Across the divide - Criminology as other: Observations on the construction of the field

Scott, John & Wickes, Rebecca (2008) Across the divide - Criminology as other: Observations on the construction of the field. Nexus (Newsletter of the Australian Sociological Association), 20(1), pp. 6-8.

View at publisher


In 1978 Donald Cressey commented on an emerging division in the study of crime with some scholars concentrating on the development of a “crime fi ghting coalition” and others concerned with the processes associated with “making laws, breaking laws, and the reaction to the breaking of laws” (1978: 175). Since Cressey’s paper, many others have refl ected on the distinction between criminology and the sociology of crime and deviance (Akers, 1992; Garland, 1999; Garland & Sparks, 2000; Konty, 2007). But does such a distinction actually exist? Adopting a pragmatic position, the immediate answer is yes, if we assume that these categories have substance on the basis that they are grounded in everyday beliefs, institutional preferences and research practice (Konty, 2007). Moreover, these are viable categories in that some people studying crime label themselves criminologists (or are given this label by others) while others prefer or are given the label sociologist. Of course, there are further labels that may apply to persons studying crime, which include psychologist, penologist, biologist, chemist, and so on. One could argue that such labels are unimportant, however, it remains that these categories have a practical character. For criminology and the sociology of crime in particular, scholarly discourse frames these categories as oppositional (Bader et al., 1996.; Bendle, 1989; Laub & Sampson, 1991; Sibley, 2002) and to the extent that this has occurred, the categories have social relevance.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 79078
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
Deposited On: 11 Dec 2014 02:40
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2015 23:39

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page