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SOC307H5 Lecture Notes - Jeremy Bentham, Cesare Beccaria, Anomie

Course Code
Reza Barmaki

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Lecture 2: Scientific Approach to the Understanding of the World July 12, 2012
-The scientific approach to the study of Social Control and deviance
-Forms of behavior
What is “Science”?
-Methodical investigation-scientists focus more
-Data collection
-Hypothesis testing
-Formulating theory
-Examples: Biology, physics, chemistryhave same assumptions about the world
-Marine biologists-measurement observation is the common denominator
-Scientific method followed everywhere-under the water
-Anthropology-they are observing so it is considered a science
-Instruments of measurement
What are other approaches?
Religious Approach (Pre-scientific/unscientific)
-premises of all religions:
A-there are supernatural forces beyond ordinary human powers (demons, gods,
angels, spirits…)
B-control/intervene natural and social processes
C-this can be direct or indirect through humans or animals
D-some for good and some for bad (evil)
The First Murder: Cain kills Abel
-Why human commit evil acts (crime)?
1. Influenced by “evil” forces
2. Their own nature:
-Wicked (sinful)
-Weak (easily tempted)
GOOD forces & acts: positive results
-harmony, order, normality, happiness, enlightenment, peace of mind, salvation…
EVIL forces & acts: negative results
-disorder, chaos, unhappiness, darkness, abnormality, suffering, damnation,
Various forms of Punishment
-By God(s):
-By Humans:
-burning at the stake
-Many gods and/or goddesses
-have different powers
-control different spheres
-examples: Ancient Greece and Rome
-One god
-All knowing
Middle Ages Europe (Christianity)
-crime/deviance caused by:
-possessed/influenced by witches/demons
-all for work for Satan
-A branch of theology
-Study of malevolent superhuman beings
-Demons or beliefs about them
-How they influence humans to act
-Punishment for such acts
Burning at the Stake
-Ultimate punishment
-By humans
Trial by Ordeal
-Method of determining guilt/innocence
-Accused was asked to perform painful and/or impossible tasks
-if task was completed without injury or the injuries sustained were healed
-ex: put hand in boiling hot water pot
-god/gods intervene to help the innocent
-miracle, divine intervention
Ducking Stool
-Determining witchcraft
-if they floated:
-were helped by demons
-they were witches
-hanged, burned at stake
-if they drowned:
-not guilty
-too late to save them
Trial by battle
-reserved for noblemen (rich people) accused of wrongdoing
-accused had to combat the accuser
-or pay for a fighter on his behalf
-winner was innocent
-god protected innocent
-loser was often dead by the end of the fight