Cover image for The criminal lifestyle : patterns of serious criminal conduct
The criminal lifestyle : patterns of serious criminal conduct
Walters, Glenn D.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Newbury Park, Calif. : Sage Publications, [1990]

Physical Description:
224 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6115 .W35 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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What kind of choices does a hardened criminal make? What belief systems are these choices based on? The Criminal Lifestyle approaches these questions by examining how various biological, sociological and psychological factors interact to bring about criminal behaviour. Walters develops a model of crime as a lifestyle and shows that this concept is historically, cross-nationally and empirically valid. This groundbreaking book will be of interest to psychologists and sociologists as well as criminologists.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Walters's book offers somewhat different perspectives from other works in criminology in that it regards crime as an established life-style for many rather than as an isolated set of behaviors in youth and adulthood that brings the individual into temporary conflict with the criminal justice apparatus. After discussing some of the major tenets of criminological theory, Walters addresses three "interacting influences" that attempt, in varying degrees, to explain the onset of a criminal life-style. These are conditions, choice, and cognition. In the author's own words: "the lifestyle criminal constructs a belief system grounded in various early conditions and associated choices that serve to justify, support, and rationalize his subsequent criminal actions. We must understand criminal thinking if we are to comprehend criminal behavior." In eight chapters plus an in-depth reference section and index, Walters elaborates on how a criminal life-style emerges, is reinforced, proliferates, and becomes a totally dominant factor in an individual's personality. This is an intriguing book that should have a wide audience both in criminology and in other fields. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -J. C. Watkins Jr., University of Alabama

Table of Contents

A Working Hypothesis
Criminological Theory
Crime as a Lifestyle
The Criminal Lifestyle
Postulates and Key Terms
The Criminal Lifestyle
Developmental Issues
The Criminal Lifestyle
Cognitive Patterns
The Criminal Lifestyle
Assessment and Change
The Working Hypothesis Revisited