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Sellin, Johan Thorsten (1896–1994)

  • By: Barbara Sims
  • In: Encyclopedia of Juvenile Justice
  • Edited by: Marilyn D. McShane & Frank P. Williams III
  • Subject:Juvenile/Youth Justice, Juvenile/Youth Crime & Delinquency

Johan Thorsten Sellin was born in Sweden in 1896 and moved with his family to Canada at the age of 17. He moved to the United States shortly after that and completed his undergraduate education in Rock Island, Illinois, at the Swedish-American Augustana College. In 1922, Sellin completed his doctoral work in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He then joined the faculty at Penn and continued to teach there for nearly five decades, becoming Professor Emeritus in 1967. From this academic home, Sellin produced more than 200 publications, the thrust of which were to assist in the development of criminology as a science. In the words of his student and later colleague, Marvin Wolfgang (1968:viii), “The meaning of criminology as an area of disciplined ...

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