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Sociology and Criminology: Overview: Sociology/Criminology

This guide aims to help you with your sociology research.

Sociology (Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2023)

The American Sociological Association (ASA) defines sociology as “the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior” (“What Is Sociology?”, n.d.). Other definitions specifically note sociology’s interest not only in human society, but also the social institutions that structure it. Examples of such institutions include governments and government agencies, educational systems, economic systems, and organized religion....Read More.

Applied Sociology (21st Century Sociology: A Reference Handbook(Vol. 2)

Applied sociology is the oldest and most general term for what Lester F. Ward (1903) identified more than 100 years ago as "the means and methods for the artificial improvement of social conditions on the part of man and society as conscious and intelligent agents" (p. vii). Applied sociology uses sociological knowledge and research skills to gain ...Read More.

Clinical Sociology (21st Century Sociology: A Reference Handbook(Vol. 2:)

Clinical sociology is as old as the field of sociology and its roots are found in many parts of the world (Fritz 1985, 1991b). The clinical sociology specialization, for instance, is often traced back to the fourteenth-century work of the Arab scholar and statesperson Abd-al-Rahman ibn Khaldun (1332–1406). Ibn Khaldun provided numerous clinical observations...Read More.

Cognitive Sociology (Encyclopedia of Social Theory (Vol. 1. )

Cognitive sociology investigates the ways in which sociocultural factors shape and guide the process of human thought. While cognitive science studies the neurological mechanics of thinking, cognitive sociology analyzes the ways in which such mechanics are variably executed within different sociocultural contexts... Read More.

Humanist Sociology (21st Century Sociology: A Reference Handbook(Vol. 2:)

Numerous theoretical frameworks, among them Marxism, conflict theory, phenomenology, symbolic interaction, feminist sociology, and postmodern sociology, can all be said to have some form of a humanistic orientation as a part of their overall framework. However, as a specific school, humanist sociology is most readily identified with those sociologists who in their teaching, research, and activism ...Read More.

Religion, Sociology of (New Catholic Encyclopedia(Vol. 12. 2nd ed.)

The study of the relationship of RELIGION to social structures and social processes. It includes the study of the relation of religion to social stability, to social change, and to the functional problems of a SOCIETY. It includes also the study of the internal structure, development, and functional problems and dilemmas of religious organizations and institutions, and their relation to other social institutions...Read More.

Sociology of Education (Encyclopedia of Sociology(Vol. 5. 2nd ed.)

In the broadest perspective, education refers to all efforts to impart knowledge and shape values; hence, it has essentially the same meaning as socialization. However, when sociologists speak of education, they generally use a more specific meaning: the deliberate process, outside the family, by which societies transmit knowledge, values, and norms to prepare young people for adult roles...Read More.

Urban Sociology (Encyclopedia of Sociology(Vol. 5. 2nd ed.)

Urban sociology studies human groups in a territorial frame of reference. In this field, social organization is the major focus of inquiry, with an emphasis on the interplay between social and spatial organization and the ways in which changes in spatial organization affect social and psychological well being ...Read More.

Criminology (Salem Press Encyclopedia of Science, 2022)

Criminology is the study of crime causation and control. Criminologists attempt to elucidate the characteristics and motivation of criminals—from the most mundane and innocuous (scofflaws and petty thieves) to the most obscure and heinous (mass murderers and serial killers)—and how they differ from noncriminals. Why do people commit crimes? Are people born criminals, or do their experiences dictate whether they will break the law? ...Read More.

Crime (Encyclopedia of Social Theory(Vol. 1. )

Crime refers to acts forbidden by and subject to sanctions from the state. In modern societies, the term refers to violations of the criminal law that are punishable by the criminal justice system. The concept predates sociology and has been much studied since the discipline's beginnings. Sociological theories of crime can be divided into those that seek to explain why some individuals commit crimes and those that try to understand crime's place in the larger society...Read More.

Crime, Theories of (Encyclopedia of Sociology(Vol. 1. 2nd ed.)

Most accounts of the rise of criminological inquiry indicate that it had its beginnings in mid-nineteenth-century developments in Europe, including the work of Cesare Lombroso, an Italian prison physician, who argued that many criminals are atavists, that is, biological throwbacks to a human type, homo delinquens, that allegedly existed prior to the appearance of homo sapiens. Since the time of Lombroso and...Read More.

Causes of Crime: Crime and Punishment in America Reference Library(Vol. 1: )

How do some people decide to commit a crime? Do they think about the benefits and the risks? Why do some people commit crimes regardless of the consequences? Why do others never commit a crime, no matter how desperate their circumstances? Criminology is the study of crime and criminals by specialists called criminologists. Criminologists study what causes crime and how...Read More.

Criminal Subcultures and Gangs (Encyclopedia of Gangs)

That which is considered normal, appropriate, popular, and wrong throughout society varies considerably across different social groups. Cultural conflict is, along with cultural variation, a defining characteristic of a subculture. Accordingly, it is important to make the conceptual distinction between subculture and population segment. The subcultural values of a gang, for example, may intensify even though membership is reduced through police and other criminal justice system actions...Read More.