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SOC205H5 (139)


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Paula Maurutto

Writing a Literature Review Soc205 Lec. #2 - Room 390, UTM library: help on essay - Essay Topic: why youth join gangs, five articles, Introduction: - identifies and defines problems - States there are x factors contributing to problem Positivist Theories of Crime The classical scholars: - Modern criminology is the product of two main schools of thoughts - Classical school - Positivist school Classical School - All modern justice system draw from classical position. - Persons are free agents possessing free will Classical criminology - People have free will to choose their actions - Positivist school ^ reject assumption - Crime is attractive when it provides benefit with little effort - Crime may be controlled by fear of punishment - If punishment is perceived and severe then crime can be deterred 1. Need to know punishment before hand Limitations to classical theory - Presumption of free will - Focused only on act without paying attention to mind of the offender - It focuses on the criminal act and not the criminal offender - Positivist approach focuses on criminal offender - Prescribes equal punishment for all offenders, does not make distinction between first offenders and pattern offenders. 1. Youth should be punished less severely 2. Mentally ill ^ 3. This theory ignores ^ The legacy of the classical school - Beccaria law 1. Rights as freedom from cruel and unusual punishment 2. The right to speedy trial 3. And equality 4. Under character of rights and bill of rights ^ Main difference between classical and positivist - Classical assumes everyone is rational actor and acts upon free will - Positivist assumes crime is determined, individuals are determined based upon factors outside of their control - Positivist more concerned with discovering biological, psychological and social determinants of behaviour then with the classical concerns with legal and penal reforms. - Positivist believe you need to go and collect research before determining criminal behaviour, they introduced scientific method and study in criminology - Classical: theorists and writers. Positivist: doctors, scientists and mathematician - Positivists were influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution being introduced at that time - Darwin’s theory that nature is a hierarchical chain, and humanity is moving up that scale - White scientist: white race evolved after black race, men evolved after women - Blacks considered not fully evolved. 1. Racist view of criminology 2. Theories at that time restated interests of the dominant group The birth of the positivist school: Lombroso’s theory of the criminal man - Father of modern criminology - Strongly rejected classical school - He argues people do not have free will, criminal activity was inherited. People were born criminals - You can identify the born criminal by looking at physical defects - Shifts the focus from crime to the born criminal - His theorises came to highly influence Europe, but was discredited later on - He developed theory while working as a physician in an army hospital - He goes back to studying cadavers of executed criminals. Highly credible since his findings were based on scientific study. He stud
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