You are expected to explain the theory you have chosen and why this is your general theoretical outlook.  Make sure you lo

You are expected to explain the theory you have chosen and why this is your general theoretical outlook.  Make sure you look at the individual constructs in the theory and explain them, and explain why this is a better theory using the extant research that supports your chosen theory.  This is the important part of the paper.  Use academic sources to show why the theory is valid.  Also, address why you believe this theory is of particular importance and why it is better than other theories. 

 

Some of the theoretical schools of thought you might select a theory from include:

 

Classical School (Bentham and Beccaria)

Neoclassical School (Broken Windows Theory, Deterrence)

Ecological Theories (Chicago School, Social Disorganization)

Strain Theories (Merton, Agnew)

Control Theories (Hirschi, Gottfredson and Hirschi, Reckless, etc.)

Learning Theories (Sutherland, Akers)

Critical Theory (Pick a branch, Marx, Weber, Feminist Theory, Green Criminology, whatever you want)

Life-Course Theory/Developmental Theories (Farrington, Moffitt, Sampson and Laub)

Psychological Theories (Freud and Jung, Trait theories)

 

Sociological Theories

Functionalism (Parsons, Durkheim)

Conflict (Adorno, Marx, Weber, and a couple of others)

Social-Psychological Theories (Mead, Berger and Luckmann)

 

It is best to pick a single theory rather than a group of theories.  Control theories, for example, is a group of theories, not a single theory. 

 

Components that should be in the paper: Description of the elements of the theory

Development of the theory (historical context) social, political, and economic influences

Assumptions of the theory (human nature, free-will, autonomy)

Research backing up the theory

Limitations of the theory

Why this theory is your favorite and why it is better than the other theory

Reflection on how this fits with your personal ideology


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