Elements of Criminology

Elements of Criminology

  • Submitted By: jignya82
  • Date Submitted: 01/24/2009 5:31 PM
  • Category: Technology
  • Words: 875
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 1503

✓ Criminology-an academic discipline that uses scientific methods to study the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior.

✓ Beccaria- developed a systematic understanding of why people committed crime. He believed in the concept of utilitarianism- in their behavior choices, people want to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. Helped form classical criminology.

✓ Classical criminology- the theoretical perspective suggesting that 1 people have free will to choose criminal or conventional behaviors 2 people choose to commit crime for reasons of greed or personal need and 3 crimes can be controlled only the fear of criminal sanctions.

✓ Positivism- the branch of social science that uses the scientific method of the natural sciences and suggests that human behavior is a product of social, biological, psychological, or economic forces.

o Two elements

✓ Positivists see human behavior as function of external forces that are often beyond individual control.

✓ Positivists rely on the scientific method. They would agree that an abstract concept such as “intelligence” exists because it can be measured by an IQ test. They would challenge a concept such as the “soul” because it cannot be verified by scientific method.

✓ Comte- founder of sociology argued that societies pass through stages that can be grouped on the basis of how people try to understand the world in which they live.

✓ Lavater-studied the facial features of criminals and found that the shape of the ears, nose, and eyes and the distances between them were associated with antisocial behavior also known as phrenology.

✓ Gall & Spurzheim- studied the shape of the skull and bumps on the head and concluded that these physical attributes were linked to criminal behavior.

✓ Early researchers shifted attention to brain functioning and personality as the keys to criminal behavior.

✓ Lombroso- father of criminology, army physician....

Similar Essays