Over time, there have been many different theories that have been established and in most cases these theories have been developed as a reaction to the social or judicial challenges or changes that have been created. Criminology theory is important. While there are many theories that cannot be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt in every single society and cultural setting, it is very important for individuals to keep looking and keep developing different theories. By understanding past theories that have failed or not be able to be applied successfully to different crime settings, it is more likely that individuals will be able to work up to theories that can be applied in these different settings.
Criminology is a very broad science. It covers many different types of crimes and cultures or societies in which the crimes take place. Another area that is covered by the scientific study would be the laws that are created by society in response to the various crimes that have been committed in the area. While criminology itself as a science was not created and defined as a term until the end half of the 1800’s, there were many theories that were almost instantaneously created in order to promote the science. Some of the theories were based around the individual and their role in crimes, but others were more interested by taking the role of society into consideration as the cause for certain crimes in different areas. Over time, these theories were elaborated on and re-defined in order to make sense in the time period which would be applying the theory to their studies of the social setting in a set time frame.
It is very important for individuals to understand that criminology is a theoretical science. In effect, this means that criminology will likely not be able to have a set definition of cause and effect when it comes to crime and the society in which the criminal is brought up. At the very most, we have these theories that are constantly being improved upon in order to try to understand crime in a specific society for a specific period of time. Some of the most popular theories that have come forth so far include the conflict theories, in which the individual criminal alone is held responsible for their reactions, as well as the rational choice theory in which it is maintained that the criminal is able to come up with the pros and cons of an action or crime before they perform the action, and that they ultimately decide that there are more pros than cons when it comes to that criminal decision. Certain theories cannot be applied across the board. For example, these theories may be applied to both females and males, but the feminist theories in relation to criminology will maintain that this approach cannot be used and that females need their own theories when it comes to criminology and what motivates women to commit crimes.