Comments: 221 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

NYCHookup39 karma

I'm sure you are, but I would like some further proof...I mean a paragraph on a website you designed yourself doesn't say much.

I mean I could just go to my website and say "I'm a member of Seal Team 6"

It's not really proof of anything.

Hingle_McRingleberri41 karma

do you have over 300 confirmed kills?

acct1029 karma


k2881q17 karma

Gorilla warfare? For sure. I fight alongside gorillas every day.

According to the guidelines, my proof would be sufficient: "Adding a note to a website or twitter feed that only the real person or organization would have control over. If you are going to use your official Social Media site, please include the username you will be using and/or link to the AMA once you have posted it. This will ensure that no one can pose as you!"

acct1014 karma


k2881q9 karma

Lol. thanks for the enlightenment - I am but a newb to Reddit, honestly :p

AutoModerator22 karma

Hello! You don't have any links in your post, which probably means you didn't provide any form of proof. All AMAs require proof, and here are instructions on how to provide some. We really prefer that you post the proof in the text of your post, but it can also be sent confidentially to the moderators if necessary. If you can't or won't provide proof, there is no need to message the moderators. Delete your post and repost it in /r/CasualIAmA. If you do not provide proof, your AMA will be removed. Thank you, and enjoy your AMA!

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k2881q6 karma


Sacco4259 karma

What was your educational background like? Are you a PhD? because what your title is sounds exactly what I would want to do, but I didn't think anything like that would even exist.

k2881q4 karma

I'm not yet a PhD but I hope to be at some point in the future. The field - especially in cultural criminology - is small and the PhD positions available are few and extremely prestigious (check out DCGC.eu, they accept only one European per year).

What you should understand is that there are many different subfields in criminology: global criminology, cultural criminology, green criminology, forensic criminology, etc etc etc. There's also the distinction between criminologists that use quantitative and qualitative methods and they both think they have the right of it.

If you're interested in the field, definitely check out Universities in your area (or further away) and find the one that offers the BA or MA that matches your interests (i.e. would you prefer quantitative research or qualitative, do you want to learn about global, modern crime or do you want to focus more on law enforcement policy stuff). It's extremely diverse.

This is my MA: http://www.uu.nl/university/international-students/en/criminology/Pages/default.aspx It's focused on global and cultural criminology, qualitative methods, and they have some renowned cultural criminologists on staff. I can heartily recommend it. If cultural criminology is something you're interested in, they are also really into it at the University of Kent, Hamburg and Budapest.

jacksonxo1 karma

I have a BA in criminology, but I've never heard of cultural crime until now! When and how did you decide to pursue a career in it?

I'm still looking for a job in my field, so this couldn't be more perfect.

k2881q4 karma

Yeah cultural criminology is fairly new, I'm lucky to be with the Utrecht School of Criminology as there's mostly cultural criminologists there :) I came there by accident actually, as I took their minor in criminology (I have a BA in clinical psychology but that wasn't really my thing.. I felL in love with criminology through the minor!)

jacksonxo2 karma

That's awesome and exciting, I sort of fell into crim too (minored in communications though, no regrets!) Best of luck in your research/career!

k2881q3 karma

Thanks a lot :D

Commander_Ninja7 karma

What's the first thing people assume when they hear about your job?

k2881q13 karma

That I'm a CSI forensic (which is why I put that as a note in my initial post!)

It's nothing like CSI, I'm not in forensics, and even forensics would probably say their jobs are nothing like CSI. Lol.

alacartelala5 karma

What would you recommend me to read about cultural criminology?

angrypotato14 karma

What are your opinions/analysis on breaking bad. It seems to be the first (popular) non pro-police crime show. Has it influenced drug related crimes or the perception of such crimes?

Edit: I'm only partway through on season two so please don't respond with spoilers anyone.

k2881q6 karma

Really good question! It's actually something I've tried to research myself but I haven't found any literature on it. Honestly, the impact it had on me as a watcher for entertainment reasons (so not as a study), was profound, and I can't imagine it not having such an impact on anyone else.

