CRIM 2650 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Cesare Lombroso, Cerebral Cortex, Genetic Linkage

127 views5 pages
12 Oct 2016
Department
Course
Professor
CRIM 2650 The Positivist School of Criminology
September 29, 2016
Assumptions of Biological Positivism about Individuals
- Are not active agents with free-will (contra-classical approach)
- Rather their actions are determined by biological (Early Biological
Positivism) or bio-social factors
Assumptions of Biological and Bio-Social Positivism about Society
- Society is composed of unequal individuals
Some individuals are inferior to or different from others
- Policy implication = Inferior or different ones should be cured, intervened,
controlled, or excluded
Historical Background: Darwin
- Theory of Evolution: Humans had evolved from more primitive beings. The
idea of natural selection is key to evolution (asserts the idea that some
species adapted to their environments)
- Survival of the fittest
Some species even compete with each other
Darwinisims I: Social Darwinism
- Government intervention makes societies unhealthier because it interferes
with human competition
Interrupting evolution, therefore making the human population weaker
Social Darwinism is usually always against governmental support
- Colonialism and Europeanism
Social Darwinism was used to justify the dominance of White Europeans
over the rest of the world
- I.e. Eugenics
Biologically unfit should be eliminated through sterilization (unable to
reproduce)
Alternative Darwinism
- Darwin also talks about the web of life in the natural world and
interdependence of animals
- Darwin argued that cooperation between individuals at the group level and
altruistic behaviour played positive roles in evolution
- Darwin predicted a peaceful, cooperative, and ethical future for human
beings
- Peter Kropotkin argued that mutual aid is a feature of the greatest
importance for the maintenance of life, the presentation of each species and
its further evolution – he believed in cooperation
He realized that it was corporations, not cooperation that was helping
humans to survive
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 5 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
Human Nature: Competition or Cooperation?
- Both classical criminology and biological positivist criminology assume that
human being are competitive
- Classical Criminology: Competition among equal rational beings
- Positivist (Biological) Criminology: Some individuals are superior to
others in competition as a result of their biological traits
- Karl Polanyi Argued that individuals began to act based on self-interest and
calculation only after the emergence of capitalist societies.
Socially motivated behaviour (toward THEIR interests) was more
common in traditional societies
I.e. gift giving was a socially accepted behaviour
- Social Constructionist Perspective: Rather than speculation on the nature
of human beings, takes into account how individuals come to understand
their nature in particular social and historical contects
Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909)
- Founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology
- His work was first criticized for being biased, sexist, and racist, however it
formed the basis of positivist school of crim
- He was critical of Classical Criminologys assumptions about equality and
rationality
- He applied some Darwinism to explain criminal behaviour
- He believed criminals have certain physical characteristics. They are
biologically inferior
I.e. shaping of the skulls
Disproportionate facial features (i.e. big eyes, nose, etc.)
Lombroso and Italian School of Positivisms Critique of Classical Criminology
- Classical criminology does not explain the distribution of crime and why
certain individuals or groups commit crime more than others
- Abstract ideas about rationality, freedom, and responsibility does not fit into
reality; some individuals are inferior than others
- Rather than assuming the principle of deterrence would reduce crime,
inferior individuals should be controlled or eliminated for the overall
health of the society
Atavism (Lombroso)
- People with atavistic characteristics are born criminals
- Born criminals have numerous physical abnormalities and they resemble
primitive beings
Excessive body hair, sloping foreheads, large jaws, long arms, short legs,
etc.
Atavistic Women
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 5 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get OneClass Notes+

Unlimited access to class notes and textbook notes.

YearlyBest Value
75% OFF
$8 USD/m
Monthly
$30 USD/m
You will be charged $96 USD upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.