Complete 2 page APA formatted essay: Criminology.
According to Phillipson, traditional criminology fails to understand criminal law. The subject matter of criminology is defined by non-criminologists thus placing limits on the discipline (Phillipson:4). Even though criminology is acknowledged as the study of crime and criminals, it fails to understand criminal law because sorts of behaviours that are branded as crimes and the people who are convicted as criminals emerge out of social processes which are independent of the professional criminologists’ activities (Phillipson:3).. Traditional criminology, therefore, has his subject matter given to him through the society’s formal definitions of crime (illegal behaviours). It is also the society that identifies the individuals who commit criminal acts and not criminal law. In addition, traditional criminology has been a failure because legal definitions of what is a criminal behaviour vary within any society (Phillipson:6).. This is because what is regarded as .a crime in a .given . .society may not be in another because different societies have different definitions of criminal behaviours. For instance, some societies accept homosexual behaviour, gambling and drug use while others consider them criminal offenses. This, therefore, means that there is no one universal behaviour that is always and everywhere criminal because societies’ reactions to crime change with regards to time and place (Phillipson:5).
Traditional criminology has ignored social processes upon which criminal law is made. It however rests upon an implicit acceptance of the legal status quo. This unquestioning acceptance of upheld values limit the questions criminologists ask as well as the answers they get from questions relating to the causes of crimes (Phillipson:7). This restricts the focus of traditional criminology in search of causes to individuals who were officially convicted of criminal offences. The limited vision of