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SOC 1100 Final: SOC 1100 lecture notes.docx

Course Code
SOC 1100
Linda Gerber
Study Guide

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Bad to the Bone- George Thorogood:
Crime is a genetic condition, biological reasons
Born bad
Deterministic explanation you came out bad
Latin= crimin (accusation or guilt) + ology (study of)
Benefits from a whole range of other disciplines
Disciplinary connection:
Theoretical Categories:
Non-sociological theories
Emphasis on individual
Classical criminology

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Sociological theories
Emphasis on social structure
Emphasis on social process
Emphasis on social conflict
Biological Positivism: important for thinking about biology and psychology
Criminal was born bad, not about rational action
Helps us represent a shift from a focus on philosophy and law to focus of first hand study of
criminals (scientifically of how we can use principles of natural science to study criminals)
Biological and Psychological theories:
Human behavior is determined not by free choice by factors beyond the individuals control
(classical theorist totally opposite saying we make conscious decision and must face
consequences of this)
**we cant consider policy which is going to somehow change behavior because it is not controlled
so we lock them up
classical theories do not and can not apply to biological theory
People who are deviant/ criminal are sick
Positivism: “The application of the scientific method to the study of the human condition”
(O’Grady, 2011:74)
Biological theories:
Deviance lies with the abnormal individual
Criminals are born bad!
Anatomical, psychological, genetic
Cesare Lombroso: went into Italian Prisons and looked into physical
characteristics to determine who is going to commit crime by comparing
them to Italian soldiers
Atavism: evolutionary throwback
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