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Evolution of Criminology

CC390 Visual Representation

Angelika Pepek

on 5 November 2016

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Transcript of Evolution of Criminology

History of Criminology
The concept of crime is fairly new, as it is only approx. 250 years old

Enlightenment Era
1650 - 1800
The religious explanation of crime is rejected

Main focus is fixing the conditions that are causing crime; attempting to predict it in order to control the criminal behavior

Religious Perspective
First major way of thinking about crime was the demonic/religious perspective of criminology

Temptation or possession?
Two battling perspectives:

1. People can choose to commit a crime, they have free will

2. People do not choose to commit crimes, as it is determined by certain factors
Evolution of Criminology
Cesare Beccaria
Classical School of Criminology

Began to argue for utilitarianism:
"Behavior must be useful, purposeful and reasonable"
Cesare Beccaria
Basic elements of classical criminology:

1. People have free will
2. Crime requires less work for greater payoff
3. Criminal choice is controlled by fear of punishment
4. Punishment must be severe, certain & swift
Cesare Lombroso (1876)
Cesare Lombroso: "The Criminal Man"
The father of Criminology
Serious offenders inherited criminal traits
Criminal anthropology
Born criminals suffer from atavistic anomalies (not evolved to human being)
Elements of the Positivist Tradition
19th Century Positivism
Scientific thinking about crime
Biology, chemistry and astronomy discoveries led to 'Scienitific thinking' about criminal behavior
a) Human behavior is a function of external forces that are beyond the individual control

b) Embrace the scientific method to solve problems of deviance
Development of Sociological Criminology
Emile Durkheim
Emile Durkheim
Father of Sociology
Argued that crime and criminal behavior is 'normal'
Differences (stratification/inequality) within society makes crime inevitable
Durkheim developed the term "anomie"
Condition of

Breakdown of norms within society
Chicago School and beyond
Introduced the social-psychological component of criminology
Social processes: education, family life, peer relations, etc.
The Chicago School linked criminality to failure in socialization
Conflict Criminology
Forerunner of Critical Criminology
Violators of religious practices were claimed to be a demon/witch and were punished by death
Influence of Karl Marx
(19th Century)
Marxist theory
(society and conflict between ruling classes - bourgeoisie and proletariat) remains influential on criminology today
Subsequent development of Marxist-based radical criminology
The Chicago School of Criminology laid the foundation for modern criminological research, and its influence continues to pervade sociological research and methodologies.
Belief that man is a reasoning actor who weighs means and ends, costs and benefits, and makes a rational choice.
Developed the first organized thought of crime, criminals and criminal system
Cornish & Clarke (1986-1987)
Classical School focused on how crime should be addressed by law, not on what causes crime
Focus on how political structure should be:
i.e. Making punishment proportionate, just and less cruel
Beccaria's work was a leading figure in developing of classical criminology

He wrote "On Crimes and Punishments" in 1764, he was 26 years old
Beccaria's ideologies:

There should be no torture
Capital punishment is wrong
Punishment exceeding what is necessary to protect the public is unjust
Obscure laws will be corrupted
Suspect must be given time and means to prepare defense (due process)
Jeremy Bentham's writings helped popularize Beccaria's work
Crime in capitalist societies cannot be well understood, unless the fact that such societies are dominated by the wealthy elite is addressed
Choice Theory
Rational choice theory emerged in mid-1970s
Revival of classical thought under rubrics of Choice theory
Positivist policy gets attacked (mid 1970s):
Robert Martinson "Nothing works!"
The perceived failure of rehabilitation model
Increase of crime rates and right wing political agendas
Overview of Rational Theories (Late 1970s-80s):
Outgrowth of victimization data
More conservative criminology
Social Context and political use of crime
Crime control; lock them up!
Just deserts punishment philosophy
War on crime and drugs
Victim rights
Intellextual Context:
New methodology and data - victimization stats
Varying views: victim blaming vs. what caused them to be victimized
Concept of 'evil' or self-interested person:
Lock them up and put the key away
More efficient CJS was needed
Research said that criminals fear punishment but did not change their behavior
Cornish & Clarke, 1986-1987
Rational Choice Theory

Crime is a way to meet basic needs (usually monetary, property crime)
Rationality is a decision making process:
What opportunities exist?
What are potential costs of action?
What are the anticipated benefits?
Does not require full rationality, sophisticated thinking or accurate information

Dumb things that criminals do vs. perceived rational act by the criminal
2 types of decisions:

Involvement decisions
: Is it worthwhile? Reasonable risks? Pass up the opportunity?

Event decisions
: If the tactics or methods are acceptable, easy, which helps to justify the involvement
These details can vary by type of crime; this is part of the reasons why offenders tend to specialize in specific types of crimes
Concepts of Rational Choice

1. Personal Factors

2. Situational Factors
Personal Factors:

Need for money, revenge, thrill, entertainment
Situational Factors:

Target protection, efficiency of local police, getaway plan
Positivist School of Criminology
Crime is a choice depending on pros and cons of the rewards and possible punishment

In order to deter crime, swift punishment is necessary
This theory fails to acknowledge the differences in social conditions
Focus on pathology of criminal behavior and individual
Labeling Theory
1960: Merton Durkheim

Labeling is the predictor of criminal behavior
Youth offenders labeled as juvenile delinquents will ensue delinquent behavior
Critical Criminology (1960)

Criminality is influenced by those who are in power

They might be biased
Late Modernity

After WWII
Highly developed society
Development of modernity
Rebellion against traditional thought
Cultural Revolution
the rise of individualism, diversity and deconstruction of accepted values
Social Commentators
The spread of disorder and rising crime
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