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Downes and Rock's popular textbook, Understanding Deviance, provides the reader with an indispensable guide to criminological theory.
It sympathetically outlines the principal theories of crime and rule-breaking, discussing them chronologically, and placing them in their European and North American contexts, confronting major criticisms that have been voiced against them, and constructing defences where appropriate.
The book has been thoroughly revised and brought up-to-date to include new issues of crime, deviance, and theory in the early twenty-first century. It includes new studies in the areas of gang and subcultural theory, further discussion of post-modernism and the 'risk society', and assessment of how different approaches address the lengthy fall in crime rate across most democratic and developed societies.