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Scope and Objectives of the Study of Criminology

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Crime has always accompanied mankind. The oldest order available to us today, like provided in the cave paintings in France and the old books as the Bible show that this was not a stranger to us hundreds or even thousands of years ago. We can even with these materials to draw a conclusion that the development of civilization has contributed to its creation. The formation of increasingly larger clusters of human foster the development of crime, as well as the presence of various types ranging from murder, to stealing and minor offenses. To prevent this, most ancient civilizations has already begun to develop legal codes to protect not only citizens but also to advise them that if the crime was committed will be punished severely for it.

Also attempted to explain the reasons which drive people to crime, and to define their personalities. However, these attempts were only a tiny seed. It was not until about 200 years ago began to seriously address the causes of the emergence of crime. It was the beginning of science called criminology. Multidisciplinary of that discipline makes that some people think is considered to be irrelevant as the field of study. However, a huge level of knowledge contained in criminology, is very useful in everyday life, not only for ordinary human but also for smaller or bigger corporations. For Business Management students such as me study criminology, is extremely useful. Gained knowledge help to avoid situations conducive to crime, which is very useful if you have your own company or if you work at a high position

To discuss nature, scope and objectives of the study of criminology is really important to know what it means. Criminology is a detailed academic and established subject of the study, this does not means that criminologist agree definition of the field. Those authors of the criminology texts who offer a definition rarely offer the same one. But in few words Criminology deals with the perpetrators of a crime, its causes of action and social conditions in which it has. It is social science that studies and a comprehensive collection of knowledge about crime as a deviation of specific forms of behavior, crime as a social phenomenon, as well as the perpetrators of those crimes, victims of crime, the institutions and mechanisms of control, which form a society for the prevention and combating crime. Origin of Criminology is dating back roughly a hundred and fifty years ago.

For criminology, it is considered the creator of Italian physician, Cesare Lombroso who lived in the second half of the nineteenth century. He created anthropological theory assuming the existence of “the born criminal”. As a result of the study concluded that on the basis of appearance, you can recognize the potential and actual criminal. The pattern created by the offender has been used with varying success to early twenties twentieth century. At that time criminologists received their academic training in the social sciences, usually taking degrees in sociology. And at that time criminology become separate discipline. But separate does not mean without any influence on other disciplines. Criminology is called multidisciplinary because it’s strongly connected with other disciplines like sociology, forensic psychiatry, psychology, criminal law but it also has links with economics, anthropology, statistics or politics. Those disciplines help in realization of main criminology’s scope; in understanding criminal behavior. Psychology is usually used to mean the study of the mind or spirit of people and the application of this knowledge to explain human behavior and attitudes.  It is the study of individual characteristics or qualities such as personality, reasoning, thought, intelligence, learning, perception, imagination, memory and creativity. Psychology is usually separated into two groups of theories: cognitive and behavioral. The first one is concentrated on the psychology in the mind. Human actions are seen as the result of driving or compelling mental forces or result of mental reasoning and belief. The whole activities are strongly connected with internal mental process. The second theories are little bit different. They see that internal mental process can be affected and even altered by certain factors in the environment which either reinforce or discourage the behavior. The both groups of theories are really not strong divided but there may be some exceptions. Psychology is one of the most important pillar in understanding criminal behavior.

The second one is sociology. To help criminology in this case sociology is mostly concentrated on areas which influenced on criminalists such as the environment, poverty and unemployment. Based on those areas there were created two sociological theories: ecology and, poverty and unemployment. Those theories relate criminality to “objective” social and economic facts. They trying to prove that crime is statistically related to poverty or wealth distribution, or to social disorganization. Both psychology and sociology are magnificent help in understanding criminal behavior but it also helps prevent crime. And that is the next most important thing in study criminology. There may be a lot of causes which create crime but when we know them it become easier to prevent them. Criminology as a science has identified in number of classification. We can classify it as Neo Conservative Criminology, Liberal Cynical Criminology, Liberal Criminology or Radical Criminology.

Neo Conservative criminology is on the one hand committed to preservation of the traditional values of society and on the other hand to the promotion of technocratic rationalities. It should be understood as a specific application of social engineering. Central to neoconservative thinking is that crime and deviance is committed because people are not committed to self-control or self-regulation. Neoconservative criminologists are not concerned with the causal theories of crime as they do little to change the crime problem. According to Gibbons and Garabedian , Liberal Cynical Criminology emerged along with the more the 1940s and 1950s because liberal cynical criminology has dominated the field over the past thirty years, we might also call it mainstream criminology. There is also Liberal Criminology which retained the emphasis on offenders and their behavior and attempted to explain crimes in terms of either social structure or social process. And the last one radical criminology rejects the liberal reformism that claims have helped to create probation and parole the juvenile court system. More Modern Cynical liberal criminology shades into the newer brands of the liberal criminology but still crime and criminology as manifestation of the exploitation character of monopoly capitalism.

To conclude Criminology as a science is really important. Crime created by civilization unfortunately is still developing and changing. To prevent it is highly recommended and also needed to study and understand criminal behavior. It should also be aware that criminology can have many faces and as a multidisciplinary science contains a lot of links to other fields such as psychology or sociology. All this knowledge appropriately used can be great benefit to society in the future. Not only criminology impacts on other areas but also other areas impact on criminology. Every even the smallest changes in the society sooner or later find their outlet in crime and later also in criminology. Although this is a relatively new science is for all of us a very helpful and makes that we can feel safe. As a student of Business Management I think the study of criminology, has proved to be right choice. These are great value for me because as a potential owner or an employee not only know the risks but also their causes and this give me the potential opportunities in the future to prevent the commission of an offense.


Jones. S., (2006). Criminology. ed.3. Toronto: Oxford University Press

Williams. K.S., (2004). Textbook on Criminology. Madrid: Oxford University Press

Walklate, S., Maguire M., ed. (2003). Understanding Criminology : Current theoretical debates.ed.2. Buckingham: Open University Press

Anonymous, (No date). What is neo conservative criminology? .Available from: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_neo_conservative_criminology [Accessed: 08 March 2009]

Anonymous, (No date). What is the vision, mission and objectives of a criminologist? .Available from: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081006044855AAxcWHd [Accessed: 07 March 2009]

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