Career Series II – Criminology (Interesting career for the keen-eyed)

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Next  in our series ‘What will I be when I grow up’ – a series on career information and guidance is a post on Criminology. Most of us consider criminology a subject of mystery, with little knowledge beyond what we have see on Tv shows. Our student contributor, Sajusha Ashok talks to Dr.Bindu, to give us a peep into this mysterious subject area.

Dr. Bindu holds a PhD in Criminology. In this interview she talks to Sajusha about criminology, crime and how knowing about crime changes our world view.

  • What inspired you to take criminology in the first place? Did you intend to take criminology or did you stumble upon the course?

I actually stumbled upon the course. I did a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and was a University rank holder. I was initially focused on pursuing medicine but somehow decided otherwise. Once when I was enquiring in the University of Madras, I came across the course on criminology. I also realised that the exams were entirely merit based and had no special quotas.

  • What are the prospects for anyone wanting to be a criminologist?

Sadly, there is very little scope for criminology in India whereas it has high demand abroad because they look for criminologists in several fields. However, I don’t regret studying criminology. The exposure changed my personality and it made me the person I am today.

  • Where is mathematics used in criminology?

Math is mainly used in statistics and research. Criminology deals with quantitative values which we analyse and speculate thereby concluding on a particular observation.

  • Criminology, forensic science et cetera is interpreted in a very attractive way in several television shows. What are the areas one can work after having done a course in criminology?

In the West, as criminology is predominant, there are many television shows portraying criminology. In India, however, it is not predominant. Majority of the graduates take up research, become professors or lawyers. In the U.S, graduates have the opportunity to become parole officers, and work with the police force.

  • One of the biggest factors crime is related to is the law. How closely related are lawyers to criminologists?

In my batch, there were several students who did law and others who were to practice law afterward. Law comes in handy in terms of medicine to understand the forensic reports.

  • I was informed that your area of research is child abuse. It is one of the most recurrent crimes today. What is the most important thing a lay man must know about child abuse?

The most important thing is that one must be aware about incidents like child abuse. People must be aware that such crimes are mostly not committed by strangers but by the familiar people. This very deep rooted phenomena must be acknowledged and action must be taken. Trusting the child (the complaints reported by the child) is key.

  • Coming to the emotional aspect, does it affect one mentally to handle such a great deal of crime?

The control of emotions is mainly affected by one’s age. When a person is young, it is easy to stomach the crime. One must venture young and be determined to have it one’s own way. Personally, I’m very frightened as I am getting older,  which makes it personal. I began to look at everyone suspiciously.

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