Chapter 1 Notes Hannah Green
What is Criminology?
Criminology is the scientific approach to the study of criminal behaviour.
Sutherland and Cressey’s definition includes the most important
areas of interst to criminologists: the development of criminal law
and its use to define crime, the cause of law violations ,and the
methods used to control criminal behaviour.
Criminologists use objective research methods to pose research
questions (hypotheses), gather data, create theories, and test the
validity of theories. They use every method of established social
science inquiry: analysis of existing records, experimental designs,
surveys, historical analysis, and content analysis.
An essential part of criminology is the fact that it is an
o Few universities in Canada grant graduate degrees in
Criminology combines elements from many other fields in
understanding the connections among law, crime, and justice.
Criminology and Criminal Justice
In the late 1960s, research projects were developed to understand
the way police, courts, and correctional agencies operated.
Although the terms criminology and criminal justice may seem
similar, they have major differences.
o Criminologists explain the etiology (origin), extent, and
nature of crime in society.
o Criminal justice experts design programs of crime prevention
or rehabilitation through understanding the nature of crime.
The two fields coexist and help each other grow and develop.
Criminology and Deviance
Criminology is also confused with the study of deviant behaviour.
However, deviance is more widely defined as behaviour that d