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Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Volume 54
Article 3
Issue 2 June

Summer 1963

Criminology and the Criminologist


Marvin E. Wolfgang

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Recommended Citation
Marvin E. Wolfgang, Criminology and the Criminologist, 54 J. Crim. L. Criminology & Police Sci. 155 (1963)

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CRIMINOLOGY AND THE CRIMINOLOGIST

MARVIN E. WOLFGANG

The author is Associate Professor of Sociology in the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.


He is also Director of a basic research project entitled "The Measurement of Delinquency." Dr.
Wolfgang is the author of Patterns in Criminal Homicide, for which he received the August Vollmer
Research Award in 1960, and is President of the Pennsylvania Prison Society. As a former Guggen-
heim Fellow in Italy, he collected material for an historical analysis of crime and punishment in
the Renaissance.
In this article Dr. Wolfgang explores the meaning of the terms "criminology" and "criminol-
ogist." Recognizing that these terms have been used with great varieties of meaning since Lombroso,
and that in the United States criminology has had primarily a sociological orientation, the author
poses the question whether criminology can be considered an autonomous, separate discipline of
knowledge. He examines the interrelationships between criminology and other fields, and the di-
versity of present-day approaches to the study of crime and criminals. Presenting his conclusions
as to the meaning of the terms "criminology" and "criminologist," Dr. Wolfgang finds an important
distinction between the art of influencing human behavior and the science of studying crime, crimi-
nals, and criminal behavior.-EDITOR.

THE MEANING OF CRIMINOLOGY nomenon, of criminal investigation, of criminals,


4
and of penal treatment."
The term "criminology" has been defined by
It is the position of this paper that the term
almost every author who has written a text in "criminology" should be used to designate a body
the field. The variegated content of criminology,
of scientific knowledge about crime. This is es-
as conceived by Lombroso, Ferri, Garofalo,
sentially the basis for Thorsten Sellin's introduc-
Aschaffenburg, and other pioneers,' has permitted
tory chapter of Cidture Conflict and Crime,5 which
use of this term for the many subdivisions of the
remains as the most pervasive and precise state-
field. Textbooks generally refer to a mixture of
ment about the content area and theoretical
data on science, law, public administration, and
structure of criminology in the literature.
morality, and the commonplace dichotomy of
"criminology" and "penology" has been with us This conceptualism of criminology is neither
narrow nor confining. A scientific approach to
at least since the days of Parmelee. 2 Sutherland's
understanding the etiology of crime may include
definition has been standard for many years:
the statistical, historical, clinical, or case-study
"Criminology is the body of knowledge regarding
tools of analysis. Moreover, there is nothing
crime as a social phenomenon. It includes within
inherently quantitative in scientific methodology,
its scope the processes of making laws, of breaking
albeit the most convincing evidence, data, and
laws, and of reacting toward the breaking of
presentation in general sociological replications of
laws.... The objective of criminology is the
propositions appear to be quantitative.8 Probably
development of a body of general and verified
the most fruitful source of analysis of empiric
principles and of other types of knowledge re-
uniformity, regularity, and systems of patterned
garding this process of law, crime, and treat-
relationships can be found in the statistical studies
ment."3 Webster's unabridged edition of the
of causation and prediction. However, interpretive
American dictionary appears to have incorporated
analyses that may occasionally go beyond the
part of Sutherland's perspective, for we read that
limits of empirically correlated and organized
criminology (L. crinien, criminis, crime +-logy)
4 WEBSTER'S NEW LeTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY or
is "the scientific study of crime as a social phe- TE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (2d ed., unabridged, G. and C.
Merriam Co., 1959).
I See PIONEERS IN CRIMINOLOGY (Mannheim ed., 'SELLIN, CULTURE CONFLICT AND CRIM 1-16
London
2 1960). (Social Science Research Council, Bulletin 41, 1938).
3
PARMELEE, CRIMINOLOGY
(1923). 6Hanson, Evidence and .Procedure Characteristics of
SUTaERwknAN & CaESSEY, PRINcrPLES OF CRMI- "Reliable" Propositions in Social Science, 63 Am. J.
NOLOGY 3 (6th ed. 1960). SOCIOOGY 357 (1958).
MARVIN E. WOLFGANG [Vol. 54

