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Seductions Of Crime: Moral And Sensual Attractions In Doing Evil

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In this startling look at evil behavior, a UCLA sociologist tries to get inside the criminal psyche to understand what it means or feels, signifies, sounds, tastes, or looks like to do any particular crime.


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In this startling look at evil behavior, a UCLA sociologist tries to get inside the criminal psyche to understand what it means or feels, signifies, sounds, tastes, or looks like to do any particular crime.

30 review for Seductions Of Crime: Moral And Sensual Attractions In Doing Evil

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eric_W

    Jack Katz, asks a deceptively simple question: What are people trying to do when they commit crimes? His answers, covering everything from juvenile delinquency to the most cold-blooded murder, prove the inadequacy of all conventional explanations of criminal behavior. Indeed, this brilliant book may revolutionize the way we think about crime. Many would argue that impassioned murder, often striking at close friends and loved ones, must be an act of temporary insanity. Not so, argues Katz, who no Jack Katz, asks a deceptively simple question: What are people trying to do when they commit crimes? His answers, covering everything from juvenile delinquency to the most cold-blooded murder, prove the inadequacy of all conventional explanations of criminal behavior. Indeed, this brilliant book may revolutionize the way we think about crime. Many would argue that impassioned murder, often striking at close friends and loved ones, must be an act of temporary insanity. Not so, argues Katz, who not only uncovers its emotional logic but the special appeal of "Righteous Slaughter". Shoplifting, burglary, and vandalism offer valuable rewards to the young, but the rewards, Katz demonstrates, are the not obvious material ones. Rather, "Sneaky Thrills" offer the adolescent a magical way of concealing and testing censored desires. Professional robbers know that their profits are often puny and expect to spend long periods In jail. The professional robber, however, is not a cost-benefit accountant but a "Hardman," caught up in the allure of Action, Chaos, and Control. Finally Katz maintains, "cold-blooded, senseless killers" like Gary Gilmore, far from being insensitive to the sufferings of others, are preoccupied with moral questions and seduced by the attractions of Primordial Evil.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Doris Jean

    This book has very good ideas about crime, but the ideas are clothed in obtuse, circular, complex grammar. Here's one of the shorter and simpler sentences (page 319): "Simultaneously, we would follow the logic of analytic deduction and search for negative cases, which means that evidence would take the form of qualitative case studies." The intellectual pedogogical language showcases an opposite language with anecdotal quotes by criminals in crude, vulgar street slang. The author translates one This book has very good ideas about crime, but the ideas are clothed in obtuse, circular, complex grammar. Here's one of the shorter and simpler sentences (page 319): "Simultaneously, we would follow the logic of analytic deduction and search for negative cases, which means that evidence would take the form of qualitative case studies." The intellectual pedogogical language showcases an opposite language with anecdotal quotes by criminals in crude, vulgar street slang. The author translates one insult as "now has become fecal matter animated in fellatio" (page 36). This book would be a treasure if written in clear English, since the conclusions seem to resonate with universal human character. This book has a serious drawback for pleasure reading because its subject matter is crime – horrible crimes of murder, sadism, rape and torture with sickening and repulsive details. But those with careers dealing with crime and criminals would surely appreciate this book. It should cause profound contemplation. I learned several interesting things. One was a mechanism for crime. Start with a humiliation (fear, insult, narcissism, paranoia, etc.) which triggers rage (embodied into crime by tools of violence, sacrifice, thrills, defying authority, seduction, getting away with it) which makes the criminal dominant, transcendent, powerful, thrilled, successful. The successful thrilling crime can establish the criminal as morally superior to the victim. The last chapter "Seductions and Repulsions of Crime" was the most interesting chapter since it opened up the subject of white collar crimes. It seems there are almost no statistics, almost no prosecutions, and no autobiographies and no confessions. The only enforcement is political enforcement, since the elite white collar criminals are in control of the prosecution, administration and bureaucracy and they don't prosecute themselves. These elite criminals are their own police, in charge of the enforcement. Wouldn't this final chapter if expanded into a book by itself, be a timely and a wonderful read???

