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Abstract

In the past two decades, the field of criminology has changed dramatically. Mainstream criminology, which focused primarily on the etiology of behavior taken for granted as criminal, has been successively challenged by a number of different sociological theories and perspectives. These challenges have come from the labeling or interactionist perspective, various pluralistic conflict theories, and a number of radical, critical, or Marxist approaches. Although there are many differences among these theoretical developments, they share a common set of humanistic concerns. All of these perspectives attempt to combine a theoretical explanation of crime and social control with a practical concern for human liberation and social justice. All of these perspectives are concerned, in one way or another, with the way in which the social structuring of crime and social control affects the human rights, survival, and material well-being of people.

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