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Theories of Crime & Deviance

Theories of Crime & Deviance

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Theories of Crime & Deviance

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  1. Theories of Crime & Deviance • Demonology • Classical & Neo-Classical Theory • Positivism & the Ecological Approach • Biological Theories • Psychological Approaches • Sociological Approaches

  2. Demonology • Crime caused by demonic activity • Offender to be purged of evil presence

  3. Classical Theory • Origin: about 1764 • Founders: Cesare Beccaria, Jeremy Bentham • Based on ‘hedonistic calculus’ • Punishment should fit the crime • Punishment should be applied equally

  4. Neo-Classical Theory • Introduced idea of mitigating factors • Age & situational context taken into account

  5. Positivism & the Ecological Approach • Positivism – emphasizes measuring, accumulating & assessing data • Ecological approach identified relationships between criminality and geographical & social factors

  6. Biological Approaches • Core ideas: • Biological and mental traits make some people crime-prone. • These traits are inherited and present at birth. • Mental and physical degeneracies are the cause of crime.

  7. Lombroso & Biological Atavism • Study of inmates • Physical characteristics of inmates differ from law-abiding citizens • Problems with atavism

  8. Sheldon & Somatatyping • Temperament affected by body type • Endomorph • Ectomorph • mesomorph

  9. XYY THEORY • Based on studies of inmates • “super-male” • Problems with xyy theory

  10. Genetic Predispositions • Some individuals predisposed to: • Alcoholism • Suicide • Mental illness • Other deviant and criminal behavior

  11. Biological Roots of Criminal Behaviour • Chemical and Environmental Precursors • *eating habits, vitamin deficiencies, blood • sugar levels • * Dan White and the Twinkie Defence” • * Robert Parsons and the “sugar blackout' defence • Hormones and Criminality • Testosterone, pre-menstrual syndrome • Christine English and Dr. Geraldine Richeter

  12. Psychological approaches • Focus on the individual (cognitive, behavioral, neurological, developmental) • Examples: • psychoanalytic theory • Psychopathy

  13. The Psychopath • Lack empathy and guilt • Highly manipulative • Emotionally shallow • Often outwardly charming • History of violence & abuse • Abnormal physiological responses to stressors

  14. Sociological Approaches • Micro sociology emphasizes social processes • Example: learning the symbols of a culture/subculture • Macrosociology emphasizes social structures • Example: class inequalities cause crime