September 12, 2023 - Introduction to the course What is criminology? Why is it primarily a social science? oVast majority commits crime on some degree What is critical constellation thinking? Understand that society and social issues are very complex. Society has many levels and varieties of institutions, types of people, cultures, and belief systems. And thus, many social realities exist alongside one another. Rather than seeing social issues from one point of view try to understand it from many angles: engage in "constellation thinking" to understand how different aspects of the same phenomenon combine to form a complex social reality. Before you can properly dismiss or critically assess the point of view of another person you need tofully understand what that argument is. Do not be so eager to dismiss claims and various points of view, but instead include them in a constellation of views that make up the complexity of social reality. All knowledge begins with the practice of questioning. Questioning is how we understand the world around us so we can develop a multi-faceted understanding of things and protect ourselves from deception. The practice of questioning and knowing defines and namesthe human species (homo sapiens). Critical inquiry is not the same as being cynical or pessimistic. Look for contradictions in our society. For example: If we are progressing as a society then why are there still so many social problems? If we have continued technological progress and economic growth year after year, then why does crime continue to be a persistent social problem? When assessing a claim being made try to look for contradictions in logic - such as weaknesses and flaws in various arguments and points of view. What does the opposite view look like? Every point of view or theory has a bias to it. A bias is not necessarily a weakness. Look for evidence and proof of claims that are being made and recognize that most social issues are rarely unidimensional. Subjective experience is not always the basis of truth. One person's experience should not define another person's reality. Constellation thinking can also be a personal guide to self-preservation, or intellectual self defense. "Have insight into your own responsibilities." You have to live with the consequences of your decisions and choices in life. The study of criminology is not just about crime and justice. Criminology can be a window on the world used to understand power relations and help you develop analytical skills that can be used to understand many other spheres of life. Justice is about what is fair and ethical in the realm of human relations. The concept of justice goes beyond legal matters such as criminal victimization and is concerned with the fair and equitable distribution of opportunities, resources, wealth, privilege, and power in a society - as well as the right to be free from deliberate harm inflicted by others, whether they be individuals or organizations.