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CRM302 (Criminological Theories)- Lecture 2

3 Pages

Course Code
CRM 302
Stephen Muzzatti

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CRM302-011 – Week 2 Monday, January 21 , 2013 EARLY CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORISING Metaphysical Explanations - Early explanations for deviant/criminal behaviour included supernatural explanations such as demonic forces, where crimes were committed by “the devil’s minions” - How? Most commonly persuaded by (a) temptation or (b) possession - For most of history (up to the 1700s) there was very little discussion of crime, transgressive/criminal behaviours - Solutions included: (a) punishing them severely and (b) banishing them, essentially sentencing them to death in harsh conditions - Intellectual movements in Europe throughout the 18 century (the intellectual cultural transformation) led to the emergence of school of thought which focused on legal processes and law-making (the primary focus of classical criminology) - Not about bad behaviour, but now about lawmaking, what business or politics of governing populations - Theory does not just happen! Theory is a cultural production, it is infinitely influenced by the environment the creator of the theory lives in (political, economic, environmental factors play a part) SOCIAL HISTORY - During the 1700s in Europe there was considerable social change - The Church held power and decided what life was like (it was thought that people who committed crimes were sinners or people who didn't follow God. Those who didn't follow God were known as heretics and led to the connection of church and state where torture or execution could happen to anyone that the government thought to be evil or a part of witchcraft) - This was part of the notion that some people were just better than others, which was the problem (women and the poor were usually the ones being prosecuted) - Significant social event that fueled social change: Industrial Revolution - machine technology for mass population led to the emergence of new class of people (members of the elite, which started as mercantile, now called “capitalists”) - before it was just productive property, something used to generate wealth but because of these influential players, new forms of wealth were guaranteed INTELLECTUAL HERITAGE The Enlightenment Era (where ideas set the stage for Classical School Criminologists) - The Primacy of Reason - the entire notion of agency (that which makes us act) - we are rational actors with high reasoning skills, capable of making our own decisions - The Social Contract - our view of society is freely constructed by our beings - legalistic contract between consenting rational beings (us) and the state; we promise to behave a certain way in exchange for the State’s protection - Thomas Hobbes - wrote “The Leviathan” (pre-social beings acting on either passion or reason; if we acted on passion, we would be animals) - Charles Montesquie - wrote “On the Spirit of Laws” and “System of Ideas” - Four innate desires that everyone shared (a) sex (b) hunger (c) sociability (d) peace - Jean Jacques Rousseau - coined the phrase “the social contract” - wrote “aOn the Social Contract” and “The Discourse on the Origin of Inequality” - contributed to the classical school of thought by using the rule of law procedures in society - Emergence of concern for the social conditions, how and why we live/how to improve life, therefore there was more of a focus on the procedures rather than being interested in criminals and deviance CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF CRIMINOLOGY - Emerged a time of new ideas, intellectual periods - Set state for considerable social upheaval - American War of Independence (1776) - French Revolution in Europe (1789) - For decades as a result of the changes material changes from industrial revolution, idealist philosophical challenges to right of king - Ideas were of reform in the 18 century - Rooted in Naturalist Philosophy (belief that observation and experience combined with the ability to reason will reveal truths about the world and how we learn about the world) - Drove advances in Natural or Applied sciences - If this
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