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Chapter 1

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SOC 1500
Andrew Mac Dougall

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 interdisciplinary science. o Few universities in Canada grant graduate degrees in criminology.  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
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