data (but not beyond empiric reality) can be milieu, so does the criminologist need and use
useful and enlightening. If description of the related scientific information.
phenomena of crime is performed within a mean- The argument may be made that presently
ingful theoretical system, the methods and the there is no such special separateness to criminology
goals of science are not necessarily discarded in as exists in other disciplines, and that this fact
the process but may be retained with all the delays the recognition of criminology as a distinct
vigor commonly attributed to sophisticated sta- field. The histories of most scientific specialisms
tistical manipulation. follow similar developmental trends," i.e., a
We are contending that criminology should be branching off from a larger, more inclusive area
considered as an autonomous, separate discipline of investigation; next, an increasingly narrow,
of knowledge because it has accumulated its refined, and detailed analysis along "idiographic"
own set of organized data and theoretical con- lines in order to legitimize devoted and disciplined
ceptualisms that use the scientific method, ap- concern with the special subject; and then a
proach to understanding, and attitude in research. return to the "nomothetic" and more enveloping
This contention has recently been supported or universe of investigation that can embrace a
at least examined by Vassali 7 Bianchi,8 Grass- variety of scientific specialties."2 Thus, it appears
berger,9 and Pinatel. 10 Such a position does not that separate disciplines merge and develop in a
negate the mutual interdependence existing in the way that is sympodial rather than unilinear. 3
contributions to this discipline by a variety of The early writings of Della Porta and Lavater
other field specializations. Thus, sociology, psy- on physiognomy and of Gall, Spurzheim, and
chology, psychiatry, the law, history, and biology, others in phrenology were not principally con-
with such allied fields as endocrinology, may cerned with criminal behavior, although references
individually or collectively make substantial con- to the criminal occasionally appeared in their
tributions to criminology without detracting from studies. Some historical continuity can be traced
the idiosyncratic significance of criminology as an in medical literature from these writings on
independent subject matter of scientific investi- physiognomy and on craniology and from those
gation and concern. One need not adhere to a of Pinel, Esquirol, and Rush, to Prichard, Ray,
Comtian hierarchy of the sciences to realize the and Maudsley on moral insanity; from Despine
unity of all knowledge, or, especially, to appreciate and Morel on moral degeneracy to Lombroso on
that a higher order of complexity of phenomena the born criminal and criminal type. Lombroso
such as human behavior requires the use of disci- was primarily a physician and professor of psy-
plines devoted to specific aspects of this order. As chiatry before acquiring a reputation as a criminal
the biochemist must use and rely upon research anthropologist. It was German materialism and
both in biology and chemistry in order to under- French positivism, synthesized through the prism
stand the functional interrelationship of physi- of Lombroso's medical training, that led to L' Uomw
ological processes, and as the sociologist employs Delinquente in 1876 and to the shift of emphasis
data from biology, psychology, and other disci- from the crime to the offender, from the Classical
plines to analyze the dynamic aspects of per- to the Italian School. The new emphasis gave
sonality formation within a particular cultural birth to the concentrated scientific study of
7 Vassalli, Criminologiae giustizia penale, 1 QUADERNI crimogenesis that had long before been in em-
4
DI CRIMINOLOGIA CLrNicA 27, 32-33 (gennaio-marzo, bryonic state.
1959).
8BIANCHI, POSITION AND SUBJECT-MATTER OF CRIM- " For an excellent sociological analysis of the history
INOLOGY (Amsterdam 1956). For example, Bianchi of science, see Merton, Science, Technology and Society
says, "The problems of method and subject-matter in Seventeenth Century England, 4 Osnus 360 (1938).
are of extreme importance to criminology, particularly 1 For a general description of the important differ-
because this science is still on the very threshold ences between "idiographic" (pertaining to the descrip-
of becoming an independent science." Id. at 15. It is tion of the unique) and "nomothetic" (pertaining to
our belief that criminology has now passed over this generalizations and established law), see Becker, Cul-
threshold. lure Case Study and Greek History: Comparison Viewed
9 Grassberger, Qu'est-ce la criminologie7 in REvuE DE Sociologically, 23 Am. Soc. Rxv. 489 (1958).
CRIMNOLOGIE ET DE POLICE TECHNIQUE (1949), cited 13Lester F. Ward speaks of social evolution gen-
by Vassalli, supra note 7. erally as having been sympodial. See his PmRE SoclOL-
10Pinatel, La definition criminologique du crime et le oO 71-79 (2d ed. 1925).
caractire scientifique de la criminologie (Chronique de 11For discussions of this historical development
crimninologie), in REVUE DES SCIENCES CRIIINELLES ET leading up to Lombroso, see ANvrlsoRI, I PaeCtUsoRI DI
DU DROIT PtNAL COMPAI& (1957). LOMBROSO (Torino, 1950); BONGER, AN INTRODUCTION
CRIMINOLOGY AND THE CRIMINOLOGIST

