- Two challenges related to studying and conducting research in criminal behavior are expressed in theoreticism and territorialism. Theoreticism is the tendency of theorists to ignore evidence that may contradict a favored theory. Similarly, territorialism is the practice of discounting evidence and arguments that are outside one’s own narrow specialty area or academic discipline.
As you might gather, restricting study to a singular academic discipline may impede progress toward the understanding of any subject, criminal behavior included. Embracing the interdisciplinary nature of criminal behavior in fact makes for dynamic and interesting research.
Another set of challenges emerges in criminal behavior research when it is viewed only through a purely academic or scientific lens. Criminal behavior itself involves social values, public policy, and legal issues that must be taken into account when conducting research.
Given that such research into criminal behavior is carried out to illuminate its causes, meeting these challenges makes it more likely that criminal behavior will be better understood. This leads to the development of more effective steps toward prevention, reduction, and elimination of crime.
For this Discussion:
- Review the article, “Searching for the Soul of Criminology,” focusing on challenges related to studying and researching criminal behavior.
- Review the course media, “Ethics and Challenges,” with Drs. Scott Duncan and Charis Kubrin. Reflect on the challenges that they discuss related to researching and studying criminal behavior, and consider how these may be addressed.
- Select at least two specific challenges related to studying and researching criminal behavior.
- Think of examples that may best represent the challenges you selected, and consider why.