of theoretical integration, the book is sure to stimulate further theoretical development in the sociology of deviance and in criminology.

Steven F. Messner and Marvin D. Krohn are Associate Professors in the Department of Sociology at the State University of New York at Albany. Allen E. Liska is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the State University of New York at Albany. He is the author of The Impact of Attitudes on Behavior: The Consistency Controversy and Perspectives on Deviance.


"This text represents the first bona fide attempt to advance criminological theory. " — Colin Goff, Dept. of Sociology, University of Brunswick

"This is a useful work which cannot be ignored by serious researchers and theorists. It offers not only full coverage of the issues to be faced in serious research from now on, but several guides (or rather options) for specific ways of dealing with those issues. " — Austin T. Turk, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto