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Criminology: Theoretical Perspectives

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Stevie S

on 1 March 2014

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Transcript of Criminology: Theoretical Perspectives

Criminology: Theoretical Perspectives Rational Choice and Deterrence Historical Perspectives Classical Criminology - Cesare Beccaria: Human beings are rational beings, and would therefore ultimately conclude it was in their best interest to limit some of their freedoms.
- Jeremy Benthem
- Utilitarianism: law should ensure greatest good for greatest number of people.
- Law is based on a social contract between the government and people, accepting certain consequences if the contract were broken * How law making and legal process affected
incidence of crime in society Positivism * How biological and psychological explain criminal behaviour - Cesare Lombroso: physician and psychiatrist - studied cadavers of executed criminals in an effort to determine whether criminals were physicall different than non-criminals. - XYY Theory: Violent male criminals have chromosomal abnormalities. Sociological Perspectives * how external physical and environmental factors contribute to criminal behaviour - Theory of Anomie
- Emile Durkheim: Shift in society from rural to urban setting allowed for individual anomie - individual isolation in an urban setting. This anomie, made it easy for individuals to turn to crime.
- Ecological School: criminal behaviour is fostered in certain environments -Social Conflict Theories: Capitalist society encouraged competition for resources and wealth, crime was therefore inevitable.
- Karl Marx
- Frederick Engels - Consensus Theory: Universal understanding of right and wrong, crime is consensually considered wrong. Contemporary Perspectives Sociological Theories - Strain Theory: societies stress the goal of aquiring wealth, the means to achieve these goals are denied to those who are economically disadvantaged - Socialization Theory: key influences leading to criminal behaviour are found in upbringing, peer groups and role models. Contemporary Biological Theories - Biological Trait Theories: certain human traits (intelligence, personality, chemical and gentic make-up) may predispose certain individuals to engage in criminal behaviour.
- Neurophysiological Theorists: certain neurological dysfuntions are connected with criminal activity. What makes an individual turn to crime? * Some people commit crimes when they cannot achieve desired goals through legitimate means.
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