But increasing specialization and delimited con- preconceptions, premises, frames of reference
centration idtimately lead to ever-wider areas of and techniques common to sociology, in which
inquiry. By probing his subject matter in depth, he is trained to do research. Psychologists,
the scientist eventually reaches a point in his psychiatrists, endocrinologists, geneticists, and
inquiry and hypothesis construction where he the representatives of many other disciplines
asks questions, answers for which must come from similarly contribute to criminological knowledge
more than one discipline. In more advanced only to the extent that they use their specialized
stages of scientific inquiry, multi-dimensionality training and funded knowledge in exploring
and inter-disciplinarity are almost inevitable. problems of significance to an understanding of
Modifying but not abandoning his ideas of the criminality. This is the inevitable result of the
atavistic criminal, Lombroso late in his career growing specialization of scientific work."' 7
came to see (with the help of Ferri) the importance This diversity of approaches may lead some
and necessity of examining the social "causes and observers to believe that there is not a single
remedies of crime."' 1 separate scientific discipline of criminology. On
We thus see that maturity of a discipline the one hand, a macroscopic perspective views
involves increasing interdependence. The en- criminology as a study of crime that includes in-
vironmental approach in criminology, historically stitutional patterns of law and the social reaction
developing from roots distinctly different from to crime in the form of adjudication and the in-
Lombrosian precursors, eventually merged with tegrated system of penal sanctions." The analysis
the latter. Contemporary American criminology of crime from this institutional framework is well
can be said to have an historical linkage with illustrated by Jerome Hall's 9 study of theft, by
Guerry, Quetelet, and de Champneuf, who repre- Radzinowicz's 0 review of the history of English
sented the cartographic school of the 19th century, criminal law, and by the general field of the
as well as with Tarde's law of imitation, Durk- "sociology of law."" On the other hand, micro-
heim's sociological determinism, and the environ- scopic analyses of criminal behavior or personality
mental approaches of Ferri, Garofalo, Colajanni, that attempt to measure significant differences
and others.16 The literature on crime, from an between criminals and non-criminals take the form
environmental perspective, may have grown from of biologic, psychologic, psychiatric, and sociologic
ideological bases quite different from those of emphases. In the best sense of eclectic positivism,
Lombroso; yet the synthesis has occurred and is the Gluecks have generally proceeded in this
even now constantly recurring while inquiry and manner in their contributions to criminological
research proceed in both areas. From medicine, research during the past 30 years." It is common-
clinical psychiatry, and anthropology, as well as place in the field of criminology to refer to studies
from "political arithmetic" and positivistic at-
17 Sellin, supranote 16.
tempts at societal reconstruction developed the 18This kind of analysis of institutional patterns is
sympodial branches of criminology that today suggested by Talcott Parsons in his discussion of "in-
appear to be emerging as an independent disci- tegrative institutions," which is part of his structural-
functional theoretical system. See PARSONS, THE
pline. SocIAL SYsTEM (1951), and ESSAYS IN SOCIOLOGICAL
The diversity of present-day approaches to TnEoRY (rev. ed. 1954).
the study of crime and criminals can hardly be 1"HAS,Tnxrr, LAW, AND SocIETY (2d ed. 1952).
2"1-3 RADzINowicz, A HISTORY or ENGLISH CRIw-
denied. Sellin has remarked in his introduction to NAL LAW AD ITS ADMINISTRATION FRoM 1750 (1948 &
the Swedish handbook of criminology: 1957).
"1The works of TmrASHEFF, AN INTRODUCTION TO
"The sociologist studies crime as a social TH SOCIOLOGY OF LAW (1939), and of GuRviTcH,
phenomenon and approaches this study with SocIOLoGY or LAW (1941), have been standard and well
known. For a recent published concern with this topic,
To CRIMINOLOGY (van Loo transl., London 1936); DE: see Symposium on Law and Social Problems, 7 SOCIAL
Quios, MODERN TmcoptEs or CRIMNALITY (de Salvio PROBLEMS (1959).
transl. 1911). See also, the discussion and bibliography 2Such as the following major works of Sheldon and
in Wolfgang, Cesare Lombroso, PIONEERS IN CmusmNoL- Eleanor Glueck: 500 CRIMINAL CAREERS (1930); ONE
oGY ch. 9 (Mannheim ed. 1960). This article also ap- TnOUsAND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS (1934); FrvE HUN-
peared in 52 J. CRm. L., C. & P.S. 361 (1961). DRED DELINQUENT WOMEN (1934); LATER CRIMINAL
15As is reflected in his CRME: Irs CAUSES AND CAREERS (1937); JuvEznnE DELINQUENTS GROWN UP
REMEDIES (1913). (1940); CRImNAL CAREERS IN RETROSPECT (1943);
18See, e.g., DE Qurios, op. cit. supra note 14, and UNRAVELING JUVENILE DELINQUENCY (1950); PRY-
Sellin, En historik aterblick, in AGGE et al., KRmNoLoGI SIQUE AND DELINQUENCY (1956); PREDICTING DELN-
Ch. I (Stockholm 1955). QUENCY AND CIME (1959).
MARVIN E. WOLFGANG [Vol. 54

