SOC 2700 Lecture Notes - Somatotype And Constitutional Psychology, Physiognomy, Craniometry

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Published on 9 Oct 2012
School
University of Guelph
Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 2700
Professor
Jan. 23rd
Biology and Crime
- Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909): “Theory of Criminal Man”
o Some ties with biology and crime
o Wanted to use positivism: can we predict crime?
o Atavism as an idea
Evolution we are constantly evolving
Ex: women hit puberty earlier now than we did before
Biologically deviant
o Who were considered atavistic?
Different aspects (physical traits):
Flatten/hook nose
Few lines in palm of hands
Short or long arms
Small or large hands
Scanty beards (in Europe all men had beards)
o Stigmata
o Born criminal
- Lombroso‟s classification of criminals
o See page 24 of text
- Solutions? Crime Prevention Strategies
o Prison: keeps criminals off the streets
- Origins of theories on biology and crime
o Evolutionary theory
o Physical traits and links to crime? (born criminals)
- Born Criminal Theory: Physiognomy
o Developed by John Caspar Lavater (1741-1801)
o Facial features used to judge moral character
o Nose, earlobes, eyes, chin lines, beards, etc.
Jan. 25th
- Born Criminal Theory: Phrenology
o Founders: Franz Joseph Gall (1776-1828) and Johann Casper Spurzheim (1776-
1832)
o Mapped areas of the outside skull
o Areas indicative of brain function
o Certain areas indicate criminality
- Born Criminal Theory: Craniometry
o Developed in part by Gustave Le Bon
o Classification of human types based on skull measurement and size
Too small or too large of a brain
- Body types and criminality: Sheldon
o Developed by William Sheldon (1898-1977)
o Adapted the ideas of Kretschmer to the study of crime in male delinquents (and
later females)
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Document Summary

Cesare lombroso (1835-1909): theory of criminal man : some ties with biology and crime, wanted to use positivism: can we predict crime, atavism as an idea. Ex: women hit puberty earlier now than we did before. Scanty beards (in europe all men had beards: stigmata, born criminal. Lombroso s classification of criminals: see page 24 of text. Crime prevention strategies: prison: keeps criminals off the streets. Origins of theories on biology and crime: evolutionary theory, physical traits and links to crime? (born criminals) Born criminal theory: physiognomy: developed by john caspar lavater (1741-1801, facial features used to judge moral character, nose, earlobes, eyes, chin lines, beards, etc. Born criminal theory: phrenology: founders: franz joseph gall (1776-1828) and johann casper spurzheim (1776, mapped areas of the outside skull, areas indicative of brain function, certain areas indicate criminality. Born criminal theory: craniometry: developed in part by gustave le bon, classification of human types based on skull measurement and size.

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