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Example Sentences Learn More about criminology. Did You Know? Examples of criminology in a Sentence Recent Examples on the Web Virtually no one in criminology disputes the age-crime curve. Wilson proposed a criminology theory called Broken Windows. But mass shootings are rare here," 21 Feb. First Known Use of criminology , in the meaning defined above. Learn More about criminology. Resources for criminology Time Traveler! Explore the year a word first appeared. Dictionary Entries near criminology criming crimini criminogenesis criminology criminosis criminotic criminous.

Time Traveler for criminology The first known use of criminology was in See more words from the same year. English Language Learners Definition of criminology. More from Merriam-Webster on criminology Britannica. Comments on criminology What made you want to look up criminology? Get Word of the Day daily email!


Test Your Vocabulary. The Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, UK has a worldwide reputation for excellence in both research and teaching. Information about our MSt courses can be found here. The latest issue of Research Horizons focuses on research linked with our local region, the East of England. We hope you will particularly enjoy this edition of Research Horizons. Tweets by CamCriminology. We may use cookies to record some preference settings and to analyse how you use our web site. We may also use external analysis systems which may set additional cookies to perform their analysis.

These cookies and any others in use are detailed in our site privacy and cookie policies and are integral to our web site. You can delete or disable these cookies in your web browser if you wish but then our site may not work correctly. Search site. International students Continuing education Executive and professional education Courses in education. Cohen tied anomie theory with Sigmund Freud 's reaction formation idea, suggesting that delinquency among lower-class youths is a reaction against the social norms of the middle class.

Criminal acts may result when youths conform to norms of the deviant subculture. Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin suggested that delinquency can result from a differential opportunity for lower class youth. Delinquency tends to occur among the lower-working-class males who have a lack of resources available to them and live in impoverished areas, as mentioned extensively by Albert Cohen Cohen, Bias has been known to occur among law enforcement agencies, where officers tend to place a bias on minority groups, without knowing for sure if they had committed a crime or not.

British sub-cultural theorists focused more heavily on the issue of class , where some criminal activities were seen as "imaginary solutions" to the problem of belonging to a subordinate class. A further study by the Chicago school looked at gangs and the influence of the interaction of gang leaders under the observation of adults. Sociologists such as Raymond D. Gastil have explored the impact of a Southern culture of honor on violent crime rates.

Another approach is made by the social bond or social control theory. Instead of looking for factors that make people become criminal, these theories try to explain why people do not become criminal. Travis Hirschi identified four main characteristics: "attachment to others", "belief in moral validity of rules", "commitment to achievement", and "involvement in conventional activities". On the other hand, if these factors are not present, a person is more likely to become a criminal.

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Hirschi expanded on this theory with the idea that a person with low self-control is more likely to become criminal. As opposed to most criminology theories, these do not look at why people commit crime but rather why they do not commit crime. A simple example: Someone wants a big yacht but does not have the means to buy one. If the person cannot exert self-control, he or she might try to get the yacht or the means for it in an illegal way, whereas someone with high self-control will more likely either wait, deny themselves of what want or seek an intelligent intermediate solution, such as joining a yacht club to use a yacht by group consolidation of resources without violating social norms.

Social bonds, through peers , parents, and others can have a countering effect on one's low self-control. For families of low socio-economic status, a factor that distinguishes families with delinquent children, from those who are not delinquent, is the control exerted by parents or chaperonage.

Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory and therapy which regards the unconscious mind, repressed memories and trauma , as the key drivers of behavior, especially deviant behavior. Phillida Rosnick , in the article Mental Pain and Social Trauma, posits a difference in the thoughts of individuals suffering traumatic unconscious pain which corresponds to them having thoughts and feelings which are not reflections of their true selves.

There is enough correlation between this altered state of mind and criminality to suggest causation.

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Symbolic interactionism draws on the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and George Herbert Mead , as well as subcultural theory and conflict theory. The powerful groups had the ability to become the "significant other" in the less powerful groups' processes of generating meaning. The former could to some extent impose their meanings on the latter; therefore they were able to "label" minor delinquent youngsters as criminal.

