Criminology is a sub-field of sociology dealing with matters related to crime and criminal behavior. It includes fields such as crime statistics, criminal psychology, forensic science, law enforcement, and detective methods.
Naturally, criminology must take into account that the definition of crime varies according to the cultural mores and, especially, laws of a given area. This is an area where caution is warranted; if one is comparing, e.g., violent crimes between nations, one must be careful that the actions counted in that category are similar for each nation; otherwise the comparison is meaningless.
Criminology has, over time, developed several schools of thought, including:
- Classical school
- Positivist school
- Chicago school
- Conflict schools
- Frankfurt school
- Statistical school