What's in a name? Perceptions of course names for criminal justice professionals
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Courses dealing with crime and the criminal justice system go under various names, Criminology, Criminal Justice, Justice Studies, and Justice Administration being among the most popular. Presumably, those who name these courses see subtle differences between these names and select a title that is seen to best reflect the particular focus of their course. For example, in Australia Justice Administration has been generally used for courses that have an explicit vocational mission. This paper, however, is not about what these various courses contain, but what people think they contain. The paper reports on a study that examined the perceptions of various course names by prospective and current students in the field. It is argued that the name of a course has significant implications for the attractiveness of that course to prospective students and the way that students in a course define their studies. Moreover, the meanings that students attach to course names seem to impact upon their sense of occupational identity.
Journal of Criminal Justice Education
© 2000 Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.