What I find particularly interesting in Breaking Bad is that it does try to explain "going into crime" or "becoming criminal" from a much more subtle perspective than usual (i.e. "he's evil because of his genes" or the many (too many) visual material that bases evilness on the looks of a person, for instance, the always ugly witch or evil fat guy). In Breaking Bad, the Walt goes into crime actually for benevolent reasons, a.k.a. making money in a short time for his pregnant wife before he dies. Honestly, the development of Walter into this extremely bad bad guy is astonishingly well done and it remains one of my favorite shows ever (I can't wait for the final season!)

You've officially inspired me to consider researching this for real in the future xD Hope I've answered your question at least a bit.

acct101 karma


k2881q2 karma

Yeah, Breaking Bad for sure isn't the first one, there is a lot of tv/film that's very very critical of law enforcement/criminal justice, etc.

aLittleCreepy4 karma

Have you ever thought about using your skills to become a supervillain?

k2881q10 karma

A super villain? No, but I could be a damn good criminal who would fly under everyone's radar because I know how they would try to detect me :p

aLittleCreepy4 karma

... so... Yes?

k2881q9 karma

Technically, I guess :p

Supermehran53 karma

How would you describe a typical work day?

k2881q7 karma

There's no typical day for me. For my current research I'm doing something different for every phase. At the moment it's like this (I'm in my data gathering phase)

9 am: start work (at home) to lunch: watch movies, take lots of notes, this takes about 4-5 hours for one movie to 5: search other material on the movie, i.e. director interviews/videos, discussions on the content of the movie online, academic literature, etc.

On other days, I'm mostly reading and on others again, I'm mostly writing. It's quite intensive and the expectations are always high, but it's also a lot of fun and I hope to be able to continue in this field of work.

__Hipster__3 karma

How will crime change in the future? (If it does)

k2881q4 karma

I can't predict the future... We can learn from the past, though - and that is what I'm trying to do with my current research (how do dystopian science fiction films discuss developments in law enforcement and punishment), with which I hope to deepen some of our understanding of developments in these institutions.

The biggest change we've seen in crime has come with globalization - as we see it, crime has become transnational. Digitalization has helped this a lot too. This is actually called "the dark side of globalization"- often, globalization is seen mostly as a good thing, but it has also brought forth a lot of new opportunities for crime.

My guess would be that digital crime is going to vastly expand, especially through media such as the deep web/darknet, however you may call it. It's still a really new field and there's very little research done on it, though more criminologists are picking it up. I also think that current law enforcement is not equipped to "fight" this kind of crime (yet).

Berniegrl3 karma

"Digital crime," are you serious? Very little research? There are whole companies built around fighting "digital crime" based on analysis and statistics. It's not new, it's foreign, meaning there is no jurisdiction. Wow put down the textbook from 1998. I weep!

k2881q6 karma

Pardon my phrasing. But within (cultural) criminology (a.k.a. my field), there has been done relatively little research to digital crime. Of course there are entire companies, but we know relatively little concrete about it. The no jurisdiction part complicates it endlessly.

Berniegrl3 karma

Yikes, maybe an opportunity for you then. It's extremely culturally relevant - see west Africa, South East Asia. I'm actually keen on finding some theory in this.. Snoop around, you might have a good area to pioneer here.

k2881q1 karma

Yesss. I entirely agree with you.

rarkmeece2 karma

I read this as Cringeologist. So I'm a little disappointed when I came in here.

k2881q2 karma

Lol. Sorry to disappoint :p

Febrifuge2 karma

Oh, dammit, I switched from Crim to Theatre for my BA degree. If only it hadn't been 1995 at the time, I might have double-majored and been really well suited to cultural criminology as a field. Cool new angle for study.

k2881q1 karma

It's never too late!

xboxoneiscool2 karma

What are the guidelines to consider yourself a "criminologist"? It seems you only have a Masters Degree, not a PhD

k2881q1 karma

Technically, you can call yourself a criminologist with a Masters degree, just like a psychologist is allowed to call herself a psychologist after attaining her degree in psychology. But maybe that's dependent on culture, here in The Netherlands they even encourage to already call yourself a criminologist/anything-ist when you're studying to put you in the right mindset.

tlock82 karma

Do you feel that movies and other media influence people to commit crimes that they otherwise would not commit?

k2881q5 karma

It's not that black and white. The communication between film and audience is (among cultural criminologists) understood as a "cycle":

  • movie is made, based on some kind of real phenomenon of crime (this doesn't have to be non-fiction, if you get my point)
  • audience watches the movie, their "schema" (the mental pattern with which we evaluate the world and helps us act on day-to-day happenings) is either reaffirmed or changed
  • the reaction feeds back into movies again, and so forth

Yes, surely people have been inspired by movies. For instance, there were the Natural Born Killers copycats. Mobsters in NYC started to name their children after characters in The Godfather and started to use terms from the movie that they didn't use before (this was all discovered through wire tapping). The shooting at The Dark Knight Rises is another example.

