How would you define Criminology?
There are many ways in which Criminology can be described.
Criminology is defined by Larry, J, Siegal 2007 as a scientific approach to studying criminal behaviour. It is a social science that looks at societies reaction to laws which have been broken and also focuses on the nature and extent of crime, the causes of crime, and the patterns of behaviour.
“Criminology is the body of knowledge regarding crime and deliquency as a social phenomenon. It includes within its scope the processes of making law, of breaking laws and of reacting towards the breaking of laws” Edwin Sutheran, Donald Cressey and David Lukenbill 1992
The objective of criminology is the development of a body of general and verified principles and of other types of knwoledge regarding this process of law, crime and treatment. Criminologists have trained in diverse fields, most commonly sociology but also have an indepth knowledge of criminal justice, political science, psychology, economics, and natural sciences which have provided various research methods and techniques to help conduct research and test hypotheses. It looks at societies reaction to laws which have been broken and tries to find out the reasons behind the criminal behaviours. The criminal is looked at holistically e.g family background, family dynamics, where they live, medical history etc. this is only some of the information which is gathered by criminologists. By using different scientific methods the criminologist can use the results to often determine nature, cause, and control of criminal behaviour.
Explain the differences between Macro and Micro theories used by criminologists.
Both macro and micro theories used by crimiologists are detailed theories that pay close attention to all of the different aspects of crime and the criminal behaviour of a person committing the crime. The differences bewteen the two however are that micro level theory explains why some individuals engage in crime and others dont. Micro Theory (sometimes referred to as Etiology) focuses on small groups (or individual) of criminals. It attempts to explain why certain individuals are more likely than others to commit crime and why men are more likely to commit crime than women.
Messner, Krohn and Liska (1998) defined the two theories as:
“Micro analyses find the meaning of crime in social psychological properties of individual people it focuses on concepts such as socialisation, social learning, commitment, motivation, identification, attachment, subculture, primary and secondary deviation have been integral to micro understandings of criminality.”
On the other hand is Macro level theory (sometimes referred to as epidemiology) which explains the crime on a large scale, due to this it can also explain why some neighbourhoods have higher crime rates than others or why countries have higher crime rates than others. “This level concentrates on features of social structure that influence crime among individual and collective people, concepts such as class, power, elite interests, social disorganisation, anomie, value of conflict, and normative structure have been important to macro level theories of crime.”
In order to determine if a theory is micro or macro level the prediction would need to be looked at. If crime is expressed in 'rates' then it is macro level theory (only a group has rates) most theories of crime operate at micro level, focusing on the individual offender.
Using your knowledge of your local area, consider which particular crimes appear to be increasing or decreasing. Discuss how your perceptions compare with those reported in the official crime statistics.
Using my knowledge of my local area, which is in the north east of England, the particular crimes which appear to be increasing in frequency and becoming more reported are
I am fully aware that there is crime in my local area…