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Chapter 1

WDW205 Textbook Summary - Chapter 1

3 Pages
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Department
Woodsworth College Courses
Course Code
WDW101Y1
Professor
William Watson

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Criminology WDW205H1 FSeptember 25, 2010 Note Series 1
Chapter 1 Concepts of Crime, Law, and Criminology
Introductory Definitions
Criminology- the scientific study of the nature, extent, cause and control of criminal behaviour
Criminologist- one who brings objectivity and method to the study of crime and its consequences
Criminal Justice System- the complete institutional process of decision making from the initial
investigation or arrest by police to the eventual release of the offender and his or her re-entry into society;
the various sequential criminal justice stages through which the offender passes: police, courts,
corrections
Deviant Behaviour- behaviour that departs from the social norm, but which doesnt always warrant a
legal sanction
Intimate Violence- a form of violent behaviour that occurs in a context of familiarity, such as wife or child
abuse
Decriminalization- reducing the penalty for a criminal act, but not actually legalizing it
Summary
Criminology- study of the origin, nature and extent of crime
Deviance- study of acts that depart from social norms
Criminal Justice- study of the agencies of social control and correction
Criminological Theories
Elements of Classical Criminology
1. In every society, people have free will to choose criminal or lawful solutions to meet their needs or settle
their problems
2. Criminal solutions may be more attractive than lawful ones because they usually require less work for a
greater payoff
3. Peoples choice of criminal solutions may be controlled by their fear of punishment
4. The more severe, certain and swift the punishment, the better able it is to control criminal behaviour
Classical Criminology- the theoretical perspective suggesting that (1) people have free will to choose
criminal or conventional behaviours; (2) people choose to commit crime for reasons of greed or personal
need; and (3) crime can be controlled only by the fear of criminal sanctions
Utilitarianism- a view that believes that the punishment of crime should be balanced and fair, which
underlies the belief in classical criminology that even criminal behaviour must be seen as purposeful and
reasonable
Positivism- the branch of social science that uses the scientific method of the natural sciences and
suggests that human behaviour is a product of social, biological, psychological, or economic forces
Criminal Anthropology- early efforts to discover a biological basis of crime through measurement of
physical and mental processes; associated with Cesare Lombroso and the biological positivists
Atavistic Anomalies (Traits)- according to Lombroso, the physical characteristics of born criminals
indicate they are throwbacks to animals or primitive people
Anomie- a condition produced by normlessness. Because of rapidly shifting moral values, the individual
has few guides to what is socially acceptable. According to Robert Merton, anomie is a condition that
occurs when personal goals cannot be achieved by available means
Chicago School- a type of sociological research begun in the early 20th century associated with Park,
Burgess, Wirth, Thrasher and their colleagues in the sociology department at the University of Chicago.
Those sociologists pioneered research on the social ecology of the city and the study of urban crime
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Criminology WDW205H1 F September 25, 2010 Note Series 1 Chapter 1 Concepts of Crime, Law, and Criminology Introductory Definitions Criminology- the scientific study of the nature, extent, cause and control of criminal behaviour Criminologist- one who brings objectivity and method to the study of crime and its consequences Criminal Justice System- the complete institutional process of decision making from the initial investigation or arrest by police to the eventual release of the offender and his or her re-entry into society; the various sequential criminal justice stages through which the offender passes: police, courts, corrections Deviant Behaviour- behaviour that departs from the social norm, but which doesnt always warrant a legal sanction Intimate Violence- a form of violent behaviour that occurs in a context of familiarity, such as wife or child abuse Decriminalization- reducing the penalty for a criminal act, but not actually legalizing it Summary Criminology- study of the origin, nature and extent of crime Deviance- study of acts that depart from social norms Criminal Justice- study of the agencies of social control and correction Criminological Theories Elements of Classical Criminology 1. In every society, people have free will to choose criminal or lawful solutions to meet their needs or settle their problems 2. Criminal solutions may be more attractive than lawful ones because they usually require less work for a greater payoff 3. Peoples choice of criminal solutions may be controlled by their fear of punishment 4. The more severe, certain and swift the punishment, the better able it is to contro
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