But the frequencies of these things to happen is so infinitesimally small that there's no way that people are "generally" prone to be inspired by crimes in movies.

potentialnamebusines3 karma

Correct me if I am wrong, I feel as if I am misunderstanding you.

You infer that James Holmes was influenced by The Dark Knight Rises even though he decided to commit the shooting when it was just released. If he had never seen it before (barring pirated copies, mayhaps?) how would it influence him?

Or is it more along the lines of "I'm going to do this violent thing during a violent movie!"

I am just curious and I would like to have some clarification.

k2881q3 karma

Oh no sorry, I mean, he shot the people at the Dark Knight Rises premiere, dressed up as "the Joker" (he referred to himself that way), meaning that he was inspired by ... the Batman franchise? Or perhaps The Dark Knight. At the very least, he was inspired by fictional criminal The Joker, heh.

LilConner20055 karma

Speaking of the Dark Knight, was your career in criminology at all inspired by a childhood aspiration toward being Batman?

k2881q3 karma

I don't believe in vigilantes :p

(and no, I actually wasn't that big of a Batman fan :p)

Gorrn2 karma

I've just finished reading my degree in Criminology, are there any career paths you could recommend looking into? I honestly have no idea where to start!

k2881q7 karma

Look for PhD's, if that's what you want to do... Otherwise, the options are pretty endless O_o

The most interesting thing I ever heard was that a criminology MA started to work with Ernst & Young as a consultant in crime-related activities, lol. But yeah it's pretty diverse where everyone ends up. I really want to continue with the theoretical part of cultural criminology so that's pretty much my goal. But that's different for everyone - if you want to do more practical stuff, you could also look for jobs in corrections or with law enforcement or border-related institutions... Private security or, if you're read in green criminology, organizations like WWF or Greenpeace, etc. Lots of NGO's out there that deal with crime and stuff like that too.

It just all depends on what you want!

Gorrn2 karma

Crime consultant...I like the sound of that! Yeah that's what I find is the problem...the endless possibilities, even though I've not properly looked at my options, I'm still in the honeymoon period of finishing Uni.

Also, I'm sure many other people who do criminology find, I too get the 'ohh so it's like CSI?'.

k2881q5 karma

Lol yes, the CSI question makes me want to facepalm. Alas, I'm too polite.

Congrats on finishing!

Brutuss1 karma

Am I the only one that read her resume? She doesn't have a job, so please don't take career advice from her.

k2881q2 karma

I don't have a job but I do have a good idea about what;s out there as I'm very much scouting. I've also followed several lectures/workshops on how to get a job in criminology and what. I'm just sharing my ideas, I don't mean to do any harm. I'm sharing thoughts, on an equal level foremost. I'm in the same position as many of these people.

Smerdyakov471 karma

What's the biggest motivation/cause of crime? Poverty?

k2881q2 karma

There's never one motivation - it's always a multitude of factors.

kristenmahree141 karma

What made you want to do cultural criminology over other types? It's a very interesting field, and not one that people know about. Did you do any film study work before getting into the criminology aspect?

Thanks for this AMA! At one point I'd wanted to study criminology (crime patterns really/homicide stuff......)

k2881q1 karma

Cultural criminology has a different approach to crime. It's actually a lot more sociological and anthropological (lending most of its methodology from those fields too - it's mostly qualitative). For me it was a really tough switch actually as I came from psychology, which is mostly quantitative. I had a hard time really "understanding" qualitative methods as it doesn't have a step-to-step handbook. But it's what I like about it, humans and crime especially does not fit any kind of mold. Though we like to explain and generalize, the extreme cases, especially in criminology, can give us an entirely different understanding. So where I would take out the "outliers" from my data set in psychology, I would now include them and probably even give them special attention.

