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Lecture 5

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2259
Professor
Pamela Cushing
Semester
Fall

Description
Biological & Physiological Explanations of Deviance Lecture 5 Paradigm shift from the classical era - Positivism: used of methods of the natural sciences  scientific (objective) - Deviance is pathological  it’s an illness - Biological determinism  symptoms, born this way - Notion of free will was an excuse o Criminal behaviour is an inborn defect o Self-directed actor was replaced with a person who’s every action was a result of some dark biological influence o Searched for these bad genes Born Criminal Theory - Emerging: criminal anthropology  tell someone was bad by how they looked - Physiognomy: study of facial features  no chin, caveman-esque - Phrenology: mapped the brain, by looking at their skulls (because that makes sense)  identified areas related to personality and behaviour o They could use skull casts to see if there were bumps in certain parts of the skull  excess of emotion - Craniometry: classifying human types by brain size and skull measurements o You know what they say about fellas with big brains  they’re deviant! - MENTAL NOTE: you look like an Amish diddler  get rid of your beard I think maybe Lombroso: Criminal Anthropology - Italian psychiatrist - Credited as the father of criminology - Focus: biological causes of deviance and crime - Biological atavism: criminals were evolutionary throw-backs Sheldon: Body Types - Ectomorphs  skinny wieners - Endomorphs  Chubby dudes - Mesomorphs  tough jocks (tunnel snakes rule we cause crime) Social Darwinism - Herbert Spencer: apply concept of evolution to an understanding of history and societies o This was the survival of the fittest dude - Human socities moving from “primitive” to “civilized” o That’s social Darwinism - The criminal, the poor, the mentally ill, the less intelligent, and those with low morals would all die out  they were the deviants Genetic Inheritance - Gregor Mendal  that dude who did selective breeding with plants - Deviance was inherited and therefore inevitable - Not only was it assumed that the fittest would survive but the determining factor in who was fit was genetically predetermined  uh oh! Eugenics (good birth) and Theories of Deviance - Made popular by Social Darwinism - Some social groups are better than (more evolved/biologically superior) than others - Result: programs and policies to increase reproduction in “superior” groups
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