Forms of Crime Interdependence

Marcus K. Felson, Rutgers University

This paper applies broad ecological theory, drawn from larger science, to understand interdependences among offenders, targets and guardians. It considers not only symbioses but also non-symbiotic relationships among crime participants. It distinguishes predatory crimes from parasitic crimes. It separates mutualism from commensalism, with examples. Ecological theory and knowledge has grown quite a bit since Mackenzie, Shaw, McKay, and Hawley took a peek into that world.

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Updated 05/20/2006