Storylines As a Neglected Cause of Crime

Researchers usually explain individual offending in terms of background factors like low self-control and association with delinquent peers. Such factors reflect the routine or typical aspects of the individual's life over an extended period of time and they influence the individual's pred...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of research in crime and delinquency
Main Author: Agnew, Robert
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
Published: 2006
In:Journal of research in crime and delinquency
Year: 2006, Volume: 43, Issue: 2, Pages: 119-147
Online Access: doi
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Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: In: Z 31
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Summary:Researchers usually explain individual offending in terms of background factors like low self-control and association with delinquent peers. Such factors reflect the routine or typical aspects of the individual's life over an extended period of time and they influence the individual's predisposition for crime. Researchers also sometimes explain offending in terms of situational factors, which reflect the features of the situation immediately before a crime occurs and influence the commission of crime in that situation. But that temporal level between background and situational factors is largely ignored. The author refers to this level as "storylines." Storylines begin with some event that is out of the ordinary, and this event temporarily alters the individual's characteristics, interactions, and/or settings for interaction in ways that increase the likelihood of crime. This article draws on the qualitative research on crime and the leading crime theories to identify the major storylines conducive to crime, and it points to the important role that storylines can play in understanding the causes of crime and in efforts to control crime. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR
ISSN:0022-4278