Criminology is an advanced, theoretical field of study. It can be defined as the study of crime, the causes of crime (etiology), the meaning of crime in terms of law, and community reaction to crime. Not too long ago, criminology separated from its mother discipline, sociology, and although there are some historical continuities, it has since developed habits and methods of thinking about crime and criminal behavior that are uniquely its own.
Theory is a complex subject in its own right. Criminological theory is no exception; it also tends to be complex. Some definitions of terms might help to understand the field:
Criminology - the science of crime rates, individual and group reasons for committing crime, and community or societal reactions to crime.
*Criminologist - a person who studies criminology; not to be confused with a "criminalist" who reconstructs a crime scene or works with crime scene evidence for forensic purposes. …