of identical twins, endrocrinology, and somato- and convincing. If we examine other disciplines,
types in the biological approach; to psychometric we see similar diversities and problems of oper-
testing of intelligence, personality attributes, ational definitions. History is not only a meth-
forensic medicine, and Freudian psychiatry in the odological tool, it is a field of study as well. As
psychological approach; and to ecological areas, such, history includes an obvious diversity of
differential association, culture conflict, role space-time dimensions to which politics, economics,
theory, and reference groups in the sociological medicine, technology, art, etc., contribute sub-
approach. stantive data and provide theoretical insights."0
Neither the definition of "crime" nor that of Definitions and delimitations of historical periods
the "criminal" is standardized or universally still create problems for historians. Because the
accepted as a unit of criminological research. Per- Middle Ages and the Renaissance merge "like a
haps more in the United States than elsewhere trainwreck in time" there is no universal agree-
there are vital and critical differences in con- ment about the designation for the period known
ceptualism of these two terms. It is not merely commonly as "the Renaissance." Similarly with
that criminal statistics are subject to criticism in terms such as "classical," "Romantic," "Baroque,"
this country because of state variations in criminal etc., debates in historical analysis continue. The
statutes; the Uniform Crime Reports published study of art can no longer be made on the basis of
by the FBI under the auspices of the Department aesthetics alone, but increasingly requires knowl-
of Justice serve a useful though not totally ade- edge of the culture milieu in which the artist and
quate basis for establishing a crime index for the style were born and flourished, and even of psy-
nation. The problem is deeper than this, however. chological insights into the artist's personality3'
The formal legalistic definition of crime as the Is the relatively new area of industrial sociology a
unit of criminological research is posited against contribution to an understanding of industry or of
the broader conceptualism of conduct norms,n sociology? It is patently both. Does research with
anti-social or deviant behavior,2 4 and "white- lysergic acid contribute to bio-chemistry or to
collar crime."' 25 The classic report of Michael and psychiatry? Again, both. The cultural anthro-
Adler 6l and the writings of Tappann and Jefferyn pologist who studies the law of primitive man 2
suggest that the major perspective of crime adds to the accumulated literature of both an-
should be a legal one. But like Sellin and Suther- thropology and criminology. We need not
land, Gillin has emphasized the need for a wider, belabor the point further, for differential ap-
sociological unit for analysis by defining crime as proaches to the same subject-matter are man-
"an act that has been shown to be actually harmful ifestly present in all disciplines. The predominantly
to society, or that is believed to be socially harmful biological and legal orientation of some European
by a group of people that has the power to enforce criminology, which has a long historical tradition,
its beliefs and that places such act under the ban and the predominantly environmental orientation
of positive penalties."2 9 of American criminology, which is equally linked
Can these diversities of approach and of oper- to its own historical continuity, are simply different
ational definitions be considered as parts of a approaches to the scientific study of crime and
unitary whole? I think the answer is definitely the criminal. So long as theory and research of
in the affirmative. Analogy is not one of the crime, criminals, and social reaction to both are
strongest forms of argument, but it is often useful based upon a normative orientation that is
22 SELLIN, op. cit. supra note 5, at 57-116. scientific and the goals of which constitute a
24 CLINARD, SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANT BEHAVIOR description, measurement, analysis, or interpre-
(1957).
2 tation of patterns, uniformities, causal relation-
5SUTHERLAND, WHITE COLLAR CRIM (1949).
26MICIAEL & ADLER, CRIME, LAW, AND SOCIAL ships, and probabilities, we may assert that such
SCIENCE
27 (1933). theory and research comprise the field and our
Tappan, Who Is the Criminal?12 Am. Soc. REV. 96
(1947); and his recent textbook, CRIME, JUsTIcE AND meaning of criminology.
CORRECTION (1960).
23 Jeffery, Crine, Law and Social Structure, 47 J. 20 In support of this analogy, see THEORIS Op
CRIM. L., C. & P.S. 423 (1956); and Pioneersin Crimi- HISTORY (Gardiner ed. 1959).
nology: The Hiistorical Development of Criminology, 50 2 1-2 HAUSER, THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF ART (1957),
id. 3 (1959). and2 THE PiosoPHY OF ART HISTORY (1959).
21GILLiN, CRIMNOLOGY AND PENOLOGY (3d ed. HOEBEL, THE LAW OF PRIITIVE MAN: A STUDY IN
1945). COMPARATIVE LEGAL DYNAMCS (1954).
19631 CRIMINOLOGY AND THE CRIMINOLOGIST

