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CRIM 210 (37)

Crim 210 Ch 5.pdf

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Simon Fraser University
CRIM 210
David Mac Alister

Chapter 5Explaining Crime and Delinquency in the Beginningtakenforgranted understandingsbeliefs accepted as true bc they are either felt to be true or commonly shared as being truebased on immediate experience is rarely examinedtrue bc was subjected to empirical testingresearch knowledge based on observation exp experiment than theory or philosophyresearchsystematic process of info gatherings analysis and reporting of findingpostmodernists those who reject or challenge all that has been considered moderntheoryintegrated sets of propositions that offer explanations for some phenomenonTHe Scientific Method Positivism and CriminologyAuguste Comtefounding father of sociology applied scientific methodassumed human behaviour determined by natural lawspositivistsview behaviour determined by factors or factors beyond control of individualan 18th C philo theore metho perspective that things only observed via scientific method is knowableCasual Relationships3 conditions need to be met before causality can be establishedthere is a relationship bw concepts both within and among propositions that constitute a theoryconceptgeneralabstract term referring to classgroup of more specific terms 9eg crimes refer to any number of specific behaviours such as assault robberytime priority has to be established bw these concepts cause has to come before the effecteg there is a relationship bw seeing a crime on television and committing a crimeseeing preceded the committingspuriousnesswhether we can be certain there is no other causal factor related to eg watching television and committing crimeeg factor might be boredom or having a lot of free timewhen have a lot of free time ppl watch a lot of TV youth more likely involved in delinquent activities notnecessarily the result of watching tvpostmodernists eg Donna Gaines Tricia Rose reverse the causeeffect chain and maintain these things eg TV music are a reflection of hte lived experience of youth rather than cause of behaviourChallenges to Positivismlogic of positivism largely attained via myriad rules and regulations required in research process eg test of significance sampling theory etcthese methods designed to prevent subjectivity of researching and biasing for factfactsomething considered truein scifi sense fact is something established via research criminologists moved away from positive thinking or about what causes certain behavioursstarted asking questions about nature and processes of crimeeg asking questions about their experiencesthe subjectiveuses qualitative methods not quantitative eg ethnography unstructured interview w small groupssubjective situated experiential knowledge is as much as truth as that gained via search for objective knowledgedifferences positivst think that bias from subject is to be avoided those of subjective approach argue truth can only come from the subjectNineteenth0Century Theorizing about Crime and Delinquencyback then religion was dominant force used to understandexplain events and behaviourseg behaviour baddevil possessionpsychiatry legitimized notion of insanity used to explain bizarre or criminal behavioursClassical Criminologyclassical school of criminologyschool of thought that assumes ppl are rational intelligent beings who exercise free will in choosing crim behaviour must be responsibleCesare Beccariawrote On Crimes and Punishments 1764
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