It's a fascinating field, a new one indeed, and still growing. I hope to be able to contribute to it... And no, I didn't do film study before this, though I have always been an avid film watcher. It's another reason why I love this field so much because I can combine it with my biggest hobby! I learn more about crime/criminology and films. I couldn't think of anything better. I'm passionate about it :p

silver112111 karma

Do you consider The Wire as a correct approach on how crime really is in the US?

k2881q1 karma

No movie or television show can show how crime "really" is. It's a reflection of reality, always. Some shows come closer to reality than others, but in almost every case, it's dramatized.

hnice1 karma

what do you say to the (IMO somewhat compelling) argument that we don't have nearly as much agency (free will) as we think we do, and that this undermines the amount of responsibility that we can reasonably place on people who do bad things?

k2881q1 karma

I wholeheartedly agree to that notion. In many cases, we're forced to do things due to surroundings, and some things we have amazingly little influence over. I wouldn't say that no one can be blamed for their actions, but it's something that's not taken into account enough or at least considered enough.

YeayeayeaWeGetIt1 karma

Why are the most awesome movies/tv shows/video games also (usually) the most violent?

k2881q4 karma

Lol, not everyone I think would agree on that!

But violence and crime is something that has always fascinated people, interestingly enough. The fascination is also endless - countless stories have been written/filmed and rewritten/refilmed. Nothing's original anymore, at its core.

Human beings are curious creatures, and violence and crime are things we're mostly not familiar with in our personal lives. It's a "whole different world", and that attracts us. In some cases it probably also serves as some kind of catharsis, lol. It's different for everyone, I can't generalize.

ordig1 karma

What is crime exactly? Care to extrapolate a definition?

k2881q1 karma

Oof, that is quite the existential question! I wish I could answer this question, but I think it would be rather presumptuous if I thought I could. I think there is no one true definition of crime, as it differs for every culture, every religion, etc. That's what makes studying it even harder. But usually we go with what our own nation/United Nations has defined as crime.

Thelonlybaloon1 karma

Wow i reaaallly wanna ask you this. I wanted to study criminology since i was 14, but its not available in my country, so i opted for psychology instead . I start in september, and i would like to know if its possible for me to later travel and continue my graduate studies in criminology. Can i do that? Also, do you publish the results of your research, i think you're looking into a great field.

k2881q3 karma

Hi! :D

No worries - I have a BA in clinical psychology, that's how I started. I actually stumbled on criminology because I took the minor in criminology offered to psych students. I was never too passionate about psychology, but LOVED loved loved criminology.

You can definitely do the graduate course abroad. There are many international criminology studies offered to international students - mine (http://www.uu.nl/university/international-students/en/criminology/Pages/default.aspx), for instance was 60% international students, which I loved - you get to know a lot of people from different cultures, which I found very inspiring. It's also great for networking and connecting.

I dunno where you live but I know that the Universities of Kent, Budapest, Hamburg, New York are very busy on the cultural criminological field, so you could check them out if you want!

Thelonlybaloon1 karma

I live in Dubai. And I've already read countless criminology books, my main interest is sexual violence and I really think this particular field needs improvements and refinements in many ways. Any ways, thanks a lot for answering my question! Maybe in four years I'll be somewhere abroad studying criminology :)

k2881q2 karma

Sexual violence is an interesting field, though really tough (mentally taxing, I mean). Go you if you want to go for it though! Check out forensic psychology and such as well if you're more interested to understand the criminal's motivations and what not. Good luck!

WastedPanda1 karma

I apologize if I'm mistakenly confusing your profession with something else, it's early and I'm tired, but please don't hesitate to call me out as an idiot if I am.

My question is, do you feel the style and mannerisms of criminals in real life has changed because of heists and crimes made in movies and the ever popular police investigation shows?

k2881q3 karma

You're not an idiot :)

I can't say for every individual criminal, as all of them are very different (I'm sure a rapist reacts very different to televised police investigations than thieves, for instance). But I'm fairly sure that it has changed how people approach crime in general (i.e. the extreme over-representation of violent crime in media, whereas for instance burglary is much more common, but not as sensational). So in all probability, crime in tv/movies has not only changed the criminal's thinking about crime, but also that of the audience, and the movie/tv makers themselves.

dodogutz1 karma

Hello! So once you've studied and analysed a movie, where does the work go to? Like, does it help the police solve crimes?

k2881q2 karma

The relation isn't quite that direct. I'm currently researching developments in law enforcement and punishment (e.g. managerialism, privatization, punitiveness, crime risk management, surveillance) which will hopefully create a deeper understanding in these developments (developments are usually quite hard to discern and aren't really on the surface, so they require some in-depth studying). With that understanding, I hope law enforcement will be able to take it into account in future policy making.

