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Lombroso part 1.docx

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Social Science
SOSC 2650
Anita Lam

October 10,2013 Lecture 5 : Lombroso and Positivist Criminology 1. Recap: Beccaria's legacy • contemporary deterrence theory; effective deterrence would not be overly severe • Contemporary rational choice theory; people are rational actors and they engage in crime because they think crime pays. It does not explain expressive crime • routine activities theory; examines the structure of criminal opportunity; comes together when there is presence of motivated offenders, presence of suitable targets and the absences of guardians • Crime prevention: reduce attractiveness of criminal opportunity - Increase effort needed to committing crime - Decrease reward for committing crime - Increase risk of formal sanctions or punishment - increase risk of informal sanctions • attempt to prevent crime altogether by decreasing the reward the offender feels when committing the crime. Routine activities theory: attempted rape;criminal opportunity because there was a suitable target, easy to get to, and there were motivated offenders!! change the design so that the offender cannot find a way to break in. Also, have more lighting. Re-Evaluating Lombroso • New English translation of Criminal Man • his theories were always dismissed and seen as racist and sexist • Renewed criminological interest - Brain abnormalities thought cranium abnormalities made people criminals - Life course persistent offenders different criminal types and the sense that there is a small group of offenders in society who commit crime and cannot be deterred. resistant to treatment and deterrence - Evolutionary psychology *how our social behaviors (aggression) are by-products of adaption and natural selections • J. Phillipe Rushton: Race, evolution and behavior, p. 5 Claimed average Negroids (blacks) Caucasoids (whites) Mongoloids (orientals) difference Brain size: cranial 1267 1347 1364 capacity (cubic cm) Intelligence IQ Test 85 100 106 Scores Personality Aggressiveness, Higher Intermediate Lower Cautiousness, Lower Intermediate Higher Impulsivity, Higher Intermediate Intermediate Sociability Higher Intermediate Intermediate Social Organization Martial Stability, Lower Intermediate Higher Law-Abidingness, Lower Intermediate Higher Mental health Low Intermediate Higher • Majority of criminals are less smarter than the average. • Also interested in social behavior in criminality • Rushton argued: orientals fall on one side of the spectrum and the blacks on the other side, while the Europeans were in the middle. • Reduces rape to a biological concept and it is essentially predetermined by the biological component related to race and finally the assumptions that underlie it. 2. Lombroso and Positivist Criminology • Positivist criminology has 2 elements: 1) Belief that human behavior is a function of external and internal forces beyond individual control - Vs. Free Will (argue that some crimes committed are beyond our control and because of this, this is why positivism is considered deterministic theories) - Deterministic theories (people are per-disposed to committing crime) -Impact on criminal responsibility Re-conceptualized so that now today certain numbers of offenders do not get punished the same as other category of offenders Deterministic theory and criminal responsibility • Mentally disordered offender • Section 16 of the criminal code - Section 16(2): Everyone is presumed to not suffer from a mental disorder - Section 16(1): no person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while a) suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person b) incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission, or of c) knowing that it was wrong • 2) Use of scientific method to solve problems and the use of empirical methods to test hypotheses • Philosophy = Science led to normative theory • criminal anthropology - Establishes criminologist as expert combined study of human race and anatomy - Phrenology acceptable scientific analogy; dents on the head and skull were related to that person intellectual and personality traits - Physiognomy assumes that an individuals external corporal features (body types, facial hair) mirror a persons internal moral states; if you want to know if the person is moral just look at them. E.G: princess are mortally good based on their looks and the villains are the ones that look terrible - Inductive reasoning when you draw general rules from the observations of numerous individual cases;looks at skulls and made a general conclusion that there is a dent in the skulls Social contract theory Vs. Evolutionary Theory Social contract theory Evolutionary theory Free will Determinism Similarity Difference Universal Specific Criminal Inclination Criminality as abnormal, but natural Social defense Social defense • Ultimately we all share the same ancestors in the distant past • Darwin: what produces those evolutionary changes? Within each species there is individual variations; there are variations between individuals and they are important because they give those individuals an advantage in the struggle of survival; evolutionary theory can only work through the differences that make us who we are. • Social contract theory: focuses on the similarity between us. • Beccaria = similarities but for Lombroso= individual differences or abnormalities • Beccaria= thought there could be a universal system that could focus on everyone need • Lombroso = not all roots are at the same stage of evolution; they should not be treated in the same way • Becceria ; same crime = same crim
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