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Why Are Humans Violent? The Psychological Reason We Hurt Each Other. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com July 30, 2014 | Like this article?

Why Are Humans Violent? The Psychological Reason We Hurt Each Other

Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. From the crises in the Middle East to mass shootings in U.S. schools to the reckless striving for wealth and world domination, there is one overarching theme that almost never gets media coverage—the sense of insignificance that drives destructive acts. Why would it not follow that the same factors are at play in social and cultural upheavals? The sense of insignificance and death anxiety have been shown to play a key role in everything from terrorism to mass shootings to extremist religious and political ideologies to obsessions with materialism and wealth. So before we rush to judgment about the basis of violence in our world, we would do well to heed the terror management theorists and consider missing pieces of the puzzle. How do we prevent such terrorizing cycles from continuing to arise?

Social structure theories

Crimes. In ordinary language, the term crime denotes an unlawful act punishable by a state.[1] The term "crime" does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,[2] though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes.[3] The most popular view is that crime is a category created by law; in other words, something is a crime if declared as such by the relevant and applicable law.[2] One proposed definition is that a crime or offence (or criminal offence) is an act harmful not only to some individual or individuals but also to a community, society or the state ("a public wrong").

Crimes

Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law.[1][4] Usually, to be classified as a crime, the "act of doing something criminal" (actus reus) must – with certain exceptions – be accompanied by the "intention to do something criminal" (mens rea).[4]

Types of crime

Correlates of crime. Many different correlates of crime have been proposed with varying degrees of empirical support.

Correlates of crime

The causes of crime is one of the major research areas in criminology. A large number of narrow and broad theories have been proposed for explaining crime. These must then be scrutinized further because correlation does not imply causation. Taboo. A taboo is a vehement prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred or too accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake, under threat of supernatural punishment.[1][2] Such prohibitions are present in virtually all societies.[1] The word has been somewhat expanded in the social sciences to strong prohibitions relating to any area of human activity or custom that is sacred or forbidden based on moral judgment and religious beliefs.

Taboo

[citation needed] "Breaking a taboo" is usually considered objectionable by society in general, not merely a subset of a culture. Etymology[edit] Not one of them would sit down, or eat a bit of any thing.... On expressing my surprise at this, they were all taboo, as they said; which word has a very comprehensive meaning; but, in general, signifies that a thing is forbidden.[4] When any thing is forbidden to be eaten, or made use of, they say, that it is taboo.[5] Examples[edit] Function[edit]

Schools of thought on criminology

Law. "Legal concept" redirects here.

Law

Lady Justice, a symbol of justice. She is depicted as a goddess equipped with three items: a sword, symbolising the coercive power of a court; scales, representing an objective standard by which competing claims are weighed; and a blindfold indicating that justice should be impartial and meted out objectively, without fear or favor and regardless of money, wealth, power or identity.[1] Law is a term which does not have a universally accepted definition,[2] but one definition is that law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour.[3] Laws can be made by legislatures through legislation (resulting in statutes), the executive through decrees and regulations, or judges through binding precedents (normally in common law jurisdictions). Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including (in some jurisdictions) arbitration agreements that exclude the normal court process.

Common law. Legal systems of the world[original research?]

Common law

Common law Bijuridical/mixed (civil and common law) A "common law system" is a legal system that gives great precedential weight to common law,[2] on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different occasions.[3] The body of precedent is called "common law" and it binds future decisions.

In cases where the parties disagree on what the law is, a common law court looks to past precedential decisions of relevant courts. If a similar dispute has been resolved in the past, the court is usually bound to follow the reasoning used in the prior decision (this principle is known as stare decisis). Sociology of law. The sociology of law (or legal sociology) is often described as a sub-discipline of sociology or an interdisciplinary approach within legal studies.[1] Some see sociology of law as belonging "necessarily" to the field of sociology[2] whilst others tend to consider it a field of research caught up between the disciplines of law and sociology.[3] Still others regard it neither as a sub-discipline of sociology nor as a branch of legal studies but as a field of research on its own right within the broader social science tradition.

