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Chapter 5

Sociology 2267A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Moral Development, Anomie, Latency Stage

Course Code
SOC 2267A/B
Dale Ballucci

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Chapter 5
Some views academic or scientific and others are taken for granted
understandings – beliefs that are accepted as true simply bc they are either felt to
be true or are commonly shared as being true. Based on immediate experience and
rarely examined. These beliefs have been subjected to empirical testing (research).
Postmodernists those who reject or challenge all that has been considered to be
Empirical- describes knowledge that is based on observation, experience, or
experiment rather than on theory or philosophy
Research systematic process of into gathering, analysis and reporting findings
The sci method positivism and criminology
August comte founding father of soc
Said society best to be understood by applying sci method
Assumed behaviour is determined by natural laws and believed their task as
scientists was to discover these laws
Positivist 18th century philosophical, theoretical and methodological perspective
positing that only that which is observable through the sci method is knowable
seek to discover causes of crime by applying sci method
Causal relationships
Concept a class or group of more specific terms (crime refers to any specific
behaviours assault & robbery)
3 conditions have to be met before causality can be established: 1) has to be
established that there is a relationship between concepts both within and among the
propositions that constitute a theory 2) a time priority has be to established
between concepts (cause before effect) 3) spuriousness whether we can be certain
there is no other casual factor related to both watching TV and committing a crime
(possible third factor)
Challenges to positivism
Universe is knowable there is an objective truth
Fact considered to be true something established through research process
Searching for cause made little sense more sense to simply ask ppl about their
We are all biased by our social position and experience, so the only truth is that of
the subject
19th cent theorizing about crime & delinquency
Religion was dominant force in society used to understand and explain events &
Evil devil, possession was blamed
Some claim god made them commit crime or voices in their head
Ppl more likely to blame crime on satanic cults
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Classical crim
Assumes ppl are rational intelligent beings who exercise free will in choosing crim
Earliest recorded sci thinking
Ppl must be held responsible for actions
Cesare Beccaria punishment should fit the crime
Jeremy Bentham repeat offenders should be punished more severely, ppl who
commit similar offences punished in the same manor
Biological positivism
Ceasar Lombroso father of sci crim examined prisoners argued criminals and
non crims were at diff stages in development
Ppl were born criminals
3 categories delinquent (could change their ways if guidance), dependant (well
being depended on others), defective (limited abilities, not held responsible)
eugenics belief in genetic diff between groups that result in superior and inferior
strains of ppl (sterilized to prevent them from having children)
the dangerous class
the poor parents seen as 3 things above
20th century theories of delinquency
twins and adopted kids
identical twins higher delinquency rates than fraternal
problematic small samples
body type endomorphs (soft & round), mesomorphs (muscular & athletic- linked
to crim behaviour- more prone to delinquency), ectomorphs (thin & fragile)
chromosomes male with extra Y super male been used to explain violent
IQ, LD (learning disabilities- biological origin), ADHD (9 times more likely to be
found in delinquent children)
Explaining biological facts
Feebleminded unable to make intell decisions low IQ is predictive of school
failures and delinquent behaviour
Down syndrome has not changed, but our response to it has
All behaviour is the result of biological interacting w social and physical enviro
Psychological positivism
6 groups psychoanalytic theory, behaviouristic explanations, social learning
theory, moral development theory, personality theory, antisocial personality theory
psychoanalytic theory- crime comes from underlying emotional abnormality during
Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson
Development occurs in stages abnormalities occur when ppl fail to resolve
conflicts that arise in these stages
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