Ch04 Outline by mtPjMYC

VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 5

									                     Chapter 4: Early and Classical Criminological Theories
                                        Chapter Outline

        Theory
        Major Theoretical Approaches
        Demonological Theory
        Classical Theory
        Neoclassical Theory
        Ecological Theory
        Forerunners of Modern Criminological Thought
        Economic Theory
        Theory-Policy Connection

Theory

   •     Theories:
   •     help us understand and explain crime causation.
   •     help us make sense of random and seemingly unrelated facts.
   •     are not laws or facts.
   •     will not lead us to one “key” explanation of criminal behavior.

Demonological Theory

   Demonological Theory:

   •     Refers to supernatural explanations of criminality.
   •     Criminal behavior attributed to demons or other-worldly sources.
   •     Response to crime with “trial by ordeal.”

Classical Theory

   Classical Theory:
   › Emphasizes free will and rationality as the source of behavior.
   › People are rational and have free will
   › 100% responsible for their actions.
   › Assumes hedonism.

         “Pleasure Principle”—The assumption that the main purpose of life is to maximize
         pleasure while minimizing pain.


                                                  1
Classical Theory (cont’d)

   •   Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794):
   •   Argued that punishment should be:
   •   Sure, swift, and certain.
   •   No more severe than necessary to deter.
   •   Inspired modern Western legal principles.

   •   Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832):
   •   Supported utilitarian punishment.

       Utilitarianism: Advocates the greatest good for the greatest number.

Classical Theory (cont’d)

   •   Critiques of Classical Theory:
   –   Does not allow consideration of offender-specific circumstances.
   –   Advocates taking away judicial discretion.
   –   Concepts of “pleasure” and “pain” are difficult to measure.

Neoclassical Theory

   •   Neoclassical School:
   –   Consider environmental, psychological, and other mitigating circumstances.
   –   Focus on policies rather than crime causation.
   –   Less concerned with finding “causes” and more concerned with finding “what
              works.”

Neoclassical Theory (cont’d)

   •   Rational Choice Theory (Cornish & Clarke, 1986)
   •   Crime seen as a choice made based on costs, benefits, and opportunities.
   •   “Situational Crime Control” – One way to reduce crime based on this theory.
   •   Criticism: Most crimes are not carefully planned.

Neoclassical Theory (cont’d)

   •   Other remnants of neoclassical theory:
   •   “Three Strikes You’re Out” Policies
   •   Mandatory Sentences


                                                2
   •   Concept of “Just Deserts”
   •   Deterrence Theory
   •          Specific
   •          General

Ecological Theory

   •   Ecological School
   •   First to apply official data and statistics to explanations of crime.
   •   Uses maps and aerial data.

   Human Ecology: Deals with the interrelationship between human organisms and the
   physical environment.

Ecological Theory (cont’d)

   • Andre M. Guerry (1802-1866)
   – Viewed as the founder of the ecological or cartographic school of criminology.
   – Pioneer in comparative crime statistics.

Ecological Theory (cont’d)

   • Adolphe Quetelet (1796-1874)
   – Credited as first scientific criminologist.
   – Challenged notion of free will by noting consistent patterns of crime.

       “Thermic Law” of Crime: Observed that crimes against persons increase in warmer
       climates while property crimes are most prevalent in colder climates (Fox, 1976, p. 64).

Critique of Ecological Theory

   •   These social statisticians were ahead of their time.
   •   Shortcomings of their analysis:
   –   Reliance on official statistics
   –   Appropriate use of statistics
   –   The ecological school represented a critical transition from philosophical to
              scientific approaches.


Ecological Theory (cont’d)


                                                  3
   Modern-day ecological theories:
   • Focus on social and artificial environmental influences.
   • Acknowledge the weaknesses of official data.
   • Highlight factors such as weather, population density, and air pollutants as influences on
     crime.

Forerunners of Modern Criminological Thought

   Highly influential Theorists:

   •   Karl Marx (18-18-1883)
   •   Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
   •   Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
   •   Economic Theory

Karl Marx (1818-1883):

   Economic Determinist - Insisted that society’s economic substructure shapes all other
   institutions and relationships.

   – Identified root of social problems as capitalism and subsequent inequalities.
   – Did not specifically address crime.

Economic Theory

   Willem Bonger (1876-1940):

   – Applied Marxist thought to topic of crime.
   – Argued that law focuses on protecting the propertied classes.
   – Argued pleasure-seeking is natural, but capitalism encourages egoism (selfish
            individualism) to an extreme.

Theory-Policy Connection

   Policies and programs are guided by theory.
   › Demonological                       inconsistent punishment
   › Classical                          effective law is sure, swift, and certain
   › Neoclassical                       mandatory sentence and deterrence policy
   › Ecological &                       fight crime by changing social

                                               4
               Economic                         and physical environment

Chapter Summary

      Theory
      Major Theoretical Approaches
      Demonological Theory
      Classical Theory
      Neoclassical Theory
      Ecological Theory
      Forerunners of Modern Criminological Thought
      Economic Theory
      Theory-Policy Connection


Key Concepts

   Astrology
   Bourgeoisie
   Classical Theory
   Demonological Theory
   Ecological Theory
   Economic Theory
   Hedonism
   Neoclassical Theory
   Proletariat
   Theory
   Thermic Law of Crime




                                            5

								
To top