Essay on Criminology



Criminology is a highly contested complex subject matter, derived from intersectional disciplines, and is constantly in flux relative to the idea of time and space (Garland 2011, p. 304). In this report, I would like to focus on criminology as a subject matter which entails the linking of both law and the social sciences to the pragmatic regulating of crime (Garland 2011, p. 304). This subsequently results in a close connection between criminology and the government (Garland 2011, p. 305). Contemporary representations of crime, which has led to models of criminal decision making, are largely based on the confluence of different subjects, namely, criminology, cognitive psychology, economics, the deviance theories, and the outlook of crime as a result of decisions and rational choices made by the offender (Clarke & Cornish 1985, p. 147).

There have been repeated issues in the field of criminology, which are intensifying, due to its deep-rooted integration with the academia and the government, as the subject becomes increasingly sovereign academically and organizationally (Garland 2011, p. 305). This more self-governing stance of criminology further disintegrates it from its once foundational disciplines (Garland 2011, p. 301). Criminology that is more autonomous and produces knowledge from within, is inclined to constricting itself academically (Garland 2011, p. 300). Whilst being informative about the thought processes of criminals, the studies on criminology’s numerous aspects are being followed up in a very independent approach and lacking a lucid theoretical perception (Clarke & Cornish 1985, p. 155). Criminology’s intersectionality with other disciplines in terms of conceptualising and conjecturing, plays a role in ensuring the status, strength and spirit within the field remains (Garland 2011, p. 313). 

Despite the benefits, this interconnectedness of criminology comes with its own challenges. The division and variety of information as well as theories due to the multidisciplinary structure of the subject, have a high potential to cause academic incompetence (Garland 2011, p. 312). Fundamentally, on its own, criminology does not constitute as a discipline (Garland 2011, p. 302). Despite the inherent structural similarities, there is not a strong academic basis revolving around the subject of criminology, which is essential to the development of a discipline (Garland 2011, p. 302). This speciality, in contrast to other disciplines, has neither any unique investigation techniques nor a distinguishable abstract focus specific to it (Garland 2011, p. 303). 

The current models of criminal decision making, which are targeted to help with creating policies, are being continuously restructured when new academic insights are discovered (Clarke & Cornish 1985, p. 173). These models were criticised on the grounds of supposing unreasonable amounts of logic on the behalf of the criminal (Clarke & Cornish 1985, p. 163). However, there is a wide scope for the classification of rationality and even the seemingly irrational choices can be viewed as rational if the approach is deemed as appropriate by the criminal (Clarke & Cornish 1985, p. 163). This has further dwelled into the need for criminology to create more distinguished divisions between offences (Clarke & Cornish 1985, p. 165). The generalised deterministic nature of criminology is also present in this model, which paints the criminal as being subject to a locus of control beyond oneself and fighting to regulate resulting conduct (Clarke & Cornish 1985, p. 148). Furthermore, the models are mostly lacking in terms of having generally focused on a set of variables from principal foundations and not giving enough attention to situational variables (Clarke & Cornish 1985, p. 174). These inadequacies are derived from the assumptions that crime is a solitary occurrence and that criminals differ from normal human beings (Clarke & Cornish 1985, p. 174). Criminology being a reasonably new speciality relative to other subjects, has its fair share of limitations and challenges (Garland 2011, p. 298). These should be effectively evaluated and addressed in upcoming studies, to strengthen Criminology’s ‘intellectual core’ (Garland 2011, p. 302) and create policies to diminish prospects of crime (Clarke & Cornish 1985, p. 147).