What are the major areas of criminology?


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Page last updated: 24/09/2022

What are the major areas of criminology?

The current blogspot will be based on the question “What are the major areas of criminology?” We will learn the various major areas of criminology. We will also discuss in detail each of the major areas of psychology.

What are the major areas of criminology?

The major areas of criminology include the following :

  • Comparative criminology
  • Crime prevention
  • Crime statistics
  • Criminal behavior
  • Criminal career and desistance
  • Domestic violence 
  • Deviant behavior

Comparative criminology

Comparative criminology is a major area of criminology that deals with the study of variations and invitations in crimes across cultures. It tends to identify similarities and differences in the crime occurrence and crime patterns. It works towards finding more efficient and effective solutions to crime.

Comparative criminology is not just only based on studying the similarities and differences of crimes across cultures but also tends to include the system of justice and social values in the 


The goals of comparative criminology include the following :

  • Extending the horizons of study of the crime and the related factors beyond cultural and national boundaries
  • Analysis and assessment of the criminal justice system of a nation
  • Evaluating the policies of the national justice system of a country
  • Coordinating the conflicts against crimes at transnational levels
  • Critical scrutiny of the national criminal policies and crime justice systems

Inorder to study the causes of crime, comparative criminology is based on the three different theoretical frameworks as below :

  • Grand theories including modernization, civilization, opportunity and world system theories.
  • Structural theories including strain, culture and social disorganization

Modernization theory

Modernization theory for explaining the causes of crime can be traced back to the Durkhiem’s notion of anomie that highlights the effects of modernization as the cause of crime. The modernization theory states that development of nations results in an intricate web of social and economic development. Thus the control over collective conscience is undermined. The rapid change in social and economic dynamics thus endangers the traditional values and results in a higher crime rate.

What are the major areas of criminology?

Civilization theory

The civilization theory of comparative criminology explains the fact that with social and economic development, the crime rate of a nation decreases considerably. The socioeconomic development of nations makes the nations more developed and civilized. As a result the crime rates decrease considerably.


The opportunity theory of comparative criminology explains the causes of crime in the light of opportunity. The opportunity theory rejects the idea of socioeconomic development for the crime cause. 

The opportunity theory assumes that all human beings are motivated to commit a criminal act under a given scenario based on the presence of a victim and absence of a guardian.

World system theories

The world system theories explain the broader aspects of causes of crime. It takes into consideration the shifts in the nation’s economic, social and political organization in relation to poverty, inequality and poor quality of life to explain all the cases of criminogenic nature.

Crime prevention

Crime prevention is a second major area of criminology.  It is based on the strategies and interventions that are used to reduce the rates of crime occurrence and drop the crime frequency. 

Crime prevention uses the measures to prevent the human beings from the potential harms of crimes and the societies from facing the harsh consequences of crime occurrence. 

Crime prevention also includes utilizing strategies to reduce the fear related to crimes among common people by intervening and working upon the various underlying causes of crime. 

Crime statistics

Crime statistics is a major area of criminology. Crime statistics tends to provide the statistical information related to the crimes in a nation. The statistics include :

  • Location of crime occurrence
  • Date of crime occurrence
  • Time of crime occurrence
  • Category of the crime occured
  • Type of property taken by the criminals
  • How criminals entered the crime place
  • Property identification by the investigation team
  • Any property damage that resulted from entry
  • Who reported the incident 
  • How the incident was reported.

The data collected through the crime statistics is used in criminology to design, evaluate and monitor the efficacy of a crime control measure and develop new strategies for crime control and prevention.

Criminal behavior

Criminal behavior is a major area of criminology. It tends to explore the behavior of criminals and elaborate various underlying factors. The criminal behavior is explained in the terms of underlying causes that enable a person to adopt the anti social behavioral patterns.

Criminal behavior states that when individuals are not raised well in circumstances where they are able to learn their moral, social and ethical values, they have an increased tendency of adopting the criminal behavior. Such individuals do not feel obliged to the state laws and often violate the rules and regulation by not fulfilling the rights of other people.

Criminal career and desistance

Criminal career and crime desistance is a major area of criminology. Criminal career is the longitudinal pattern of committing crime by an individual based on antisocial and delinquent acts.the criminal career is based on the frequency of criminal acts throughout the years of life of a criminal. Hence the criminal career is the study of criminal acts of a criminal across the life span starting from childhood, to adolescence to adulthood.  

Criminal desistance is a parameter of criminal career path. Criminal desistance is explained as the cessation of antisocial, delinquent and criminal acts by a criminal on the path of his criminal career. A criminal in distance tends to cease the wrongdoings and adheres to the moral and social values thus limiting oneself to the rules and regulations. 

Criminology deals with the various factors that can enable a criminal to permanently give up the crim inal career path and start a life with moral values. 

The criminal desistance is based on three stages that are as follows :

  • Primary desistance
  • Secondary desistance
  • Tertiary desistance

The primary desistance stage in criminology is the cessation of the offending crimes.

The secondary desistance stage is the adoption of a non criminal identity

The tertiary desistance stage in criminology is the realization and recognition by the other members of the society  that an individual previously involved in criminal acts has changed his criminal career and is now living a life according to the moral and social values of society with a sense of belonging to the society.

Domestic violence 

Domestic violence is defined as any criminal act that is committed by someone in the victim’s domestic settings. Often domestic violence is committed by partners, ex-partners, family members, extended family members, romantic partners and family friends.

Domestic violence is usually based on physical, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse. It is often based on the sadistic and aggressive tendencies of the perpetrator. Domestic violence is any form of behavior that is conducted with an intention to overpower the opposite gender and practice control over them. Mostly domestic violence is used to explain the male behaviors of offending the female relatives in the house.

Gender based is a major form of domestic violence. It is based on depriving the male or female gender from the rights to live a quality life enjoying the basic needs. It also involves humiliating or shaming the opposite gender to feel one’s own satisfaction.

Deviant behavior

Deviant behavior is a concept studied in sociology. Deviant behavior is explained as patterns of behaviors that are against the social values and norms of society. Deviant behavior is any behavior against the rules and regulations of the  society. A person committing deviant behavior does not feel obliged to follow the mores and values stated by the society.

Deviant behavior is mostly caused by the following :

  • Social inequalities in a group
  • Material inequalities within a group
  • Political inequalities within a group


The current blogspot was based on the question “what are the major areas of criminology?”. We discussed comparative criminology, crime prevention, crime statistics, criminal behavior, deviant behavior, domestic abuse, criminal career and criminal desistance as important areas of criminology.

Frequently asked questions : What are the major areas of criminology?

What are the major types of criminology theories?

The major types of criminology theories include the following :

  • Biological Theories of Crime.
  • Criminal Justice Theories.
  • Cultural Transmission Theory.
  • Deterrence and Rational Choice Theory.
  • Labeling Theory and Symbolic Interaction Theory.
  • Psychological Theories of Crime.
  • Routine Activities Theory.
  • Self-Control Theory.

What are the disciplines of criminology?

The disciplines of criminology are as follows :

  • Criminal sociology.
  • Criminal biology.
  • Criminal psychology.
  • Criminal psychopathology.
  • Criminal politics or anti-delinquent policy.
  • Penology.
  • Criminal etiology.
  • Criminal phenomenology.

What are three major types of criminological theories?

The three different types of criminological theories are related to the explanation of the cause of crime. The criminology theories explain the crime on the basis of biological, psychological and social theories.






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