Finally, if all knowledge is unitary and separate include the subjects of probation, parole, imprison-
disciplines are but artifacts of analysis, we should ment, and other treatment or punishment pro-
expect any single discipline to make contributions cedures in the latter section of the book. May we
to other and especially closely related fields. legitimately include "corrections" or "penology"
Specifically, criminology must be more than a under our meaning of criminology? The answer, I
recipient of empirical data and theory; it must believe, should be negative if by "corrections" is
also give something of substantial value to related meant the social work activities of probation and
areas of science. In this criterion of scientific parole officers, the organization and administrative
specificity, criminology shows its weakest side. functions of the police, or the management of
Probably because criminology is still a young penal institutions. The answer should be affirma-
science and temporally close to its nascency, it tive, however, if we mean, as previously indicated,
has not given as much as it has received. We the scientific analysis, measurement, and in-
cannot here engage in the polemics of measuring terpretation of patterns, regularities, causal or
or reciting the quantity or quality of research associational relationships and probabilities of the
and theory that freely flows to and from the same subareas of criminology. If control and
field. However, despite its acknowledged indebted- prediction in experimentation are integral goals of
ness to other disciplines, criminology has made research and, regardless of the substantive area, if
important contributions to the fuller understand- analysis proceeds by means of the scientific
ing of deviant behavior, conduct norms, per- method, then we may include within the scope of
sonality formation, biological and psychological criminology any correctional research that em-
mechanisms of individual behavior, subcultural braces these goals and this method.3 Matters
patterns of institutionalization, the structural- purely of public administration may have periph-
functional approach of social analysis, learning eral interest but do not constitute a science of
theory, class and status hierarchies, role theory, crime. Technical operations in the management of
psychopathology, law, history, and philosophy.n a police force or of a prison do not fall within our
Moreover, criminology has used practically every framework of reference to criminology. Historical
particular tool of scientific research and has studies that trace the evolution of punishment, if
thereby strengthened and embellished these properly conceived and executed, may very well be
techniques through usage. The statistical, his- included in criminology. Various kinds of analyses
torical, clinical, life-history, experimental, etc., of the police, judicial, and penal statistics are part
have been employed to advantage in every country of criminology, but the mere tabulation of a prison
where criminology has achieved the status of a population certainly is not. Any study of the
university discipline. That teaching and research offender after the crime that seeks to understand
in criminology may be performed principally in the causal or treatment process and that employs
schools of law or medicine in one country or a scientific perspective and method is contained
region (as is the case in Europe) and mostly in within our meaning of criminology. Group or
departments of sociology in another country (as is individual psychotherapeutic analyses, as well as
the case in the United States) affects only the prison community and parole prediction studies
primary orientation of criminology. But differences should be included. Phenomenological studies of
in administrative localization also add to the such crimes as homicide, embezzlement, narcotics,
diverse contributions that criminology may make. etc., and even taxonomic exercises establishing
Increasingly in the future, criminology should be Weberian ideal types for purposes of analysis are
able to absorb disciplinary diversity and to pro- legitimate areas of criminology.
vide more theoretical and empirical services to The question whether it is necessary to divide
related disciplines, whether these areas be law, the discipline into "pure" criminology and "ap-
history, sociology, psychology, or biology. plied" criminology is now rarely raised in the
We have said nothing thus far about penology. United States, although the dichotomy of pure
It is standard textbook practice in America to and applied sociology has been an issue in that
discipline since the days of Auguste Comte and
"See Clinard, The Sociology of Delinquency and more especially in America since the writings of
Crime, in REvIEw or SOcioLOGY: ANALYsis OF A DEC-
ADE ch. 14 (Gittler ed. 1957); also, Clinard, Criminologi- 4For recent discussions of the meaning of criminol-
cal Research, in MERTON, BROOM & COTTRELL, SocIoL- ogy in the area of penology, or corrections, see the entire
oGY TODAY: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECS ch. 23 (1959). issue of 40 Tnm PISON JouMNA (1960).
MARVIN E. WOLFGANG [Vol. 54