These youngsters would often take the label on board, indulge in crime more readily, and become actors in the " self-fulfilling prophecy " of the powerful groups. Later developments in this set of theories were by Howard Becker and Edwin Lemert , in the midth century. Labeling theory refers to an individual who is labeled in a particular way and was studied in great detail by Becker. It is said that when someone is given the label of a criminal they may reject or accept it and continue to commit crime. Even those who initially reject the label can eventually accept it as the label becomes more well known, particularly among their peers.

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This stigma can become even more profound when the labels are about deviancy, and it is thought that this stigmatization can lead to deviancy amplification. Malcolm Klein conducted a test which showed that labeling theory affected some youth offenders but not others. At the other side of the spectrum, criminologist Lonnie Athens developed a theory about how a process of brutalization by parents or peers that usually occurs in childhood results in violent crimes in adulthood.

Richard Rhodes ' Why They Kill describes Athens' observations about domestic and societal violence in the criminals' backgrounds. Both Athens and Rhodes reject the genetic inheritance theories. Rational choice theory is based on the utilitarian , classical school philosophies of Cesare Beccaria , which were popularized by Jeremy Bentham. They argued that punishment, if certain, swift, and proportionate to the crime, was a deterrent for crime, with risks outweighing possible benefits to the offender.

In Dei delitti e delle pene On Crimes and Punishments, — , Beccaria advocated a rational penology. Beccaria conceived of punishment as the necessary application of the law for a crime; thus, the judge was simply to confirm his or her sentence to the law. Beccaria also distinguished between crime and sin , and advocated against the death penalty , as well as torture and inhumane treatments, as he did not consider them as rational deterrents.

This philosophy was replaced by the positivist and Chicago schools and was not revived until the s with the writings of James Q. Becker, for example, acknowledged that many people operate under a high moral and ethical constraint but considered that criminals rationally see that the benefits of their crime outweigh the cost, such as the probability of apprehension and conviction, severity of punishment, as well as their current set of opportunities. From the public policy perspective, since the cost of increasing the fine is marginal to that of the cost of increasing surveillance , one can conclude that the best policy is to maximize the fine and minimize surveillance.

With this perspective, crime prevention or reduction measures can be devised to increase the effort required to commit the crime, such as target hardening. One of the main differences between this theory and Bentham's rational choice theory, which had been abandoned in criminology, is that if Bentham considered it possible to completely annihilate crime through the panopticon , Becker's theory acknowledged that a society could not eradicate crime beneath a certain level.

This reveals that the goals of utilitarianism and classical liberalism have to be tempered and reduced to more modest proposals to be practically applicable. Such rational choice theories, linked to neoliberalism , have been at the basics of crime prevention through environmental design and underpin the Market Reduction Approach to theft [52] by Mike Sutton , which is a systematic toolkit for those seeking to focus attention on "crime facilitators" by tackling the markets for stolen goods [53] that provide motivation for thieves to supply them by theft.

Routine activity theory, developed by Marcus Felson and Lawrence Cohen, draws upon control theories and explains crime in terms of crime opportunities that occur in everyday life. Biosocial criminology is an interdisciplinary field that aims to explain crime and antisocial behavior by exploring both biological factors and environmental factors. While contemporary criminology has been dominated by sociological theories, biosocial criminology also recognizes the potential contributions of fields such as genetics , neuropsychology , and evolutionary psychology.

Aggressive behavior has been associated with abnormalities in three principal regulatory systems in the body: serotonin systems, catecholamine systems, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. Abnormalities in these systems also are known to be induced by stress , either severe, acute stress or chronic low-grade stress. The group was restricted to academics and consisted of members.

Thus, they decided to pursue a new Marxist criminological approach. According to the Marxist perspective on crime, "defiance is normal — the sense that men are now consciously involved [ Convict criminology is a school of thought in the realm of criminology. Convict criminologists have been directly affected by the criminal justice system , oftentimes having spent years inside the prison system.

Researchers in the field of convict criminology such as John Irwin and Stephan Richards argue that traditional criminology can better be understood by those who lived in the walls of a prison. According to Rod Earle, Convict Criminology started in the United states after the major expansion of prisons in the 's.

So the U. S still remains the main focus for those who study convict criminology. Queer criminology is a field of study that focuses on LGBT individuals and their interactions with the criminal justice system. The goals of this field of study are as follows:. The value of pursuing criminology from a queer theorist perspective is contested; some believe that it is not worth researching and not relevant to the field as a whole, and as a result is a subject that lacks a wide berth of research available.

