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Criminology - The Study of Crime: Inter-disciplinary Approaches

Information and Resources

Sub-Topics of Criminology

Criminology encompasses a number of different sub-topics as it deals with the study of crime, law enforcement, and deviant behavior.  This broad span of knowledge requires insight from other areas of study such as sociology, psychology, philosophy, political science, and law in order to grasp the subject matter and relate it to the world at large.

Sociological

According to Merriam-Webster, sociology is "the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings." (Online version accessed June 10, 2020).  Criminal behaviors can be looked at from a sociological perspective in terms of environment, groups of people, and cultural/social structures in place.  One can also consider the frequency of types of crime and the motive behind these actions

Psychological

Psychology can be used to coincide with criminology, or be more specifically implemented in the role of criminal psychologists.  This field of study helps to locate the motives, thoughts, and feelings behind criminal actions.  Analyzing these motives provide a better understanding of why these crimes are taking place.

Philosophical

Philosophical study is important for considering the various theories of criminology.  Theories about crime, political institutions, and laws help to understand and put into perspectives the different aspects when studying the criminal justice system.

Legal

Since criminology studies the criminal justice system, it is essential to have a knowledge of the laws and judicial process for the system in place.  This impacts what activities are considered criminal, how people are convicted, and how sentences are implemented.

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