Criminology

Topics: Criminology, Sociology, Crime Pages: 3 (743 words) Published: August 6, 2013
Criminology (from Latin crīmen, "accusation"; and Greek -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of the nature, extent, causes, and control of criminal behavior in both the individual and in society. Criminology is an interdisciplinary field in the behavioral sciences, drawing especially upon the research of sociologists (particularly in the sociology of deviance), psychologists and psychiatrists, social anthropologists as well as on writings in law. Areas of research in criminology include the incidence, forms, causes and consequences of crime, as well as social and governmental regulations and reaction to crime. For studying the distribution and causes of crime, criminology mainly relies upon quantitative methods. The term criminology was coined in 1885 by Italian law professor Raffaele Garofalo as criminologia. Later, French anthropologist Paul Topinard used the analogous French term criminologie. Rational choice theory Main article: Rational choice theory (criminology)

Cesare Beccaria
since the cost of increasing the fine is marginal to that of the cost of increasing surveillance, one can conclude that the best policy is to maximize the fine and minimize surveillance. With this perspective, crime prevention or reduction measures can be devised that increase effort required to commit the crime, such as target hardening.[33] Rational choice theories also suggest that increasing risk of offending and likelihood of being caught, through added surveillance, police or security guard presence, added street lighting, and other measures, are effective in reducing crime.[33] One of the main differences between this theory and Jeremy Bentham's rational choice theory, which had been abandoned in criminology, is that if Bentham considered it possible to completely annihilate crime (through the panopticon), Becker's theory acknowledged that a society could not eradicate crime beneath a certain level. For example, if 25% of a supermarket's products were stolen, it would...
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