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
Wikström, Per-Olof H.: Situational Action Theory
Per-Olof H. Wikström
Why do people engage in acts of crime? Two central ideas in criminological theory are that people's crime involvement is dependent on (1) who they are (their characteristics and experiences) and (2) where they are (the features of the environments in which they take part). Although many criminological theories have contributed considerably to our understanding of the role of person and environmental differences in crime causation, these two strands of thinking are rarely combined into a developed integrated theoretical framework. Most criminological theory lacks an expounded theory of action that specifies how putative person and environmental characteristics (and particularly their interaction) impact action (acts of crime). Without knowing how (through what process) suggested person and environmental factors are supposed to influence acts of crime, it is arguably difficult to evaluate their potential role and relative importance in crime causation and thus problematic to properly integrate person and environmental influences (and ...