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SOC 1500 (763)
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Lecture 5

SOC 1500 Lecture 5: SOC 1500 Lecture 5 + Ch. 3 Txtbook Notes
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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 1500
Professor
Ryan Broll
Semester
Winter

Description
SOC Lecture 5 Explaining Crime: Historical Perspectives Thesis Refresher: - The central idea to which all of the essay’s paragraphs, statements and information relate - Thesis sentence: narrows your topic to single idea, asserts something about your topic, provides a concise overview of how you will arrange your ideas - Preventing youth crime example thesis: youth can be diverted from crime by active learning programs, full-time sports, and intervention by mentors and role models - When writing and revising your thesis: does it make an assertion, convey your purpose, and is the sentence unified - http://guides.lib.uoguelph.ca/SOC1500 The Demonic Era (before mid 1600’s): “criminal” behaviour was thought to be caused by demons or evil spirits; strongly based on religion i.e. early modern witch trials. Trepanation was used to allow spirits to be released so the soul could return to normal Magna Carta: agreed upon in 1215, established basic civil liberties, important historical document because it’s the foundation of modern English laws and procedures; person could not be imprisoned or extradited unless they were judged to be guilty of an offence Enlightenment Era (late 1600’s- early 1700’s): significant intellectual shift in Western Europe; judicial systems were based upon ideas of certain philosophers - Religious dogma and superstitious beliefs were replaced with a belief in the scientific method and rational thought - Human activity determined by free will and rational thought, not spirits - Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) wrote his famous book Leviathan (1651): fear of violent death forces human beings into a social contract with each other that led to formation of the State - In natural state, humans are, “nasty, brutish, and short” - Social Contract: we all give up some freedoms to the state in return for protection - Hobbes believed it was unnatural for humans to put themselves under the control of the State, it is rational for people to do so - Egoism is the cause of all social conflict - John Locke (1632-1704) challenged conventional wisdom of the time by believing that natural human condition was that you’re born as a blank slate upon which human experience molded your personality (nurture not nature) - Free will and rational thought were deemed the basis of human activity and social organization - Catholic church still currently practices exorcisms for dealing with certain types of deviant behaviour Classical School of Criminology: - Cesare Beccaria (1764)” Essay in Crime and Punishment” where he argued that punishment should be formulated for the purpose of deterrence; further offending would not be committed due to punishment associated - Based on moral philosophy and not subject to systematic empirical observation or testing - Punishment should fit the crime; progressive thoughts (American Constitution, penal codes of France, etc.) - Criminals are free-willed decision makers who choose to commit crimes, yet can be deterred by punishment - Jeremy Bentham (An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation) judges should not have the power to exercise complete discretion in passing a sentence th - In 18 century Europe, punishments for committing crimes were undertaken in an arbitrary and barbarous fashion - Classical School of Reformist Thought also influenced the development of the asylum which was slightly more humane way to treat the mentally ill - Utilitarian analysis does not pay heed to the possibility that psychological, biological, or sociological factors could play a role in explaining criminal behaviour - Neoclassicism takes into consideration these factors i.e. children or mentally unstable Lombrosian Atavism to Modern Biocriminology: - New perspective conceived human behaviour to be determined by forces beyond the co
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