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Born Criminal Theory

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Hayley Gains

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of Born Criminal Theory

A Timeline of Theories of Criminality
Constitutional Theory - 1940s
William Sheldon's
constitutional theory suggests that there are three main body types; endomorphic,
mesomorphic
and ectomorphic. Each body type was asociated with temperamets and personality traits. sheldon suggested that mesomorphic people who are
aggressive
and
adventurous
were criminals.
The Warrior Gene - 1993
Research into the arrior gene began in 1993 and it is still being researched now. This theory is based on the idea that an individuals
inherited genes predispose
them to
aggressive
,
impulsive
and therefore criminal behaviour. The warrior gene is a variation of the
MAOA gene
which regulates
dopamine
and
seretonin
and has been linked to an
increased chance
of joining a gang, using
weapons
and being
violent.

Marxist Theory 1818-1883
Marxists believe that crime is a results of an
unequal society
where the
dominant class
defines deviance and crime for
social control.
They argue that
crime is widespread
in
all social strata
, but
street crimes
are often
policed more
, making them seem more common and therefore become recognised as important and a bigger issue than
white collar crimes
which are not focused on as much.
Eyesenck's Criminal Personality Theory 1964
Personality refers to relatively
stable characteristics
of a person that make their
behaviour consistent
across situations. Eyesenck thought the variation in peoples personalities could be reduced to three dimensions; extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticism.

Extraversion
: sociable, active, lively and sensation seeking and is deteermined by the level of arousal in the persons nervous system.
Neuroticism
:

anxious, depressed and react stronglyto aversive stimuli. It is also determined by the level of qactivity in a persons nervous system. Low score= stable, high score = instable nervous system.
Psychoticism
: agressive, antisocial, cold and egocentric.

Eyesenk argued that people with
high E N and P scores
have
nervous systems
that make them
hard to condition
. This means they don't learn to respond to antisocial impulses with anxiety, so are more likely to behave antisocially.
Bowlby's Psychodynamic Theory 1951
Bowlby suggested that disruption to a childs
monotropic attachment
in the
critical period
(0-3 years) could result in
affectionless psychopathy.
This means that the inidivual will have a lack of
concern
and inability to show
affection
to others. His study,
44 Juvenile Thieves
gives evidence for his theory. This resulsts in criminal behaviour because the individuals actions are not controlled by their thoughts of consequences to society or other individuals.
Freud's Psychoanalytical Theory 1856-1939
A
WEAK SUPEREGO
: develops from abnormal family relationships. It results in a person not having any of he usual i
nhibitions against antiocial behaviour
. They would act in ways that
gratified their id,
regardless of social constraints on doing so.

A
DEVIANT SUPEREGO
: A person might develop a superego that is deviant
against
what it has
learnt
from the
same sex parent
. So a boy with a criminal father might develop a superego hat doesn't react to the criminal acts that the father would engage in.

A
STRONG SUPEREGO
: This would cause a person to feel
permanently anxious and guilty
because the superego would make them feel guilty for acting out on any of the id's desires. This
could
result in a person commiting crime in order to
recieve punishment
and
relieve
the
anxiety and guilt
they are feeling.
Bandura's Social Learning Theory 1977
Bandura suggested that people learn by
observing
and
imitating
behaviour of others in society. If a
role model
such as a parent, peer or celebrity is seen to gein
pleasure or reinforcement
from criminal behaviour, they they are likely to repeat this behaviour themselves. Similarly, if the role model is
punished
for a behaviour they are unlikely to copy it. This is demonstrated in
copy cat crimes
and in the
harsh punishments
given to
celebrities
for crimes or antisocial behaviour.
Suggested by
Cesare Lombroso
in 1859, this theory suggests that people with five or more certain
physical traits
are born criminals and therefore criminality is due to DNA.
Born Criminal Theory 1859
Social Strain Theory 1940s
Robert Merton
suggested that
dreams
encouraged by society, such as the American Dream are
powerful cultural
and
psychological motivation
for people. However, if the
social structure
prevents people from realising this dream
legitimately
, then people will
turn to crime
in order to realise it. Others will retreat or drop out into
deviant subcultures
after feeling that society has nothing to offer for them.
Social Structure Theory 1930s
This theory suggests that neighbourhoods that are
lower class
create
forces of strain
,
frustration
and
disorganisation
that create crime. The poverty, disorder and general
community deterioration
caused by the crime encourages the
working
and
middle class
to
leave
these areas. This means that the most disadvantaged proportions of society are left. WilliamJulius Wilson described this as the poverty
concentration effect,
which causes neighbourhoods to be
isolated
and
prone to violence.
Broken Windows Theory 1982
This theory suggests that
small acts
of
deviance
such as littering, graffiti, breaking windows,
escalate
in more
serious crimes
by attracting crime and deliquent behaviour.
Social Reaction (Labelling) Theory - 1963
This theory was suggested by
Becker
. He emphasised the importance of the
labels
that a person recieves when they commit a crime. These labels and the rules that define deviance are
made by the wealthy
, for the
poor
and by ethnic majorities for
ethnic minorities,
The labels are extremely hard to get rid of and can
prevent
people from gaining
trust
or
employment
. Societys label therefore becomes a
self fulfilling prophecy
as the individuals may be forced back into a life of crime.
Interactionism Theory 1960s-1970s
This theory
leads on
from Becker's
labelling theory
and suggested that the labels society gives to criminals can lead to groups of people being
victimised
for crime.
Young black people
have often expressed that they feel victimised by police. It is suggested that this leads to a
deviancy amplification spiral
. This means that the
public sympathise
with the victimised group and
join
the group of deviants. For example, in
Clacton 1984
mods and rockers were heavily policed because of disturbances, which led to more young people joining the mods and rockers out of hatred for the police.
Realism Theories 1960
Left Realists
Right Realists
Left Realists believe that the root
cause of crime is the inequalities
in society and think that vulnerable
people are most likely to be criminals
aswell as victims of crime.

They see strict punishments, stop and
search and police on beat as least effective
and a more equal society, stopping racism,
good community support, rehabilitation
and more employment as better solutions.
Right Realists believe that the cause
of crime is the results of poor socialisation
and a decline in the moral values of
society, Criminals are seen to have chosen
their behaviour and need to be punished
to protect the rest of society..

Their solutions to crime are strict
sentencing, CCTV, lots of police on beat and stop and search. They don't believe that
rehabilitation and community support
are effective solutions.
Feminist Approach to Criminality 1960s-1970s
Feminism has been established since the 19th century, but the feminist school of criminology was established in the 1960s into the 70s. Women felt that criminology was
androcentric
, with women being disregarded.

This approach suggests that women commit crimes for different reasons to men, and that women shouldn't be generalised in male focused research. There is an
evolutionary
aspect to why women commit crimes for different reasons, They have less
testosterone
that men, so they carry out less agressive acts. As well as this, females main purpose over time has been to care for her
children
wheras men have had to
hunt, kill, protect
and be involved in
confrontation
. It is suggested that these evolutionary differences are reflected in the crimes that men commit and the reasons why they commit them.
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