Lester Ward. A socially utilitarian end that directs the Gluecks and suggested by them as an ap-
the course and sets the framework for analysis in propriate guide in sentencing, is not engaging in a
a research design has been considered applied scientific pursuit. What the Gluecks have done is
research; 35 thus practical and almost immediate criminology; what the judge does with the results
application of research for preconceived admin- of criminology is public administration.
istrative purposes would connote "applied crim- Thus we see that application of scientific re-
inology." If the research aided the police to make search findings is not criminology-with one
investigations or to collect evidence leading to obvious exception: If these research findings are
the arrest of an offender, or if research helped the used by another researcher in criminology, either
probation or parole officer to work more effectively in the form of a replicated study as documentary
among those in their charge, the research would support or as propositions upon which new hy-
appear to be "applied" criminology. As Green- potheses are constructed, a form of application is
wood 6 has indicated, this original dichotomy manifestly for scientific purposes, is absorbed once
between pure and applied research is breaking again into the scientific process, and is quite
down today. Because an administrative organiza- different from application in criminal policy.
tion designates the area of interest and thereby to Therefore, in slight modification of our original
some extent sets the limits to the number and contention we may say that application of scientific
kinds of variables to be measured or to the goals research for scientific research is criminology;
of research, this action does not per se reduce the whereas, application of research in nonscientific
"purity" of scientific analysis. A public authority pursuits is not criminology.
that offers direction to investigation may in fact
W11o Is A CRIIxNOLOGIST?
be an encouragement to research; and whether or
not the findings have practical applicability does Having defined and described the meaning of
not determine the scientific character of research.n criminology, we have simplified our task of de-
But interference in the scientific process, public termining who is the criminologist. Generally
policy that alone dictates choice of research speaking we shall contend that a criminologist is
methods or suppression, distortion, or falsification anyone engaged in the pursuit of learning em-
of data are among the things that destroy scien- braced by our meaning of criminology. A crim-
tificity. These are the major considerations of inologist is one whose professional training, oc-
consequence in so-called "applied" criminology. cupational role, and fiduciary reward are con-
Rather than the question of "pure" versus centrated toward a scientific approach, study,
"applied" criminology, the primary question is and analysis of the phenomena of crime and
whether the process of application of criminological criminal behavior.h However, because we have
research findings should be labeled criminology. referred to the wide diversity of approaches to the
Our reply is negative and concurs with earlier understanding of crime, questions may arise
related remarks made by Sellin. s Use of scientific regarding the designation of "criminologist"
findings in social work relationships with clients when applied to specific individuals who contribute
(or, more precisely in this consideration, with segmental information to the field from other
criminal offenders) may be highly desirable but disciplines.
does not constitute science, hence, is not crimi- A physical anthropologist who participates in
nology. The juvenile court judge who would make an interdisciplinary research on delinquency or
use of the "Social Prediction Scale" devised by crime, making anthropomorphic measurements of
35 Cf. BrANch, op. cit. supra note 8, at 19-23. a control group and an experimental group of
36Greenwood, Social Science and Social Work: A delinquents, is not, by reason of this isolated
Theory of Their Relationship, 29 SOCIAL SERvicE REv. activity, a criminologist. Hooton's40 excursion in
20 (1955).
37This issue has been discussed in more detail: Wolf- 1938 with The Anerican Criminal did not gain
gang, Research in Corrections, 40 THE PRISON JOURNAL
37 (1960), 39The general criteria of the "professional role" of
8 SELLIN, op. cit. supra note 5, at 3, where he says, the criminologist are substantially the same as those
"The term 'criminology' should be used to designate used by Parsons in his discussion of the meaning and
only the body of scientific knowledge and the deliberate role of the "sociologist." See, Parsons, Some Problems
pursuit of such knowledge. What the technical use of Confronting Sociology as a Profession, 24 Amr. Soc. REv.
knowledge in the treatment and prevention of crime 54740 (1959).
might be called, I leave to the imagination of the HOOTON, Tim AiRESICAN CRIMINAL: AN ANTRo-
reader." POLOGICAL STUDY (1939).
CRIMINOLOGY AND THE CRIMINOLOGIST

