crim 104 week 2 sept 18.docx

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CRIMINOLOGY 104-WEEK TWO , Friday Sept 18th
A GOOD THEORY
n Good theory is logically constructed
-logically sound and internally consistent
n Good theory is based on evidence
n Good theory can be empirically validated
-through measurement or observation
n Good theory can unify
-a number of competing or conflicting theories
PROBLEMS WITH MEASUREMENT
n Theory may be good but we may lack the means to measure or observe it
n Some theories have been measured only once or from only one perspective (may
appear to have been proven, but not through repeated research)
TYPES OF THEORIES
n Metatheories grand theories that offer wide concepts
n Unit theories (most theories about crime) emphasize on a particular problem,
testable assertion about the problem
n Macrotheories are broad tend to explain the affects of the social structure on the
individual
n Microtheories are narrow tend to explain the process through which individuals or
small groups become criminal
n Bridging theories attempt to address issues of social structure and the process
through which individuals become criminal
CONSENSUS vs. CONFLICT
n CONSENSUS
- society as a functional organism, norms/expectations based on shared
values/interests, those who are different (eg. Criminal) deemed to be sick/abnormal
n CONFLICT
- society and social transformation rooted in social conflict, society not organic or
natural but forced upon us, society/laws based on values and interests of those with the
power
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THE POSITIVE SCHOOL
DETERMINISM
n The way people behave
n Often (not always) associated with positivism
n Positivism the use of “scientific” methods to explain human behavior, including
criminal behavior
n Determinism the way people behave is due to circumstances that may be beyond
their control
n Empiricism theories can only be regarded as valid if they can be observed,
measured and proven through scientific testing
TIME LINES
CLASSICAL SCHOOL 1700-1800
n deviance as violation of social contract
n caused by free will and hedonism
n remedied by deterrence
Jeremy Bentham, Cesare Beccaria, ***** John <- social contract
POSITIVE SCHOOL 1800-1900
n deviance as sickness, pathology, inferiority
n caused by bad genes or defects
n remedied by treatment of positive school
SOCIAL CONTEXT OF POSITIVE SCHOOL
n Darwin theory of evolution
n Comte one of the first to talk about “positivism”
n Anthropology and the study of “primitive” society
n Advances in science and medicine
CHARLES DARWIN 1809-1882
EVOLUTIONARY THEORY
n Evolutionary change took place over millions of years
n Process occurred as consequence of ―natural selection‖ (stronger species survive)
and “specialization” (learn to adapt to environment successfully) ; those who don’t, die
out
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