Most literally, the study of crime , its perpetrators, and its causes; and, relatedly, an interest in its prevention, and in the deterrence, treatment, and punishment of offenders (see, Criminology, 2nd edn., 1992).
Approaches and theoretical traditions are diverse. Thus, criminology as the study of crime will be interested in the distribution of crime, and in the techniques and organization of crime. Criminology as the study of criminals might seek explanations for criminal behaviour in biology, psychology, or in the political economy of society. The related sociology of law may be interested in the processes of making and breaking laws and in issues such as proportionality-making the punishment fit the crime. During the 1960s and early 1970s, a sociology of deviance developed as a source of sociological opposition to the law-enforcement and establishment-orientation or traditional criminology, and as an epistemological critique of unquestioned assumptions about what constitutes crime or deviance. In the 1970s and 1980s external and internal influences on criminology encouraged the development of critical criminology and feminist criminology (see criminology, critical and criminology, feminist ). The latter drew attention to the near invisibility of women in criminological work and gave significant impetus to rectifying the past neglect of victims of crime. Generally speaking, the politics of these new positions has been identified with supporting and asserting the rights of minority groups.
Sometimes seen as a sub-field of sociology, sometimes as a discipline in itself, criminology is clearly a mixed but dynamic enterprise, drawing on (among others) sociology, economics, history, psychology, and anthropology. It can be criticized for its inability to produce an overall explanatory theory; nevertheless, the subject continues to develop. Some commentators have suggested that its principal concern ought to be the study of the production and disruption of order-in other words control rather than crime-while critics have invoked a postmodern vision of the death of criminology. Yet others argue that such announcements are premature, and are promoting new directions in crime prevention, and critical and realist criminology (see criminology, realist )., Criminological Controversies (1996), provides an excellent introduction to the theoretical and empirical issues that dominate the field. See also broken windows thesis ; criminal statistics ; criminology ; labelling ; criminology, positivist.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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  • criminology — crim·i·nol·o·gy /ˌkri mə nä lə jē/ n: the scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon, of criminals, and of penal treatment crim·i·no·log·i·cal /ˌkri mə nə lä jə kəl/ adj crim·i·no·log·i·cal·ly adv crim·i·nol·o·gist /ˌkri mə nä lə jist/ n …   Law dictionary

  • Criminology — Crim i*nol o*gy ( n?l ? j?), n. [L. crimen, crimenis, crime + logy.] 1. A treatise on crime or the criminal population. [1913 Webster] 2. The branch of sociology which studies crime and criminals. [PJC] {Crim i*nol o*gist} ( j?st), n. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • criminology — 1890, from CRIMINAL (Cf. criminal) + ology. Criminologist is recorded from 1857 …   Etymology dictionary

  • criminology — ► NOUN ▪ the scientific study of crime and criminals. DERIVATIVES criminological adjective criminologist noun …   English terms dictionary

  • criminology — [krim΄ə näl′ə jē] n. [< L crimen, gen. criminis (see CRIME) + LOGY] the scientific study and investigation of crime and criminals criminological [krim΄ənə läj′i kəl] adj. criminologically adv. criminologist n …   English World dictionary

  • Criminology — and penology Theories Causes and correlates of crime Anomie Differential association theory …   Wikipedia

  • criminology — criminological /krim euh nl oj i keuhl/, criminologic, adj. criminologically, adv. criminologist, n. /krim euh nol euh jee/, n. the study of crime and criminals: a branch of sociology. [1855 60; < L crimin (s. of crimen; see CRIME) + O + LOGY] *… …   Universalium

  • CRIMINOLOGY — Traditional Jewish criminal law based the treatment of the offender on the idea of the freedom of will and on the principle that the severity of the punishment should fit the nature of the violation. Until modern times no consideration was given… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Criminology —  Pour l’article homophone, voir Criminologie. Criminology Éditeur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • criminology — [[t]krɪ̱mɪnɒ̱ləʤi[/t]] N UNCOUNT Criminology is the scientific study of crime and criminals. Derived words: criminologist [[t]krɪ̱mɪnɒ̱ləʤɪst[/t]] plural N COUNT ...a criminologist at the University of Montreal …   English dictionary

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