for him a high status in criminology, although dominate his thinking, but the present pedagogic
there was no impairment of his reputation as a arrangements, at least in American universities,
physical anthropologist. William Sheldon' likewise would make such a person a rarity. Consequently
is not a criminologist because of his Varieties of our generalization must be that although the
Delinquent Youth any more than is Seltzer, who criminologist usually has a simultaneous or anti-
aided the Gluecks in Unravelinvg Juvenile De- cedent training in some discipline other than
linquency. This is not to say that a physical criminology, the other discipline becomes the
anthropologist cannot also be a criminologist. avenue through which he enters criminology. The
Should the application of anthropometry be made orientation is that which he brings into play as
principally and regularly in the pursuit of hy- he engages in study and research in criminology.
potheses regarding crime and criminals, and Thus, the anthropologist, psychiatrist, psy-
should the body of scientific knowledge accum- chologist, and sociologist who have also obtained
ulated in general criminology be absorbed by the mastery, understanding, and knowledge of the
anthropologist in his training, then he most body of information and research contained in the
properly may bear the mantle of criminologist. field of criminology and whose professional roles
Correspondingly, the psychometrician or clinical are centered around the study and research of
psychologist does not ipso facto become a crim- crime or of criminal behavior are all criminol-
inologist because he submits a Wechsler Bellevue ogists . 1
Test to criminal subjects or because he interviews At present the title of criminology is indis-
200 inmates in a prison. Application of the Ror- criminately used to refer to anyone whose pro-
schach test to 500 delinquents does not qualify fessional activity is focused on criminals. The
the administrator as a criminologist. And the probation officer, the psychiatrist in a penal in-
sociologist who teaches a single undergraduate stitution, the technician in a ballistics section of
course in criminology as his only professional a police department, the lie-detector analyst, the
contact with the field is a sociologist but does not investigator for the district attorney's office, and
meet our standards for a criminologist. even the professor of criminal law have occa-
It becomes clear then that regardless of the sionally been referred to as "criminologists." It is
diverse nature of contributory professions to our contention that none of these persons, by
criminology there is an independent discipline to reason of only one of these professional roles, is a
be learned and a special professional role to be criminologist, and that none of the results of per-
performed. Whereas it is true that no criminologist forming these roles constitute criminology. What,
can function as a "pure" criminologist without then, can we say about the police officer, the
some other type of training and orientation lawyer, the judge, the prison superintendent,
(sociology, psychology, psychiatry, the law, etc.), probation and parole officers, and persons engaged
there are a unit of analysis, a framework of refer- in similar tasks? There is, of course, no simple or
ence, and a body of collected, organized, and categoric answer but there is an answer consistent
analyzed knowledge available constituting re- with our foregoing remarks about the meaning of
quired learning before an individual can function criminology and the function of a criminologist.
as a scientific student in any field of criminology. If any one of these persons in pursuance of his
Probably no scientist exists who is unadulterated occupational role is principally devoted to the
by the data or theory of some other discipline task of scientific study, research, and analysis of
than his own. (Perhaps only the mathematician the phenomenon of crime, criminal behavior, or
can be "pure" in this sense, but then we might treatment of the offender, his role is that of a
contend that mathematics is either a tool or, in criminologist. It is generally unlikely that any of
its higher complexities, sophisticated artistry and the aforementioned persons is thus occupied. In
not a science.) The student of criminology could
4 Cf. Sellin who says: "The 'criminologist' does not
conceivably be trained with so broad an eclecticism exist who is an expert in all the disciplines which con-
that no single disciplinary orientation would verge in the study of crime." Op. cit. supranote 5, at 4.
41 Concerned with this same problem, Bianchi seems to
SHELDON, VAumTrEs or DELINQUENT YOUTH: AN feel differently: "Any psychiatrist entering into the field
INTRODUcTION TO CONsTrr=toNAL PSYC]ATR Y (1949). of criminology and reckoning delinquents among his
42Seltzer, A Comparative Study of the Morphological patients, has to be a criminologist into the bargain,
Characteristicsof Delinquents and Non-Delinquents, in from which follows that he should be well acquainted
S. & E. GLvEc,c UNRAVELING JUVENuE DELINQUENCY with the entire field and know all the details of the prob-
Appendix C (1950). lems of crime and man." Op. cit. supranote 8, at 22-23.
MARVIN E. WOLFGANG [Vol. 54

