Law and Politics

Start Free Trial

What are the three main reasons for the contemporary, recently renewed interest in the classical school of criminology?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The renewed interesting in classical criminology stems from various factors. One of the most prominent factors is the popularity of the true crime genre, whether in the form of television shows (e.g., Making a Murderer, The Staircase, Criminal Minds, CSI, etc.), podcasts (e.g., Serial) and films. Even before the boom of crime and true crime genre, criminology has been depicted for over a century in books such as the Sherlock Holmes series. There has always been an interest in crime among the public, the media and entertainment industry.

The second factor is that crime is a constant feature in the local, national and international news. Crime rates are dissected by the public through "armchair criminology," and cities that are branded as crime-ridden (e.g., Chicago, Detroit, etc.) create multiple commentary within the public and in the media. Therefore, interest in criminology is a reflection or symptom of society's contemporary social and political issues.

Another factor is the fact that criminology was once labeled as a sub-category of sociology or criminal justice. Criminology and criminalistics are now considered their own stand-alone fields of study. Criminology was also once considered a "soft science" like sociology, political science and psychology, but is now being looked at as a "serious" scientific field.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team