Problems with the Versatility Construct of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice 2004 – 1 61 European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, Vol. 12/1, 61–82, 2004 © Koninklijke Brill NV. Printed in the Netherlands. Stefan Schulz 1 Problems with the Versatility Construct of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime 1. INTRODUCTION In his review essay on Gottfredson and Hirschi’s book, A General Theory of Crime, Barlow 2 reminded us of Robert K. Merton who, about forty-five years ago, argued that the social science was not ready for the formulation of a ‘master conceptual scheme from which it is hoped to derive a very large number of empirically uniformi- ties of social behavior (Merton, 1957, 5-7).’ 3 Merton recommended less imposing but better grounded theories of the middle range, forging a closer connection be- tween theory and research. Gottfredson and Hirschi (in the following also referred to as G & H) claim to have since then found enough evidence which may be used for the construction of a general theory of crime, based on the tenets of classical theory/ rational choice theory. G & H
European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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