On the other hand, it could be argued that this subject is highly valuable in highlighting how LGBT individuals are affected by the criminal justice system. This research also has the opportunity to "queer" the curriculum of criminology in educational institutions by shifting the focus from controlling and monitoring LGBT communities to liberating and protecting them. Cultural criminology views crime and its control within the context of culture. Linking the history of an individual to a location can help determine social dynamics.

This is full of those affected by poverty, poor health and crime, and large buildings that impact the city but not neighborhoods. It was later that Naegler and Salman introduced feminist theory to cultural criminology and discussed masculinity and femininity , sexual attraction and sexuality, and intersectional themes. When examined, they are left with the knowledge that they are not all the same, but come to a settlement of living together in the same space. Relative deprivation involves the process where an individual measures his or her own well-being and materialistic worth against that of other people and perceive that they are worse off in comparison.

Relative deprivation was originally utilized in the field of sociology by Samuel A.

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Stouffer , who was a pioneer of this theory. Stouffer revealed that soldiers fighting in World War II measured their personal success by the experience in their units rather than by the standards set by the military. It is not based on absolute poverty , a condition where one cannot meet a necessary level to maintain basic living standards.

Rather, relative deprivation enforces the idea that even if a person is financially stable, he or she can still feel relatively deprived. In criminology, the theory of relative deprivation explains that people who feel jealous and discontent of others might turn to crime to acquire the things that they can not afford.

Rural criminology is the study of crime trends outside of metropolitan and suburban areas. Rural criminologists have used social disorganization and routine activity theories. The FBI Uniform Crime Report shows that rural communities have significantly different crime trends as opposed to metropolitan and suburban areas. The crime in rural communities consists predominantly of narcotic related crimes such as the production, use, and trafficking of narcotics. Social disorganization theory is used to examine the trends involving narcotics. Routine activity theory is used to examine all low level street crimes such as theft.

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Public criminology is a discipline within criminology. Public Criminology, a concept closely tied with "public sociology", argues that the energies of criminologists should be directed towards "conducting and disseminating research on crime, law, and deviance in dialogue with affected communities. Public criminology attempts to debunk myths in criminology. Both the positivist and classical schools take a consensus view of crime: that a crime is an act that violates the basic values and beliefs of society.

Those values and beliefs are manifested as laws that society agrees upon. However, there are two types of laws:. Therefore, definitions of crimes will vary from place to place, in accordance to the cultural norms and mores, but may be broadly classified as a blue-collar crime , corporate crime , organized crime , political crime , public order crime , state crime , state-corporate crime , and white-collar crime. Homicide is the killing of another individual.

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Homicide can be broken up into many degrees and classifications. Murder is a specific classification of homicide.

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Specific legal definitions of homicide can vary from state to state, or country to country. However, there are still three basic categories of homicide: justifiable, excusable, and criminal. There are three general classifications and rankings of murder. The first is first-degree murder, which is committed with premeditation and deliberation, meaning that the offender thought about and planned. Second-degree murder refers to a murder that is not premeditated or deliberated.

Felony murder refers to a murder that occurs in correspondence with another felony, such as a robbery. Manslaughter refers to a murder where there was no deliberation, premeditation, or malice involved in the act. This category of homicide can be broken into two subsets. Voluntary manslaughter, sometimes referred to as a crime of passion, is murder based on immediate impulse in a moment of passion or emotion.


Involuntary manslaughter refers to the murder of someone due to an offender's reckless behavior, such as drunk driving. Expressive homicide refers to murder that are unplanned and come from fits of rage or emotion. Instrumental homicide refers to murders that are used as a means to an end or are conducted to reach a goal. An example would be murder during a robbery. Multicides, or the murder of multiple people, can be broken down into three different classifications: mass murder, spree murder, and serial murder.

Domestic violence usually occurs between a pair or partner of people, in the form of either familial violence or Intimate Partner Violence IPV. It can range across any type of violence, whether it's physical, financial, emotional, sexual, or verbal. Recording domestic violence is usually dependent on victim reporting, therefore, statistics and numbers are usually an underestimate of reality.

Victims can report occurrences reporting systems, which show less accurate numbers, or surveying systems, which show more accurate numbers, although still not exact. Uniform Crime Reports are dependent on victims reporting to the police. This survey system interviews household members age 12 and above about domestic violence of all kinds.