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Criminology: From "Determinism" to the Importance of Transitions

  • Wed, May 30 2007
    • Robert J. Sampson

On April 29th, 2007, the AAPSS inducted the Fellows of 2007. The following are excerpts from recipient Robert Sampson's remarks. In the 1980s when John Laub and I were beginning our long-term study of human development over the life course, the dominant discourse in criminology was heavily weighted toward childhood “determinism.” Delinquents were somehow considered to either be born that way or damaged in childhood and were more or less destined to go on to a life of crime. The idea was that a lot of what happens in adulthood is traceable to immutable childhood…

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