ButtPuppett1 karma

Do you think there is a clear bias in which crimes get more resources and get solved in real life? i.e. those involving public figures, celebrities and those that public attention vs. no-name-joe in normal ville. Thanks!

k2881q1 karma

I would presume so. I don't want to say anything definitive on the matter. What is for sure is that violent crimes get more attention than other kinds of crimes (particularly the so called victimless crimes), even if there are much fewer cases of them.

Notuuuu1 karma

If anything this post proves is the naïveté of students. I am a criminal investigator, and I dare say I've never read someone write so much but have so little to say. Money well wasted on a worthless degree, and for the record, no one, I mean no one reads qualitative masters thesis'.

k2881q1 karma


beggingoceanplease1 karma

What do you think of individuals who write serial killers?

k2881q1 karma

They have creative imaginations!

Teeblar1 karma


k2881q2 karma

Well, I love doing research in criminology. I've found I could combine it with my other biggest passion: movies. It pushes me to be academic and creative (I need the creative unleash, otherwise I get really unhappy), and it has given me a much deeper understanding of our world as it is.

maggieerin1 karma

I know you mentioned that its not the same as forensics, but my dream job is criminal profiling. Any tips? Im heading out to college this year and I don't even kniw what major to persue.

k2881q1 karma

I know here in The Netherlands at the university of Amsterdam they offer a course called "Forensic Psychology" which has a lot to do with all kinds of forensic studies. Although I'm personally not familiar with forensics or the studies, I would guess that you would have to do a Master's like that (so, kinda general, as a basis) and then you would specialize later through special training, PhD's, etc.

If you want to learn to understand the criminal mind, definitely start with clinical psychology or a forensic psychology or such major.

TheBoxingPanda1 karma

Do you study any other social aspects of movies? What have you seen?

k2881q2 karma

For my current research, my focus is on dystopian science fiction films. I have selected rougly 50 movies that in some way deal with crime, which will guide me through the research. For each topic of my research (law enforcement / punishment) I have selected three films that will be analysed more deeply, being Minority Report, Blade Runner and THX 1138 for the law enforcement part, Fortress, Lockout and A Clockwork Orange for punishment. Through those movies I will look at certain developments that have taken place in those topics, and how they are shared with the audience (and criticized often)... It's all focused on the social aspects, really. I'm not currently concerned with other social aspects other than those, otherwise the research would get a bit too big, heh.

Norn-Iron1 karma

In regards to CSI style forensics, do shows that involve the study of evidence given criminals ideas on how to cover up their crimes?

jnlash0 karma

You've got no neck!

k2881q4 karma

Necks are overrated.

MSPreacher0 karma


k2881q3 karma

Well, good luck learning how to do research in crime on your own without anyone with experience to guide you!

If you want to do qualitative research (e.g. interviewing some major drug lord or something), you can't just come knocking to their doors, asking "hello there, I have read this book "Criminology for dummies" and I would like to ask you some questions". You have to know your shit. So before you judge...

ShanghaiLotus0 karma

Thank you for taking the time to do this AMA. How has the sophistication of criminal analysis (blood splatter, forensics, etc) become in the past decade? Has the crime-solving rate improved? Thank you.

k2881q2 karma

You're really welcome :)

Forensics is not my field of work. Honestly, I have no clue about developments in forensics!

Whether crime solving rates have improved is hard to determine. Crime is understood to be a "hidden world", so crime rates are always extremely unreliable. Crime solving rates are just as unreliable, because they would merely show an increase in enforcement efforts, not so much whether the crime solving rates would actually have increased (because there is no way to measure the solved cases versus the crimes committed - we can never know about crimes if we don't find out about them, and that's the whole point for most criminals, for them to stay hidden!)