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Chapter 5-2267

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Sociology 2267A/B
Gillian Mandich

Introduction Anderson(1996) describes some understands for crime “taken for granted understandings” Beliefs that are accepted as true simply because they are either felt to be true or commonly shared as being true Differ from scientific beliefs Post-modernist: those who reject or challenge all that has been considered to be modern th th Western theory, art, philosophy, and knowledge developed in the 19 & 20 century Claim that scientific knowledge has no more claim to truth than taken-for-granted understandings Theory: integrated sets of proposition that offer explanation for some phenomenon Research: A systematic process of information gathering analysis, & reporting of findings Empirical: an adjective describing knowledge that is based on observation, experience, or experiment rather than on theory or philosophy The Scientific Method: Positivism & Criminology Comte, father of sociology one of first to argue that society could be best understood by applying the scientific method to its study assumed human behaviours determined by natural laws these are positivist thinkers positivist: an 18 century philosophical, theoretical, and methodological perspective posting that only that which is observable through the scientific method is knowable Causal Relationships establishing law or cause way of explaining event three conditions need to be met to establish causality: be established that there is a relationship between concepts both within and among the propositions that constitute to a theory a time priority has to be established between concepts the cause has to come before the effect concerns of spuriousness Challenges to Positivism assumption of the positivist tradition is that the universe is knowable in an objective sense ensures that objectivity can be attention through myriad of rules and regulations required in research process includes quantification of techniques, stats analytical tools, etc. all methods designed to prevent subjectivity of the researcher from creeping into and biasing the research difference between positivist and subjective approach: for positivists, a more subjective approach would argue that truth can come only from the subject that is under observation is to be avoided for subjectivists, they would argue that bias is not an issue, we are all biased by our social position and experience so the only truth is that of the subject fact: in everyday terms, a fact is usually something that is considered to be true. In a scientific sense, a fact is something that has been established through a process 19 Century Theorizing About Crime & Delinquency th prior to 19 century religion dominant force were used to understand and explain events and behaviours Classical Criminology earliest record of scientific thinking dates back to 18 century referred to as classical school of criminology central tenet that people have free will as opposed to being possessed, must be held accountable and responsible school of thought that assumes people are rational intelligent beings who exercise free will in choosing criminal behavior Cesare Beccaria most influential writers Essay “on crimes and punishment” Argued that offenders must be presumed innocent Offences and punishments should be specified in a written code of criminal laws guilty people deserved to be punished Bentham argued repeat offenders should be punished more severely Punishment should fit the crime Those who commit similar offences should get similar punishments Biological Positivism End of 19 century scholars paid more attention to the criminal person first focused on biological and psychological effects The Born Criminal most influential biological positivists Lombroso the father of scientific
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