SOC305 – Theories in Criminology Sept 12, 1012
What is Criminology?
Crime is a social phenomenon
Nullify- get rid of the laws
Crime is a problematic term because of the questions, what is crime? and who determines
What is theory – a way of looking at the world, a way of understanding the social world,
a way of understanding; in crime, a way of understanding crime
Foucault looks at how do we regulate behavior
Feminists try to understand the gender differences and why different theories apply
differently to males and females
Policy stems from Theory
Theory is tested by peoples common sense ideas of the world
We are seeing a decline of the expert
What Should Criminology Study?
Should it follow only the decisions of the CJS?
How do we make the system better? What is the role of theory ?
Typology of knowledge Production
Innovation – were creating something new
Retrieval – going back to what was known or already known and trying to
Translation – taking others previous work and using them
Reinterpretation - taking an intellectual priorities and applying them in ways they weren’t
Changing intellectual priorities – when a theory is validated
Changing social conditions – new social facts, different realities of living in 2012 vs. that
Developments in cognate fields of injury – new social facts, different realities of living in
2012 vs. that of 1950
CLASSICAL THEORY AND BACCARIA
Enlightenment ideals –
All have free will – classical approach, we all have free will, we all decide what we are
going to do, pleasure and pain, everyone seeks pleasure and avoids pain
We anticipate consequences…… b/c we all have rationality In this sense we can make crime systems attainable, b/c the punishments can be painful.
Eg. Is stealing really worth it for the pain of having to do community service after?
On Crimes and Punishment
Work was banned from the churches
He said it was not about retribution but rather the idea being that in order to prevent
crime one must punish people
Not that we have to punish them harshly but punish them enough to prevent further
crimes by others
Death penalty? Torture? If he is innocent you have tortured the innocent. In the eyes of
god everyone is innocent.
He believes that torture is not the appropriate means.
He didn’t believe that torturing someone was an appropriate means of receiving a
confessions, b/c almost anyone would commit to a crime in order to get the physical pain
Classical Theory Today
Culpability = guilt - did you do it or not
Classical theories today are often called control theories – these are theories emphasizing
the prevention of crime through consequences painful to the individual
3 elements to the deterrence theory
o Severity – how harsh is the punishment?
o Certainty – how likely are you to get caught? Once caught, how likely are you to