Sociology, criminology and deviance are primarily concerned with understanding relations between people in contemporary societies and the role and function of the subjectively and often, arbitrarily defined acts that are considered criminal and/or deviant. They are concerned with a myriad topics including gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, education, drug use, conformity, dissent, victims, security, surveillance, protest, terrorism, and organised crime, to name a few from an endless list. Their role is to employ different theoretical perspectives and attempt to understand the working of theses subject matters within the context of the social world.
Sociologists and criminologists receive specialist training in a multitude of research methods such as key informant interviewing techniques, oral history collection, archival research and ethnography, which provides tools to capture and interpret data into critical knowledge sets. The resultant combination is a robust theoretical, conceptual, practical and transferable skill set that can be applied to any arena where knowledge about a matter in the social world is sought.
The remit of sociology, criminology and deviance is a growth area and continues to expand with the continued development of social harm perspectives which does not restrict the discipline not by what constitutes a ‘crime’ as determined by legal definitions. Instead, it allows us to recognise harmful acts which are either inadequately captured by legal frameworks or are not satisfactorily addressed and handled by criminal justice systems. Engaging with these disciplines provides us with an important framework and departure point for exploring the multitude of issues facing society today. As a result, these subject areas offer almost limitless future opportunities that meets the needs of an ever changing and demanding job market.
A higher education qualification in the study of sociology, criminology and deviance can lead to an impressive, exciting and meaningful career in a whole host of areas including policy and legislation, human rights, the criminal justice sector and alternatives, community development, responding to transnational organised crime, work regarding environmental issues, countering financial and corporate crime, security studies, education, health, equality and diversity, counselling, mentoring, social work and global research. Sociology and criminology can offer tools to navigate these issues in a just, systematic, thoughtful, and adventurous way.
Most of all, sociology, criminology and deviance should be thought of as a set of critical, challenging and evolving subject matters; inventive subjects that are a lasting expedition of rigorous analytical judgement.
[Source:- The Hindu]