This paper argues that the traditional definition of crime is too narrow and unnecessarily constrictive of criminological work. Definitions more in accord with the objectives of a humanistic criminology must be developed. The traditional debate over the definition of crime has not been grounded within the context of the more fundamental images of crime that actually guide criminological work. By clarifying these underlying images (paradigms) and displaying the value questions and domain assumptions contained within them, we are in position to develop first order and second order definitions of crime which are more suitable to the task of humanistic criminology.

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