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According to the definition given by criminologists Sutherland and Cressy, criminology can be defined as the study of crime and criminal behavior which involves making and breaking the law and the causes of crime in a social setup (Siegel, 4). Criminologists are the professionals who study and identify the natural causes of crime. This paper is going to address three questions under the topic of criminology concerning criminology enterprise, ethical issues in crime research, the study of crime, crime measurement, crime victimization, and the theories of victimization.
Describe Criminology Enterprise?
Criminologists are dedicated and committed to studying crime and criminal behavior despite their strict expectations in delivering services to people. They use a scientific approach in identifying and analyzing the nature of crimes and criminal behavior. Most professionals in this field were initially trained as sociologists, psychologists, natural scientists among other related areas. The study of criminology involves diverse fields and subareas such that reflect a broader view of the subject. These different subareas are what are referred to as criminological enterprise. They include criminal statistics, the sociology of law, theory construction, criminal behavior systems, penology, and victimology.
Criminal statistics is a subarea of criminology that deals with criminal records, how much crime occurs annually, through reliable measurement methods and thorough analysis (Siegel, 6). Another criminological enterprise mentioned above is the sociology of law which deals with the role that the social force play in shaping criminal law and the role of criminal law in shaping society. In the sociology of law, there are topics which are of great interest in studying criminology, they include the history of legal thought, legal change, law, and social control, and the impact of criminalization of behavior. Theory construction involves the use of theory in explaining interrelated statements and principles in asocial life. They provide a deeper understanding of criminal behavior (Siegel, 7).
Criminal behavior systems are a subarea of criminology concerning crime types and patterns which involve organized crimes. Sutherlands (a criminologist) refers to them as “white-collar” crimes. Penology is also one of the criminology subarea that deals with the correction/punishment of criminal offenders in agencies of social control. Finally, victimology involves the study of the victim’s role in the criminal process, assessing the probability of victimization risk, and creating programs that deal with these issues (Siegel, 35).
What are the Ethical Issues of Researching Crime?
Many different issues are surrounding the study of crime and criminologists as a profession. Practicing this career, criminologist must always remember their social responsibility in crime and justice and never ignore the fact that this field has its political and social consequences. The decisions made in researching a crime have a great influence on millions of people. Citizens will always debate on issues to do with crime control. So it is up to the criminologists to be aware of the ethics of their profession and be able to defend what they do to the public attention (Siegel, 23).
There are three major ethical issues in researching a crime. They include, what to study, whom to study, and how to study.
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