Accessibility / Report Error

Determinants of crime: theoretical frameworks and empirical results

What makes people commit crimes and socially deviant behaviors? Are such acts the result of idiosyncratic personal characteristics or a deformed acculturation process in the pre-adult phase? Or could they be the result of social breakdown and injustice? On the other hand, one could postulate that such phenomena are the result of the rationalization process, whereby the modern culture of individualization provides the ethical underpinnings for opposing the Golden Rule. How, then, does one explain the occurrence of such phenomena throughout history and in different places and cultures? This paper provides a summary of different contributions and also reviews some theoretical models concerning the determinants of crime and their relationship to several empiric studies.

determinants of crime; violence

Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos (IESP) da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) R. da Matriz, 82, Botafogo, 22260-100 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel. (55 21) 2266-8300, Fax: (55 21) 2266-8345 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil