Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Institutional Anomie Theory

  • Beth Bjerregaard
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_217

Synonyms

Overview

What began as a monograph aimed at accounting for the excessively high rate of violent crime in the United States (Messner and Rosenfeld 1994), Messner and Rosenfeld’s institutional anomie theory (IAT), an identity provided by Chamlin and Cochran (1995), is perhaps the quintessential sociological theory of crime among the more recently minted theoretical approaches over the past two or three decades. The theory is a purely macro-social theory of crime and is in fact a cross-national theory of crime stressing the interplay of social structural and cultural feature of modern nation-states as the ultimate cause of crime. The entry below traces the origins of the theory, describes the theory in detail, reviews the empirical work testing key propositions of the theory, and discusses current controversies surrounding the development of the theory.

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Recommended Reading and References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal Justice and CriminologyUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA