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Legacies of Crime
A Follow-Up of the Children of Highly Delinquent Girls and Boys

$95.00 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Criminology

  • Date Published: February 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521879712

$ 95.00 (P)
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About the Authors
  • Legacies of Crime explores the lives of seriously delinquent girls and boys who were followed over a twenty-year period as they navigated the transition to adulthood. In-depth interviews with these women and men and their children – a majority now adolescents themselves – depict the adults’ economic and social disadvantages and continued criminal involvement, and in turn the unique vulnerabilities of their children. Giordano identifies family dynamics that foster the intergenerational transmission of crime, violence, and drug abuse, rejecting the notion that such continuities are based solely on genetic similarities or even lax, inconsistent parenting. The author breaks new ground in directly exploring – and in the process revising – the basic tenets of classic social learning theories, and confronting the complications associated with the parent’s gender. Legacies of Crime also identifies factors associated with resilience in the face of what is often a formidable package of risks favoring intergenerational continuity.

    • Centers on two intrinsically interesting topics - the world of crime and the experiences of highly vulnerable children
    • Focus is on compelling, highly readable narratives of lives, rather than statistical analyses
    • The idea of 'intergenerational transmission' is well accepted (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree …), but surprisingly has not often been studied directly
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Legacies of Crime is destined to become a classic life course study. Focusing on serious offenders in the current social and economic context, Giordano gives us an explicit and disturbing look at why so few offenders desist from crime and why so few of their children can be considered resilient. In graphic detail, the children’s accounts of their lives, and of their parents’ criminality, focuses our attention on the multiple ways they process and learn from their parents’ behavior and how, in turn, they struggle to shape their own identities. Both scholars and policymakers have much to learn from this masterful study.” – Candace Kruttschnitt, University of Toronto

    “Giordano presents a masterful look at how the costs of crime are transmitted across generations. Decades of careful and systematic longitudinal research are synthesized with hours of in-depth qualitative interviews to address the issue of why crime is so often clustered within families. By weaving together the narratives of young people who have grown up with justice-involved parents, Giordano opens up a window into the lives of some of the nation’s most vulnerable children and adolescents. It is through the voices of these children that we begin to understand the mechanisms that sustain and encourage a criminal lifestyle across generations. This book will be of great interest to anyone who is invested in promoting the healthy development of at-risk children; their stories and messages are difficult to hear, but impossible to ignore.” – Candice L. Odgers, University of California, Irvine

    “This is an impressive book – a qualitative and quantitative gem – that provides a longer ‘life course’ lens than most prior research on the intergenerational transmission of crime or delinquency and other risky behaviors. Criminologists, family and gender scholars, and social scientists will be reading and talking about Legacies of Crime for a long time.” – Darrell Steffensmeier, Professor of Sociology and Criminology, Penn State University

    "This is an excellent study of how intergenerational transmission of crime or delinquency, as well as other risky behaviors, evolves and persists.... Highly recommended." - Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521879712
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Literature review and conceptual framework
    3. The Ohio Life Course study
    4. OLS adult respondents: offending, surviving, parenting
    5. How have the OLS children fared?
    6. The intergenerational transmission process
    7. 'Success stories': it's all relative
    8. Theoretical and policy implications of the OLS study.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Crime Over the Life Course
    • Crime Victims in Society
    • Crime and inequality over the life course
    • Criminal Justice Systems
    • Criminal Offender
    • Criminology
    • Deviant Behavior
    • Foundations of Criminal Justice
    • Gender, Crime, and Justice
    • Intro to Sociology
    • Juvenile Delinquency
    • Juvenile Delinquency & Juvenile Justice
    • Profiles of Diviant Behavior
    • Seminar in Life-Course Criminology
    • Seminar-Issues in Criminal Justice
    • Sociology of Deviancy
    • The Myths of Crime
    • The nature of crime
  • Author

    Peggy C. Giordano, Bowling Green State University, Ohio
    Peggy C. Giordano is Distinguished Research Professor at Bowling Green State University. Her research - published in leading journals such as Criminology, the American Sociological Review, and the American Journal of Sociology - has long focused on the causes of juvenile delinquency, and particularly on similarities and differences in male and female pathways to criminal involvement. Her analyses of the adult lives of a sample of delinquent youth have twice won the American Sociological Association's James F. Short, Jr, award for best article, and this volume extends this research in a unique exploration of the lives of the children of the original study subjects.

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