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Sociology (2,430)
SOCB50H3 (120)
Joe Hermer (89)
Lecture 3

Week 3 Readings

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Joe Hermer

September 29 th Theories related to physical characteristics: (Bernard/Snipes) -One of the oldest “scientific” approaches in criminology theory has emphasized physical and biological abnormality as the distinguishing mark of the criminal • Criminals are viewed as somehow characteristically different, abnormal, defective and therefore inferior to biologically • This biological inferiority is thought to produce in criminals certain physical characteristics that make their appearance different from that of noncriminal -Physiognomy-judging character from facial features- was a recognized study in the Europe of Cesare Beccaria -writers on phrenology were concerned with elaborating Aristotle’s idea of the brain as the organ of the mind. 3 basic propositions underlie their formulations: • 1. the exterior of the skull conforms to the interior and to the shape of the brain • 2. the “mind” consist of faculties or functions • 3. these faculties are related to the shape of the brain and skull; hence, just as the brain is the organ of the mind, these bumps are indicators of the organs of the special faculties -theories that focus on physical characteristics turn out to be a more or less sophisticated form of shadowboxing with a more subtle and difficult problem, namely the extent to which biological differences explain differences in human behaviour Our Own Master Race: (McLaren) -British Columbia and Alberta, in passing legislation for the sterilization of the feeble- minded and its supervision by boards of eugenics, went the furthest in putting into action the hereditarian program -the campaign in Canada for the conrol
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