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The contemporary literature on crime causation theory is closely linked with the more general literature in anthropology, psychiatry, social psychology, and sociology. Since criminal acts and crime rates are similar to other acts and rates studied by social scientists, the alliance of criminology with more general scientific disciplines is not surprising. Although some of the scholars specializing in the study of crime and criminals (criminologists) are concerned with penal legislation, with the sociology of the criminal law, or with simple fact finding, the majority of them are directly or indirectly concerned with crime causation.This concern has been expressed in two principal forms. First, criminologists have studied the processes by which persons become criminals and have developed theories of criminality. Second, criminologists have studied the relation of crime rates to variations in culture and social organization and have developed theories of crime. The theories of criminality are theories about social learning and personality development and thus are necessarily related to more general theories about these phenomena. Theories about the distribution of crime rates are theories about social systems and, consequently, are closely related to more general theories of social structure.
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