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacquie

    For it's time, this book offers various perspective of the rational choice theory of crime. That is, why do people commit crime? Katz is best known for the second chapter of this book, where he details the thrill of theft. Although a bit bizarre, this book includes qualitative stories from all walks of people. For it's time, this book offers various perspective of the rational choice theory of crime. That is, why do people commit crime? Katz is best known for the second chapter of this book, where he details the thrill of theft. Although a bit bizarre, this book includes qualitative stories from all walks of people.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Greer

    It's been years since I was first introduced by fate to this magnificent book. Ordinarily one would not praise an academic work in such terms, but it reads so well and is so well organized and it reveals so much that needs to be revealed that I get all very excited just recommending it to the tribe of readers. Let me approach this remarkable study in a specific way: those parts I highlighted as I first read Katz's work. These highlighted notes may seem random, but the searching mind, the mind th It's been years since I was first introduced by fate to this magnificent book. Ordinarily one would not praise an academic work in such terms, but it reads so well and is so well organized and it reveals so much that needs to be revealed that I get all very excited just recommending it to the tribe of readers. Let me approach this remarkable study in a specific way: those parts I highlighted as I first read Katz's work. These highlighted notes may seem random, but the searching mind, the mind that demands a complete account will find gratification by proceeding accordingly. 1. The study of crime has been preoccupied with the search for background forces, usually defects in the offenders' psychological or social environments. How true, how true. In fact, I doubt that many of you readers thought to consider another option. The criminal is not born, he is made. The popularity of Netflix's Mindhunter attests to this simple fact. 2. The novelty of this book is its focus on the seductive qualities of crimes: those aspects in the foreground of criminality that make its various forms sensible, even sensually compelling, ways of being. This is something we are often prohibited from experiencing, instantly condemning "insane" acts of criminals. Katz begs to differ. Crime is fun. Honest people will acknowledge that. A Freudian reading will support my belief. 3. Among the forms of crime, the range of sensual dynamics runs from enticements that may draw a person into shoplifting to furies that can compel him to murder. The emotional discharge is critical for understanding the range of criminal behavior. The underlying assumption is that those who find criminal behavior "unattractive" either have little emotional involvement in life or are so organized that their emotional life is so regulated so as not to entertain harming others. Speaking for myself, I find harming others repulsive. But then why do I watch programming that involves such harm? 4. Can you beat an enfant to death because he or she needs a diaper change? People have been convicted for lesser offenses, but certainly these. The reason is phenomenological. The assailant saw the behavior of the speechless infant as purposive. 5. There are times when a man must react. A wife is gratifying a neighbor, when the husband discovers where the action is: in the victim's pants.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark Cross

    Jack Katz has published a one-of-a-kind book with 'Seductions Of Crime'. This book exposes an element of crime many do not comprehend: The seductiveness of the crime itself. Many researchers focus on societal influence or the background of the criminal. Katz places special emphasis on how people are drawn to the crime itself psychologically...what makes the crime so aesthetically-pleasing to the criminal element. This is great reading material for anyone, whether you're a police officer or just Jack Katz has published a one-of-a-kind book with 'Seductions Of Crime'. This book exposes an element of crime many do not comprehend: The seductiveness of the crime itself. Many researchers focus on societal influence or the background of the criminal. Katz places special emphasis on how people are drawn to the crime itself psychologically...what makes the crime so aesthetically-pleasing to the criminal element. This is great reading material for anyone, whether you're a police officer or just a civilian. Moving through the mind of a criminal, from petty all the way up to cold-blooded murderer, you are able to conceive the notions and impulses that drive them to perform criminal acts.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dana Segev

    Katz captures crime like no other criminologist did. I believe it is a must to all criminology students.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    I had to read this book in a basic criminology class I took in college in 1994. I re-read it and found it as useful today as it was back then. Highly recommended!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Birdy

    Very very interesting! A pioneer book that is relevant to everything I have learned in my sociology classes. A must read for anyone interested in human behavior, crime, or criminology.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    His thesis regarding the phenomenology of emotional states seems speculative and overly general.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Must be nice to write unfalsifiable theory. Generally though, takes an interesting look at the proximate causes of crime. Compelling in parts, confusing in others, it was overall an ok read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nate Fey

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marc Danziger

  14. 5 out of 5

    AnnMarie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adnan Ahmed

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aggie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sam Weisman

  18. 5 out of 5

    Crying Airplane Baby

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Orosz

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Will Sterling Armstrong

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Payton

  23. 4 out of 5

    tania medina

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mariya G

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alana

  26. 4 out of 5

    Myrissa

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vendula

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robin Boomer

  29. 4 out of 5

    MiracleW34

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wes

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