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Criminological Research and the Definition of Crimes

Donald R. Cressey
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 56, No. 6 (May, 1951), pp. 546-551
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2772472
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Criminological Research and the Definition of Crimes
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Abstract

The concept "crime" must be restricted to behavior which is so defined by the criminal law, yet assumptions of proper scintific methodology make it necessary to define rigorously the pehnomena under investigation in criminology. Owing to lack of causal homogeneity within the general category "crime" and within the legal categories designating specific crimes, these two propositions present an apparent contradiction. The contradiction can in part be resolved by definition of homogeneous units within these categories, but for complete resolution definitions of homogeneous units must transcend legal categories.

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