ARE WE BORN DEVIANT??? L.O: To know the biological explanation for C&D To know the psychological explanation for C&D
CESARE LOMBROSO• Lombroso was a writer who attempted to explain crime scientifically as he believed that there was a biological explanation as to why people committed crime.• Positivist or Interpretivist?? • L.O: To know the biological explanation for C&D
• There have been a range of researchers who have drawn on other disciplines such as psychology to explain criminal behaviour.• These approaches all have the view that people who engage in criminal activity are somewhat different from the rest of us! • L.O: To know the biological explanation for C&D
Genes? Childhood experiences?• L.O: To know the biological explanation for C&D
This is against the views ofsociologists as we believe that crimeand deviance is socially constructed. In order to define whether something is criminal or deviant depends on the meanings and interpretations of behaviour. Even crime statistics are sociallyconstructed, determined by decisions based on interpretations which can change over time and place.
As sociologists what kind ofthings do you think we look at to explain crime?
What makes a criminal?• Social class?• Age?• Gender?• Ethnicity?• Culture?• Subculture?
• Lombrosos theory suggested that criminals are distinguished from non-criminals by multiple physical anomalies. He believed that criminals represented a primitive or subhuman type of man characterized by physical features reminiscent of apes, lower primates, and the early man. He referred to these as "throwbacks". • L.O: To know the biological explanation for C&D
• Lombroso based his study on the inmates of Italian prisons. • He found that the biological characteristics of the criminals were signs of their inborn criminal nature. They had ‘enormous jaws, high cheek bones, low sloping forehead, hawk-like noses and fleshy lips.’• L.O: To know the biological explanation for C&D
• L.O: To know the biological explanation for C&D
CRITISISMS OF LOMBROSO• The physical characteristics and ill health he identifies, may simply reflect the fact that the inmates were drawn from the poorest sections of Italian society. Therefore factors such as their height, stunted growth, etc., rather than being the causes of their criminality, may just be the result of their poverty.• Lombroso neglects the role of social factors - both as possible causes of crime and deviance, and also in the wider sense that he does not consider that crime and deviance themselves are socially constructed. • L.O: To know the biological explanation for C&D
MORE CRITISISMS...• Lombroso’s sample was unrepresentative. The sample may have been representative of all those in prison, but it would not necessarily have been representative of all criminals – presumably many criminals activities went undetected.• Therefore, a sociological approach would argue (think back to discussion of definitions and social construction) that trying to base a theory of criminality only on the characteristics of the prison population is not a methodologically sound way to proceed • L.O: To know the biological explanation for C&D
HANS EYSENK (1970)• Crime & Personality• Criminality is the result of genetics so individuals are more likely to become criminals depending on the type of personality they are.• Extrovert to Introvert• Questionnaire• Young men who repeatedly offended had large extraversion scores. • L.O: To know the PSYCHOLOGICAL explanation for C&D
Eysenk’s personalitiesPsychoticism Extraversion NeuroticismAggressive Sociable AnxiousAssertive Irresponsible DepressedEgocentric Dominant Guilt FeelingsUnsympathetic Lack of reflection Low self-esteemManipulative Sensation-seeking TenseAchievement- Impulsive MoodyorientedDogmatic Risk-taking HypochondriacMasculine Expressive Lack of autonomyTough-minded Active Obsessive
1. Is Eysenk a Positivist or Interpretivist??? 2. What are the similarities anddifferences between Lombroso’s and Eysenk’s explanations for criminal behaviour?3. Why would sociologists be critical of both the psychological and the biological approaches to crime?
CRITISISMS• Eysenk claimed that extroverts crave excitement, takes chances, are generally impulsive and has to keep moving This is very similar to modern day Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).• Walton & Young (1973)• Esyenk sample were all prisoners. Are all prisoners criminals?• Is this a measure of the effects imprisonment has on a persons personality...rather than what led to their imprisonment?• Does this mean introverts cannot cause crime?• Stereotypes of what criminals are supposedly like could be a contributor to what is considered an extrovert. • L.O: To know the PSYCHOLOGICAL explanation for C&D
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