• paradigm;
  • differential association theory;
  • sociological positivism;
  • interdisciplinary;
  • life-course criminology

In response to a devastating critique of the state of criminology known as the Michael-Adler Report, Edwin H. Sutherland created differential association theory as a paradigm for the field of criminology. I contend that Sutherland's strategy was flawed because he embraced a sociological model of crime and in doing so adopted a form of sociological positivism. Furthermore, Sutherland ignored key facts about crime that were contrary to his theoretical predilections. Recognizing that facts must come first and that criminology is an interdisciplinary field of study, I offer life-course criminology as a paradigm for understanding the causes and dynamics of crime. In addition, I identify three warning signs that I believe inhibit the advancement of criminology as a science and a serious intellectual enterprise.