Crime and the Life-Course in a Changing World: Insights from Chicago and Implications for Global Criminology


This paper assesses the state of life-course criminology and argues that its major limitation to date is the general failure to incorporate social change. Invoking the concept of cohort differences in aging because of macro-level change, I discuss some of the watershed changes of recent times, including the historic crime decline, the technological revolution, massive immigration and urbanization, rises in inequality, and the Great Recession. I then introduce a new study from Chicago that attempts to link individual development and pathways of crime to some of these large-scale social changes, capitalizing on a cohort sequential design from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. I conclude with implications for global criminology, especially the role of urbanization, ethnic diversity, and inequality in Asia.

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Last updated on 04/03/2018