Chapter

Criminology, Criminologists, and the Sociological Enterprise

James F. Short Jr. and Lorine A. Hughes

in Sociology in America

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780226090948
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226090962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226090962.003.0018
Criminology, Criminologists, and the Sociological Enterprise

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Social science perspectives on crime and deviance were integral to the early history of sociology in the United States. Sociology continues to be central to criminology, but relations between the discipline and the field are no longer as close as they once were. This chapter traces and, if possible, accounts for the intellectual, professional, organizational, and institutional developments related to this change. Increased specialization and professionalization of fields within areas of deviance, especially criminology, and the inherently interdisciplinary character of these fields are major processes internal to criminology and other areas of deviance. As these same centrifugal processes threaten sociology, the discipline has sought to define its distinctiveness and to establish status criteria that are sui generis. Together, these push and pull processes account for the changed (and changing) relationships between sociology and these areas of study.

Keywords: American sociology; criminology; crime; deviance; social science

Chapter.  14543 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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