Criminology/compare & Contrast

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 609 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jan 31, 2024

Words: 609|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jan 31, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Definition and Explanation of Criminology
  2. Comparison of Classical Criminology and Positivist Criminology
  3. Comparison of Individual and Sociological Theories of Crime
  4. Comparison of Crime Prevention Strategies
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Criminology is a multidisciplinary field that seeks to understand the causes of crime and how to prevent it. In this essay, we will explore the key concepts and theories in criminology, specifically focusing on the comparison and contrast of classical and positivist criminology, individual and sociological theories of crime, and crime prevention strategies. By examining these different perspectives, we can gain a comprehensive understanding of criminology and its significance in addressing crime in society.

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Definition and Explanation of Criminology

Criminology is the scientific study of crime, criminal behavior, and the criminal justice system. It plays a crucial role in law enforcement and criminal justice by providing insights into the nature of crime, its causes, and how to prevent it. The primary goals of criminology include understanding the etiology of crime, developing effective strategies for crime prevention, and contributing to the improvement of the criminal justice system.

Comparison of Classical Criminology and Positivist Criminology

Classical criminology, pioneered by theorists such as Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham, emphasizes the rationality of human behavior and the concept of free will. According to classical theorists, individuals choose to engage in criminal behavior based on the calculation of potential gains and losses. Punishment is viewed as a deterrent to crime, and the focus is on the legal system's role in preventing criminal behavior.

In contrast, positivist criminology rejects the rational choice perspective and emphasizes the role of biological, psychological, and social factors in shaping criminal behavior. This shift away from classical theories brought a new understanding of crime causation, leading to the development of intervention and treatment programs for offenders.

Comparison of Individual and Sociological Theories of Crime

Individual theories of crime, such as biological, psychological, and rational choice theories, focus on the offender's characteristics and decision-making processes. For example, biological theories suggest that genetic or physiological factors can predispose individuals to criminal behavior, while psychological theories emphasize the role of personality traits and mental disorders in crime causation. Rational choice theory posits that individuals weigh the risks and rewards of criminal behavior before engaging in it.

In contrast, sociological theories of crime, including strain, social control, and labeling theories, focus on societal factors and influences that contribute to criminal behavior. These theories highlight the impact of social inequality, community disorganization, and the labeling of individuals as criminals by society in understanding crime.

Comparison of Crime Prevention Strategies

Crime prevention is a central component of criminology, aiming to reduce crime rates and create safer communities. Situational crime prevention strategies focus on altering immediate environments to make crime more difficult, such as increased security measures. Community crime prevention involves collaborative efforts between law enforcement, residents, and local organizations to address underlying community issues that contribute to crime. Developmental crime prevention strategies aim to address the root causes of crime, such as poverty and lack of educational opportunities.

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In conclusion, criminology encompasses diverse perspectives and approaches in understanding and addressing crime. Classical and positivist criminology offer different paradigms for understanding criminal behavior, while individual and sociological theories provide distinct lenses through which to analyze crime causation. Likewise, the varied crime prevention strategies underscore the importance of multifaceted approaches to reducing crime rates. By considering these different perspectives, criminology can contribute to more comprehensive and effective strategies for preventing and addressing crime in society.


  1. Beccaria, C. (1764). On Crimes and Punishments. Dover Publications.
  2. Lombroso, C. (1876). Criminal Man. Duke University Press.
  3. Merton, R. K. (1938). Social Structure and Anomie. American Sociological Review.
  4. Sherman, L. W., et al. (1998). Evidence-Based Crime Prevention. Routledge.
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Criminology/Compare & Contrast. (2024, January 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from
“Criminology/Compare & Contrast.” GradesFixer, 31 Jan. 2024,
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