Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Chapter 1 What is Criminology?

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Chapter 1 What is Criminology?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 1 What is Criminology?
Frank Schmalleger PowerPoint presentation created by Ellen G. Cohn, Ph.D.

2 A Fascination with Crime
People are both attracted to and repulsed by crime TV crime shows, movies, books, websites devoted to crime are very popular People are fascinated by crime because it is inexplicable

3 Legalistic Perspective
Crime is defined as: Human conduct in violation of the criminal laws of a state, the federal government, or a local jurisdiction that has the power to make such laws This is a legalistic perspective that recognizes that laws are social products

4 Crime and Deviance Deviant behavior – human activity that violates social norms Deviance and crime overlap – not identical Unusual dress styles = deviance Indecent exposure = crime Figure 1-1 “The Overlap between Deviance and Crime”

5 What Should be Criminal?
Society lacks agreement about the appropriate legal status of many behaviors Two contrasting perspectives Consensus Pluralist

6 Perspectives Consensus Pluralist
Laws are enacted to criminalize given forms of behavior when agreed upon by members of society Most applicable to homogeneous societies Pluralist Behaviors typically criminalized through a political process, after debate over appropriate course of action Legislation, appellate court action Most applicable to diverse societies

7 What Do Criminologists Do?
Criminologist – studies crime, criminals and criminal behavior Criminalist – a specialist in the collection and examination of the physical evidence of crime Criminal Justice Professionals – do the day-to-day work of the criminal justice system

8 Academic/Research Criminologists
Ph.D. in criminology, criminal justice, or related field Teach in colleges and universities Most conduct research designed to advance criminological knowledge Most write for publication in journals

9 What is Criminology? Text’s definition of criminology:
An interdisciplinary profession built on the scientific study of crime and criminal behavior, including their manifestations, causes, legal aspects, and control Focus on causes of criminality Contributes to the discipline of criminal justice

10 Criminal Justice Criminal justice: Focus on control of lawbreaking
Application of the criminal law and study of the components of the justice system Police, courts, corrections Focus on control of lawbreaking

11 Theoretical Criminology
Subfield of general criminology Primarily found in colleges and universities Posits explanations for criminal behavior

12 Theoretical Criminology
Theory Made up of clearly stated propositions that posit relationships, often of a causal sort, between events and things under study Criminologists have developed many theories to explain and understand crime

13 Theoretical Criminology
General theory – tries to explain most forms of crime through a single overarching approach Unicausal theory – poses a single identifiable source for all serious deviant and criminal behavior Integrated theory – tries to explain crime by merging concepts from different sources

14 The Social Context of Crime
Crime is a social event, not an isolated individual activity Crime is a social construction Crime may have many causes and many meanings Crime is socially relative: Social events are interpreted differently according to the cultural experiences and personal interests of the initiator, observer, or recipient of the behavior

15 Criminology’s Interdisciplinary Nature
Social scientific discipline Interdisciplinary Figure 1-3 – “Criminology’s Many Roots”

16 The Primacy of Sociology
Most criminologists operate primarily from a sociological perspective Advantages Crime is a social phenomenon Much contemporary criminology rests on tradition of social scientific investigation Problems Reluctant to accept findings from other disciplines Frequently unable to integrate these findings into existing sociological understandings of crime Unable to show effective ways to control crime

17 Criminology and Social Policy
Social policies based on research findings are more important than criminological theorizing Social policy needs to be linked to objective findings of well-conducted criminological research

18 Social Policy and Public Crime Concerns
Social concern about crime not always related to incidence of crime Crime rates declining since mid-1990s Polls show majority of respondents believe crime more prevalent today than a year ago Many see crime problem as “extremely serious” or “very serious” Concern about crime an important factor in determining public policy

Download ppt "Chapter 1 What is Criminology?"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google