History of Criminology


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  • Classical Criminology: - mid-eighteenth century - free will to break the law to meet needs - attractive when coming with great benefits and little effort - Crime is controlled by fear of punishment - severe, certain, and swift
  • Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794) - one of the first to come up with why people commit crime
  • Positivist Criminology: - nineteenth century - used a scientific method to gather information - judged criminals on the shape by their skull/facial features - biosocial theory - linked with physical and social traits and their influence on behavior - Demonic: believed if someone was committing crime it was because they were possessed by evil spirits punishment was torture
  • Auguste Comte (1798-1857) - considered the founder of sociology
  • Sociological Criminology: - nineteenth century - crime is considered normal because it is virtually impossible to imagine a society where crime is absent - consequences are based on small to large society - Chicago School - looks at the behavior piece (studied relationship between environment conditions and crime - argued that crime was a reaction to the environment - Socialization Views - another group of sociologists linked criminal behavior to one's relationship with education and family life
  • Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) - one founder of sociological criminology
  • Conflict Criminology: - late 19th/early 20th century - economic theory - controls all facets of life - critical criminology - view that crime is a product of te capitalist system
  • Karl Marx (1818-1883) - created new approach to criminology
  • Developmental Criminology: - 1940s-1950s - integration of sociological, psychological, economic elements - looks at the life of criminals
  • Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck - husband and wife researcher at Harvard
  • Contemporary Criminology: - development over 200 years - rational choice -trait - social structure - social process - critical development
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