Criminology A Sociological Understanding Fourth Edition Steven E. Barkan With its hallmark critical approach,Criminology: A Sociological Understandingoffers a sociological perspective on crime and criminal justice. This viewpoint emphasizes the need to understand the social causes of criminal behavior in order to reduce crime. The text addresses two central themes in the sociological understanding of criminal justice: Ý The degree to which race and ethnicity, gender, and social class affect the operation of the criminal justice system Ý The extent to which we rely on the criminal justice system to reduce crime. New to the fourth edition is expanded coverage of mass murder and serial killing, "Review and Discuss" questions at the end of each section, and summary tables of major criminological theories. ---------------------------- "Thoroughly researched, brilliantly analyzed, and written for the broadest student audience, this book clearly stands out among the highest quality introductory texts in criminology. It offers not only superior comprehensiveness but top-level scholarship as well. The way in which both the criminological and law and society literatures are woven throughout is what makes this book unique and important for students. Barkan has an uncanny ability to relate complex ideas, theories, and social problems in the clearest and most interesting manner without losing a bit of meaning. Moreover, his treatment is right on the mark. I highly recommendCriminology: A Sociological Understanding. It is truly an outstanding book." Henry N. Pontell, University of California, Irvine "Barkan is an unabashed sociologist … I like the fact that he takes a stand on certain issues. Too often textbooks, in their attempt to appear neutral, become bland as paste to read and appear to be little more than encyclopedias of criminology. Barkan's text is well- written … and it communicates well." Theodore R. Curry, University of Texas at El Paso "The level of material is absolutely appropriate for students ranging from freshmen to seniors. Barkan presents the contents of each chapter in such a fashion that lower division students are not overwhelmed by the complexity of the subject material and upper division students will have their interests stimulated by the broad range of topics covered." Kent Bausman, Maryville University-St. LouisSteven E. Barkan is the author of 'Criminology: A Sociological Understanding, 4th Edition', published 2008 under ISBN 9780132350068 and ISBN 0132350068.