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Critical criminology and the social sciences
Critical criminology and the social sciences

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1.4 Criminology

In the following video, Dr Lynne Copson introduces the discipline of criminology.

Activity 4

Spend some time watching the video, and then try to summarise the defining characteristic(s) of criminology in the text box below.

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Video 4
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Discussion

Criminology is a rendezvous subject that acts as a meeting point for different disciplinary perspectives, including (but not limited to) sociology, psychology and law. As criminologists come from different disciplinary backgrounds, this can often mean they have very different views about the nature of crime and responses to it.

Some criminologists think that the focus of criminology should be restricted to the study of behaviours formally defined as ‘crimes’ by the criminal law. Others, however, argue that confining criminology in this way is overly restrictive, as it precludes the study of other forms of serious harm, such as workplace deaths, homelessness and pollution, which may not be formally defined as ‘crime’.