Sunday, November 8, 2009

Contribution of Sociology in Study of Crime

Criminology and Sociology

Sociology is a systematic study of society; it is a science which investigates the structure and function of various elements which make up society. Therefore sociological approach and viewpoint is a socially-oriented way of looking at things. The sociological approach or bias in studying any set of problems concentrates on discovering and determining the social factors and causes of that set of problems. Crime is a type of behaviour which is harmful to the interests of others; it may injure them physically or mentally and at times threatens their very life and existence. The criminal behaviour is interdicted by society and government. It is a forbidden behaviour and incurs wrath of society and is punishable under law. The criminal behaviour, however, is included in social behaviour. What we call a social or anti-social behaviour is nonetheless social in character. Therefore it is a subject of study by sociology. Besides, sociology, psychology, anthropology and political science also study it because crimes are motivated, apart from social causes, by psychological, anthropological and political causes as well. But in as much as criminal is not born but is a by product of social factors, the study of crime is especially a concern of sociology.

With the gradual advance in our knowledge of society, its constituent elements and their respective roles, it has become possible to understand the causes of social behaviour. This advance in our sociological knowledge has also led to great increase in its importance and efficacy to understand and resole various social problems. With the widening of the scope of sociology, its various branches have developed into full-fledged disciplines on their own. Today, criminology is an independent discipline though it was at one time a part of sociology. However the science of criminology continues to make use of sociological methods and techniques in its investigation of its subject matter. It tries to find out with the help of sociological techniques causes and remedies of criminal behaviour. Thus the two are closely related.

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