Important Questions about Criminology

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What is crime? 

Crime is an action that violates the established laws of a place such as a country, town, city, state, or province. In order for something to be considered a crime, there has to be a law set in place. If a place is without laws, then it is also without crime.

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Three different types of norms

The three different types of norms are folkways, mores, and laws. Folkways are casual societal expectations of how one should act and they distinguish between behavior that is well-mannered and behavior that is ill-mannered. One example of folkways would be waiting for your turn to speak and to not speak when someone else is talking. Mores are norms that are a bit more strict than folkways because they explain what is moral and immoral in society. An example of a more would be it being socially unacceptable and frowned upon for someone to be chewing with their mouth open in the United States, whereas in other countries, it may be common. Laws are norms that are official, written down, and have consequences for breaking them. An example of a law would be having to stop when the light at the traffic light is red. 

Surveys in criminology

In criminology, surveys are used to gather someone’s opinions about a concern about a certain crime and are also used to get information from people who may have committed or been a part of a crime. Surveys collect distinct information about a crime, such as a date, time, and location of the crime, as well as information about the victim or victims, like their age, gender, and race. 

Actus reus

Actus reus one of the elements that is needed for a person to be found guilty of a crime they have committed. It is the literal act that the person has been accused of, but in order for the person to be convicted, there must be evidence to support the accusation. 

How are crime and deviance related?

Crime and deviance are related by both being acts that violate the norms of a society. Deviance is breaking a certain standard of behavior, which is a norm, while a crime is breaking a law, which is a type of norm. No, crime and deviance do not represent the same actions because when crimes are committed, there are serious consequences, whereas when there is deviance, it is usually just frowned upon.  Emile Durkheim argues that deviance is beneficial to society in a number of ways, such as showing us where the boundaries of acceptable behavior are and that it can bring a group together. I agree with Emile Durkheim. I also believe that when people agree on a certain thing, whether that be condemning an act of deviance or reinforcing norms, it brings them together and strengthens their bonds with one another. Also, if there were no borders between accepted and unaccepted behavior, people may behave in ways that could strongly offend other people and cause chaos. 

Why should we study crime and criminals?

I think that we should study crime and criminals so that we are able to understand them and be able to stop more crimes before they happen. I believe that it is important to study criminals and to understand their point of view and motive of why they decided to commit whatever crime they committed. By studying criminology, we might gain insight as to how criminals think and work. We may also help other fields of study by doing so, such as psychology and sociology. 

Why defining crime is so difficult?

I think defining a crime is so difficult because everyone has different morals and people may view the severity of a crime differently. The definition of crime from the lesson is, “human actions that violate the formalized laws of a country, state, or local areas like a city or township.” It is hard to thoroughly define a crime because different places have different laws and regulations. An example of a “crime” not being considered a crime would be shooting and killing someone out of self-defense. Yes, it is a crime because the person being shot would be murdered, but it is not considered a crime because it was an act of self-defense. Criminology combines the theories and insights of a number of different disciplines as well as adding its own insight into crime and criminals.

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Important Questions About Criminology. (2021, Apr 09). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from
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