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Lecture 2

CRIM 104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Human Science, Gregor Mendel, Atavism


Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRIM 104
Professor
Barry Cartwright
Lecture
2

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INTRODUCTION TO ANOMIE-STRAIN THEORY
The Life and Times of Emile Durkheim
GOOD THEORIES, BAD THEORIES, SAD THEORIES
Macrotheories, microtheories, metatheories, unit theories, bridging theories, structural theories,
process theories…everything you always wanted to know about theory, but were afraid to ask.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD THEORY?
Good theory is logically constructed (logically sound and internally
consistent)
Good theory is based on evidence
Good theory can be empirically validated ( ie. Through measurement or
observation)
Good theory can unify a number of competing or conflicting theories
PROBLEMS WITH MEASUREMENT
Theory may be good, but we may lack the means to measure or observe
Some theories have been measured only once, or from only perspective,
( may appear to have been proven but not through repeated research)
TYPES OF THEORIES
Metatheories = grand theories that offer wide concepts
Unit theories = emphasize a particular problems and make testable
assertions about the problem
MACROTHEORIES
Macrotheories are broad, and tend to explain the effects of social structure
Ex: conflict theory, strain/anomie theory

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MICROTHEORY
Microtheories are narrow, and tend to explain the process through which
individuals or groups become criminals
Ex: social learning theory
BRIDGING THEORY
Bridging theories attempt to address issues of social structures and the
process through which individuals become criminal
oEx: Gender – based theories
THE POSITIVE SCHOOL
TIME LINES
CLASSICAL SCHOOL (1700-1800)
deviance as violation of social construct
caused by free will and hedonism,
remedied by deterrence
POSITIVE SCHOOL (1800-1900)
deviance as sickness, pathology, inferiority
caused by bad genes, or defects
remedied by treatment elimination
SOCIAL CONTEXT OF THE POSITIVE SCHOOL
Darwin’s theory of evolution
Comte, one of the first to talk about positivism

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Anthropology and the study of “primitive society”
Advances in science science and medicine
CHARLES DARWIN (1809-1882)
Voyage of The Beagle (1839)
The Origin of Species (1859)
The Descent of Man (1871)
HERBERT SPENCER (1820-1903)
Came up with Social Darwinism
Popularized the term “evolution,” and came up with the expression
survival of the fittest
Societies followed principle of natural selection through process of
competition
Rich and powerful more fit, poor mentally or criminals were unfit
GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
The Father of Genetics
“Experiments with Plant Hybraids 1865
Talked about heredity, inherited characteristics, recessive and dominant
genes, mutations
MENDEL’S EFFECT ON CRIMINOLOGICAL
THEORY
Led some to believe that deviance, crim behavior and feeblemindedness
were solely result of bad genes
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