most cases the closest they need come to being merely by reason of their occupational relationships
"scientists" is in the application of criminological to crime and criminals, any more than the crim-
research findings, but as we have elsewhere in- inologist who does research on the sentencing
dicated this kind of application is not criminology. power and functions of judges is a judge. That
We may refer to some of them, as Sellin has earlier two compatible professional roles may be per-
done, as "technologists," and the work in which formed simultaneously is, of course, possible, so
they are engaged as "crimino-technology." 44 that a prison administrator may also be a crim-
Working with criminal offenders or having one's inologist if he should design, direct, or supervise
daily work principally connected with criminals is a criminological research program in his institu-
not a sufficient criterion for designation as a tion. By the same logic a criminologist may be
criminologist; else we would be at the reductio ad administrative chairman of a university depart-
absurdum of claiming that a criminal himself ment of sociology; the two statuses are compatible
should bear the label of criminologist. The role of but distinctly different.
a peace officer consists of preventing, detecting, By now it should be obvious that probation
and investigating crime; arresting and inter- and parole officers may apply knowledge ac-
rogating criminals; and making them available cumulated from research in social work, psy-
for judicial action. He may make use of scientific chology, and psychiatry but that they are not
knowledge such as may be found in chemical criminologists. The art of working with people,
analyses of blood stains, in ballistics reports, and of guiding, supervising, directing, operating upon,
even in using encephalographic machinery, but he or controlling others remains an art whether or
is engaged in application not in production of not scientific principles are applied in such inter-
scientific knowledge. He may be partially re- action. Similarly custodial officers in a prison,
sponsible for providing the raw datum to be used though surrounded by and working constantly
later in research, but obviously this activity is not with prisoners, are not criminologists.
science (any more than that of the census enumera-
tor). If application of scientific research were CONCLUSION
criminology then the criminal who used a revolver I believe that we have provided a logically con-
(which is a material culture trait resulting from sistent and circumscribed position: a criminologist
scientific research in the use of explosive elements) is one whose professional role is devoted to crim-
instead of a bow and arrow would be scientific and inology. Any definition of criminology inferentially
a criminologist. The absurdity of this example sets limits to the role of a criminologist. Our
should make abundantly clear the meaning that definition of criminology, though wide in the
must be given to the term "criminologist." scope of subject matter contained within the
Our conception of criminology has not been so field, is narrow in terms of procedural processes
narrow that the study of criminal law, judicial and purposive goals. There are differences of
process, and penal treatment of the offender has opinion among criminologists about the inclusion
been excluded. Thus, study, research, and analysis and emphasis of certain types of subject matter
that proceed along methodological lines embraced in criminology. This is a substantive and theoreti-
by science can be made by the student of law, cal matter for discussion and debate. However,
members of the judiciary, and administrators or it should be clear and unmistakable that crim-
executors of penal treatment. However, the inology means the use of scientific methods in the
practicing attorney, the sitting judge, and the study and analysis of regularities, uniformities,
superintendent of the prison are not criminologists patterns, and causal relationships concerned with
4 SELLIN, op. cit. supra note 5, at 3. crime, criminals, or criminal behavior.