Integrated Theory

Del Elliot

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online July 2012 | | DOI:
Integrated Theory

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Integrated theories are theories that combine the concepts and central propositions from two or more prior existing theories into a new single set of integrated concepts and propositions. Integration can take several forms. Conceptual integration involves an absorption strategy, arguing that concepts from one theory have the same meaning as concepts from another theory and combining them into a common language and set of concepts. Propositional integration involves combining or linking propositions from one or more theories into a single, unified and consistent set of propositions. Conceptual integration is very common in theory development and a review of this type of integration essentially would involve a general review of criminological theory. Propositional integration, as a distinct development strategy is relatively rare and recent and is the subject of this online bibliography. In some instances propositional integration is based on theory commonalities and in others it involves integrating competing theories. The number of theories combined currently ranges from two to four and there is substantial variation in the structure of the proposed integration. Structural arrangements typically take one of four forms: arranging theories (propositions) end-to-end, side-by-side, up and down, and some combination of these forms. The most common form of integration involves combining social control and social learning theories. Proponents view theory integration as an alternative strategy for theory development and testing that addresses some of the limitations of the more traditional competition strategy. They also claim increased levels of explanatory power compared to that of the individual theories combined and greater inclusiveness in types of criminal behavior explained. There is a lively debate about the nature and efficacy of this strategy, the structure and coherence of specific formulations, and the level of empirical support for specific integrated theories.

Article.  5682 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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