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Chapter 5

Sociology 2267A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Pauperism, Auguste Comte, Thought Criminals


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 2267A/B
Professor
Lisa Lyons
Chapter
5

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Youth In Conflict Ch. 5
Explaining Crime and Delinquency: )n the Beginning…
Taken-for-granted understandings: beliefs accepted as true simply b/c
they are either felt to be true or are commonly shared as being true
Postmodernists: those who reject or challenge all that has been considered
to be modern
The Scientific Method: Positivism and Criminology
Auguste Comte (founder of soc) argued society could be understood by
applying scientific method
Believed human behaviour determined by natural laws
Positivist: an 18th century philosophical, theoretical, and methodological
perspective positing that only observable things through the scientific
method is knowable… behaviour determined by some factor beyond
individual control
Causal Relationships
Before causality established must be:
o Relationship b/w concepts within and among theory
o Time priority must be established b/w concepts
o whether we can be certain that there is no other causal factor
relations to both concepts (spuriousness)
Challenges to Positivism
assumption that theres an objective truth
now appreciated that experiential/ subjective knowledge is as much truth as
objective
major differences b/w the two is that bias from the subject is avoided for
positivists but subjective approaches would say truth can only come from the
subject
Nineteenth-Century Theorizing About Crime and Delinquency
religion used to understand and explain events and behaviour
more likely to blame criminal acts on satanic cults rather than the devil
made me do it like back then
Classical Criminology
classical school of criminology: the school of thought that assumes people
are rational, intelligent beings who exercise free will in choosing criminal
behaviour [Beccaria]
free will, should be held responsible
presumed innocent, should be written codes of criminal law, guilty punished
b/c violation of anothers rights
Punishment should fit the crime
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Bentham… repeat offenders should be punished more severely, punishment
should fit the crime, people committing similar crimes should be punished
the same
Biological Positivism
Paying more attention to the criminal… biological and physiological factors
THE BORN CRIMINAL
Lombroso… father of scientific criminology, influenced by evolutionary ideas
Thought criminals and non-criminals at diff stages of evolutionary
development
TYPES OF PEOPLE
Dugdale study on Juke family, concluded that they suffered from degeneracy
and innate depravity… pauperism, crime, and prostitution were inherited
Goddard study on Kallikak family, wanted to establish connection b/w
heredity, crime, and feeblemindedness
^ two types of people: feebleminded barmaid (paupers, criminals, alcoholics,
mentally deficient) and respectable girl of good family
lack of intelligence/feeblemindedness by end of 19th century was viewed as
major cause of criminal behaviour (incapable of understanding potential
immortality and control emotions)
tainted life blood and feeblemindedness believed to responsible for passing
on drinking and prostitution
3 broad categories: delinquent (could change with guidance), dependent
(well being depended on assistance of others), defective (limited abilities,
feebleminded, not responsible)
eugenics: branch of science based on belief in genetic differences b/w
groups that result in superior and inferior strains of people
THE DANGEROUS CLASS
poor, struggling to survive in face of industrialization and urbanization
not children, but parents seen as delinquents, dependents, defectives
Mayhew thought children often carried to bear shop but drunken moms
Twentieth-Century Theories of Delinquency
Biological Positivism
TWINS AND ADOPTED CHILDREN
Identical twins have higher delinquency rates than fraternal, adopted
children more like biological parents
Mednick… rate of criminality for adopted sons less than 5% … magnitude
of genetic effect as determined by adoption studies is near zero
Twins and adoption studies provide poor evidence for hereditary causal
factors, but they fail to isolate or identify genetic factor in question
BODY TYPE
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Sheldons somatotypes  endomorphs: soft, round,  mesomorphs:
muscular, athletic, (3) ectomorphs: thin, fragile
Mesomorphs linked w/crime
Glueck & Glueck… narrow faces, wider chests, larger waists, bigger arms
CHROMOSOMES
supermale… males <% have extra Y chromosome … thought to be linked
to violence
in actuality, male prisoners w/extra Y are least likely group in prison to have
done violent offence
IQ, LD, AND ADHD
research has shown lower )Q, higher delinquency… not clear how much of )Q
determined by biological and how much by environmental factors
link b/c LD learning disability in crime… maybe b/c they dont get
diagnosed so they don't get proper accommodations
b/c they don't understand link b/w behavior and punishment, poor
performance in school pushes them to delinquency
ADHD 9x more likely to be found in delinquent children
Psychosocial factors that decreased likelihood of delinquency in LD and
ADHD youth: relationship w/mother, engagement w/school, feelings of well
being, feelings of victimization
EXPLA)N)NG T(E B)OLOG)CAL FACTS
Early biological explanations failed to account for environmental impacts
Modern biological theorists speak of behavioural potentials,
susceptibilities, probabilities, rather than causes
Psychological Positivism
Focuses on the development of antisocial characteristic to explain
delinquency … Stress environmental impacts
6 psychological theories: psychoanalytic, behaviouristic, social learning,
moral development, personality theory, and antisocial personality theory
PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORIES
five stages of personality (psychosexual) development: (1) oral stage (birth-
1), (2) anal stage (1-3), (3) phallic stage (3-6) [most crucial stage, Oedipus,
Electra complex] , (4) latency stage (until puberty), (5) genital stage
if unresolved, abnormal personalities, if abnormal than more likely to be
delinquent
underdeveloped superego = its not strong enough to control id
overdeveloped = intense anxiety/guilt, involvement in crime b/c they
unconsciously want to be punished
weak ego… poorly developed social skills, poor reality testing, gullibility,
excessive dependence
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