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Major Forms of Crime

NCJ Number
R F Meier
Date Published
240 pages
Typologies as analytic devices for purposes of theory and research on crime are presented in a collection of research essays focusing on defining trends and patterns in criminal behavior, in particular in cases of murder and assault, forcible rape, occasional property crime, public order crime, political crime, white-collar crime, gang delinquency, organized crime, and professional theft.
Common themes suggest that divergent forms of crime are structured in nature and represent not necessarily random behavior but behavior realted to other societal features. Specifically each author addresses six topics on each particular crime form: (1) definition and general description of the offense behavior, (2) frequency and volume (the statistical picture) of the crime including any distinguishing patterns of offending and victimization, (3) information about the criminal career of offenders, (4) specific theories explaining that form of crime, (5) information pertaining to the social and legal reaction to the form of crime, and (6) an assessment of future directions that research should take with respect to that crime form. In addition, each chapter presents its individual research perspective. These perspectives include the sociology and social psychology of assault and homicide, the patterned nature of rape, and several patterns of offending that are representative of occasional property crimes. The chapter on public-order crime examines various forms of illegal sexual activity, the consumption and sale of abortion, and pornography. Forms of social resistance and patterns of political activism are considered within the topic of political crime. Chapter references are provided. For separate chapters, see NCJ 97902-97910.


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