An introduction to crime and deviance

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Petherick, W., & Ferguson, C. (2009). An introduction to crime and deviance. In W. Petherick & C. Ferguson (Eds.), Crime and deviance (pp. 1-15). Alaska, United States: Forensic Press LLC.

2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1602

© Copyright 2009, Forensic Press, LLC. All rights reserved.




Criminological knowledge as it relates to concepts of deviance have been stagnating. Historically, new texts contain very little new knowledge. They have tended towards the recycled rather than the original. Old theories are posited over and over again, with little consideration or regard to whether they even apply in the current universe of criminal behavior. New editions rarely contain little more than new case studies as if this somehow keeps them contemporary. At best, many works offer a different spin on old approaches or theories.

It is for these reasons that we have endeavoured to make this book a little different, and by extension more useful. This opening chapter provides a brief overview of what constitutes a crime and some background to the criminal law as well as the construction of deviance. This will provide a useful lens through which an examination of specfic crimes and deviances can be undertaken. Throughout, reference is made back to constructions of deviance with discourse on a variety of different crime types including sex offending, stalking, assault and domestic violence, and through a variety of different deviances, including sexual deviance, cults, and gun ownership.

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This document has been peer reviewed.