Sociology vs. Criminology

By , June 18, 2010 8:53 am

Generally, the report makes the case that the study of criminal justice requires extensive study of sociology, and that the norms of sociology programs are key. “What the report signals is that sociology is worried about losing intellectual jurisdiction over this very important and popular area,” said Chris Uggen, a criminologist who is chair of sociology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (and who was not on the ASA panel that produced the report).

While not rejecting the idea of separate departments of criminal justice and sociology, the report suggests that colleges and universities hesitate before going down that road, that criminology students in either track need to be required to take core sociology courses, and that a new certification standard set by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences may “erode the social science base of sociology and criminology.”

Leaders of that group view the sociologists’ report as a bit controlling and insulting (one called it “a sour grapes report”) and are preparing a statement of their own to counter the sociologists’ report. The criminal justice professors deride the sociologists’ report as being less about teaching and research and more about cash — in that many college administrators are favoring criminal justice these days, because of the enrollments it provides.

“I think the heart of the matter is that criminal justice is attracting large numbers of students and sociology programs by and large are not,” said Jay Albanese, a professor of criminal justice at Virginia Commonwealth University who has been involved in preparing the response to the sociologists. He said that sociologists have no more right to suggest what the curriculum should be in criminal justice programs than they do in a range of other fields, such as nursing and social work, that also require knowledge of society but that have their own research and teaching methods.

via News: Sociology vs. Criminology – Inside Higher Ed.

One Response to “Sociology vs. Criminology”

  1. Bruce Nicometo says:

    Sociology is a disciple that has application to all fields of study. Criminal actions are not purely psychological in nature and may be influenced by social forces. To exclude sociology from criminal justice studies would be a shame.

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