"I like being challenged to think outside the box"
Why do people commit crimes? This is one of the core questions criminology asks, and from the very beginning, that was what made Kajsa Rydén curious about this field of study.
“My interest started in high school, where we read and talked a lot about deviance.To me, that sounded a lot like criminology — the backstory of crime, and why people do criminal things,” she said.
Coming from a background in criminology, she felt that the master’s programme offered an in-depth approach and prepared her for a career in research.
Six months after graduation, Kajsa is working as a research assistant at Malmö University.
“The programme made an effort to combine students with different backgrounds, some of whom had never studied criminology before, but had different educational backgrounds.
“You get different perspectives and I like being challenged to think outside of the box. We have our focus and our legal system and our definition of what a crime is. And then you go to another country, and it might be completely different. Those discussions and realisations are healthy for everyone.”
Encourages independent thinking
Having studied criminology for five years, Kajsa still thinks there’s a lot to explore within the field. It’s the fundamental issues within criminology that inspire her.
“I have always liked analysing. Being a researcher means I can do that and it feels like a natural next step. The master’s programme encourages independent thinking, and that’s one of the reasons why I liked it so much. You have to work hard, discuss the issues and explain your standpoint.
“One of the basic questions that criminology asks is, ‘why do people deviate?’. And that’s still my interest. I’m interested in the childhood aspect of it all. How being victimised affects you. What makes a person with a perfectly good childhood become a criminal, and why do some people not commit crime in spite of a problematic childhood? That’s something I would love to explore in the future.
“If you are interested in criminology, interested in new perspectives and have an open mind, then this is something for you. Critical thinking and independence are important in criminology. It’s important regardless of what you study, but especially when dealing with humans and human interaction — it’s crucial.”