Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Katz, Jack: Seductions of Crime
Julie Kiernan Coon
Criminological theories have traditionally relied on a range of psychological and sociological factors as causes of criminal behavior. When Jack Katz published Seductions of Crime: Moral and Sensual Attractions in Doing Evil in 1988, it represented a dramatic theoretical shift in the attempt to explain the phenomenon of crime. Katz argues that criminological theories tend to focus on the negative “background” of crime, such as an offender's possible psychological problems or socioeconomic disadvantage. Such theories fail to consider the “foreground” of crime, which often holds symbolic and powerful meaning and defines the moments leading up to a criminal event in ways that may be significant to offenders and victims (Katz, 1988, p. 3). “As unattractive morally as crime may be,” observes Katz (1988, p. 10), “we must appreciate that there is genuine experiential creativity in it as well. We should then be able to see what are, for the Katz ...