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LSA2010 Criminological Theory

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Alex Watson

on 17 May 2010

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Transcript of LSA2010 Criminological Theory

Criminological Theory The Classical theory was created in the late 18th early 19th centuries, its an approach to what causes a person to commit acts of crime, and criminal responsibility. Classical thinkers believed that punishment must outweigh the pleasure that one gets from criminal behavior to be effective.

Some Basic Assumptions of Classical Theory are as follows

Human beings are fundamentally rational, and most human behavior is the result of free will coupled with rational choice.

Pain and Pleasure are the 2 central determinants of human behavior.

Crime disparages the quality of the bond that exist between individuals and society and is therefore immoral form of behavior.

punishment is sometimes needed to keep law violaters from repeating the crime, and to set an example to others so that they dont do the crime.

Crime prevention is possible through swift and certain punishment.

Classical Theory By: Alex Watson Biological Theories Biological Theories talked about inherited or bodily characteristics and features. Most early biological theories made certain fundamental assumptions. Some of these assumptions are as follows.

The basic determinants of human behavior to a degree are constitutionally or genetically based

The determinas of criminal behavior can be inherited

Some human behvior is the result of biological tendency's inherited from more primitive stages in the evolutionary chain. Franz Joseph Gall
Gall created a theory he called cranioscopy, that later became known as Phrenology. His theory is summarized below.

The brain is an organ of the mind.

The Brain consists of localized functions

The shape of the skull reveals the development or lack of development of areas within the brain

A persons personality can be revealed by a study of the skull.

In other words by studying a persons skull, you can tell if they will of have carried out crimes. Phrenology Positivist Schools Cesare Lombroso
Lombroso created the positivist schools some time between 1835 and 1909. The positivist schools was an approach to criminal justice using the application of scientific techniques the crimes of criminals. Lombroso began his criminal study of humans beings with evaluation of famous criminals, from there he identified a large number of atavistic traits which he claimed characterized criminals. Atavism A condition characterized by the existence of features thought to be common in earlier stages of evolution Somatotypes William Sheldon
Sheldon developed the idea of somatotyping, somatotyping is the study of body types. To do this he studied and classified 200 juveniles into 3 categories. The 3 categories are as follows.

Endomorph - Roundness

Mesomorph - Muscles

Ectomorph - Linear

According to sheldons idea, Endomorph people love relaxation, comfort, food and people. Mesomorph people love action, and Ectomorph people love privacy and self awareness.

Sociological Theories Sociological theories focused on the interaction between individuals and groups, and the social enviroment.The ideas behind sociological theories are as follows.
Social roles provide the proper focus for crimology.
Group dynamics, group organization, and subgroup relationships form the casual connection out of witch crime developes
The structure of society and the relative degree of social organization or social disorganization are important factors contributing to the prevalence of criminal behavior.
The clash of norms and values among variously socialized groups
Socialization and the process of association between individuals
The existence of subcultures and varying types of opportunities.

In other words its traits and other things that we pick up from our inviroment.
Anomie Theory A socially pervasive condition of normlessness. Also, a disjunction between approved goals and means. In other words its being different than every one elese, a "social outcast" The theory was used by Robert Merton. Social Control Theory This theory emphasized the bond between individuals and society. Travis Hirschi, the man who came up with this theory identified 4 components of the bond, they are as follows.
Emotional attachments to significant others
Commitment to an appropiate life style
Involvement or immersion in conventional values
Beliefe in the "correctness" of social obligation and the rules of the larger society. I only used the criminal justice today book. Citation
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