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An introduction to crime and criminology

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Crime evokes a wide variety of reactions in people: fear, anger, fascination, excitement, curiosity. This course, An introduction to crime and criminology, considers the relatively common-place problem of vandalism in the form of graffiti as one example through which to explore your own views about an everyday sort of crime. 

The course goes on to consider how social scientists and criminologists, in particular, study and seek to understand problems of crime. The course invites you to develop what can be called your 'criminological imagination'. This, in part, involves viewing criminological issues or problems from multiple perspectives but also encourages you to recognise that private troubles and social issues are often linked together. 

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • provide a basic definition of 'crime'
  • demonstrate that ideas about what a crime is and what it is not are often contested
  • provide a definition of what criminology is and the subject matter it pertains to
  • understand what criminologists ‘do’
  • develop and use criminological imagination to think about problems of crime and justice in new ways, going beyond everyday understandings.

First Published: 01/05/2019

Updated: 05/02/2020

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