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Lecture 3

SOC205H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Eugenics

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Paula Maurutto

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Soc205: lecture 2 [Positivist theories of crime]
The impact of the classical school
Believe you have free will
You can choose to engage in crime or not
Ppl seek pleasure and avoid pain
oWe’re self seeking individuals
oCost benefit analysis
Detterance being a major feature in the way our legal system works comes from classical school
oFear of punishment
oAssess cost + benefit
oIf punishment isn’t all that great, etc. then they’ll engage in crime
Proportionality is another major concept
oPunishment should fit the crime
oEx: if you steal loaf of bread, should be fair punishment and not the same as murdering someone
Sever, certain, swift
oIn order for detterance to operate you have to know what punishment will be
oThese are the prevailing concepts that come to shape certain legal systems
Positivism rejected many concepts of classical theory
Concept of deterrence emerged in 19th century
Rational choice theory:
oComes from classical school of crim
Limitations to classical theory
Everyone has free will to act as they choose
Focusseso n the act committed not the individual themselves
oIf just focusing on act, not looking at issues like whether someone has acted intentionally,
barriers they’ve face,
oEx: younger individuals in our society might not have the same rationality as some adults
If you were caught with theft, the idea is you’ll get the same punishment whether it’s your first charge or
10th charge
oPpl believe there should be a difference in punishment
Main difference between classical and positivist schools of crim
Positivists reject assumption that crime is entirely of free choice or free will
If crime is based on factors outside their control, they don’t have free will
Positivists believes behave is determined by psychological, biological, social, traits
oWhereas classical were more concerned with legal + penal reforms
More diff:
oPos more critical with archerai (ppl who come up with ideas sitting in their chair)
More informed with enlightenment period + scientific methods
1st school to apply scientific methods to the study of crime
collected data and evidence to explain psyical and social conditions
tended to be mathematicians, scientists,
also heavily influenced by Darwinism evolutionary theory
The birth of the positivist school: Lombroso’s theory of the criminal man
rejecte classical school of crim
oyou don’t have free will to commit crime
ocriminality is inherited
o“born criminal”
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