Sociology of law

Sociology of law also benefits from and occasionally draws on research conducted within other fields such as comparative law, critical legal studies, jurisprudence, legal theory, law and economics and law and literature. Intellectual origins[edit] The roots of the sociology of law can be traced back to the works of sociologists and jurists of the turn of the previous century. Theodor Geiger developed a close-knit analysis of the Marxist theory of law. Lawrence M. Criminal law. Statutory law. Codified law[edit] The term codified law refers to statutes that have been organized ("codified") by subject matter; in this narrower sense, some but not all statutes are considered "codified.

Statutory law

" The entire body of codified statute is referred to as a "code," such as the United States Code, the Ohio Revised Code or the Code of Canon Law. The substantive provisions of the Act could be codified (arranged by subject matter) in one or more titles of the United States Code while the "effective date" provisions—remaining uncodified—would be available by reference to the United States Statutes at Large.

Forensics

Crime prevention. Crime prevention is the attempt to reduce and deter crime and criminals.

Crime prevention

It is applied specifically to efforts made by governments to reduce crime, enforce the law, and maintain criminal justice. Crime prevention through environmental design. Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) is a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design.

Crime prevention through environmental design

CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts. Generally speaking, most implementations of CPTED occur solely within the urbanized, built environment. Crime statistics. Crime statistics attempt to provide statistical measures of crime committed in societies. Given that crime is usually secretive by nature, measurements of it are likely to be inaccurate.

Several methods for measuring crime exist, including household surveys, hospital or insurance records, and compilations by police and similar law enforcement agencies. Typically official crime statistics are the latter, but some offences are likely to go unreported to the police. Fear of crime. The fear of crime refers to the fear of being a victim of crime as opposed to the actual probability of being a victim of crime.[1][2] The fear of crime, along with fear of the streets and the fear of youth, is said to have been in Western culture for "time immemorial".[3] While fear of crime can be differentiated into public feelings, thoughts and behaviors about the personal risk of criminal victimization, distinctions can also be made between the tendency to see situations as fearful, the actual experience while in those situations, and broader expressions about the cultural and social significance of crime and symbols of crime in people's neighborhoods and in their daily, symbolic lives.[4][5] Importantly, feelings, thoughts and behaviors can have a number of functional and dysfunctional effects on individual and group life, depending on actual risk and people's subjective approaches to danger.

International Crime Victims Survey. Why victims surveys[edit] Reliable Crime statistics are hard to come by. Crimes recorded by the police and other authorities are a main source of information but have their limitations, these limitations are discussed in the Crime statistics article. An alternative is a victimisation survey (or victim study) in which a random sample of the population is asked about their experiences with crime and victimisation. Many countries have such surveys. They give a much better account for the volume crimes but are less accurate for crimes that occur with a (relative) low frequency such as homicide, or victimless 'crimes' such as drug (ab)use. International comparison[edit] Victimology. Victimology is the study of victimization, including the relationships between victims and offenders, the interactions between victims and the criminal justice system — that is, the police and courts, and corrections officials — and the connections between victims and other social groups and institutions, such as the media, businesses, and social movements.[1] Victimology is however not restricted to the study of victims of crime alone but may include other forms of human rights violations.

[citation needed] Victim of a crime[edit] In criminology and criminal law, a victim of a crime is an identifiable person who has been harmed individually and directly by the perpetrator, rather than by society as a whole. However, this may not always be the case, as with victims of white collar crime, who may not be clearly identifiable or directly linked to crime against a particular individual. Biosocial criminology. Biosocial criminology is an interdisciplinary field that aims to explain crime and antisocial behavior by exploring both biological factors and environmental factors. While contemporary criminology has been dominated by sociological theories, biosocial criminology also recognizes the potential contributions of fields such as genetics, neuropsychology, and evolutionary psychology.[1] Approaches[edit] Environment[edit] Environment has a significant effect on genetic expression. Disadvantaged environments enhance antisocial gene expression, suppress prosocial gene action and prevent the realization of genetic potential.[1]

Genetics. Genetics (from the Ancient Greek γενετικός genetikos meaning "genitive"/"generative", in turn from γένεσις genesis meaning "origin"),[1][2][3] a field in biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms.[4][5] Evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychology (EP) is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations – that is, the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection.

Adaptationist thinking about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is common in evolutionary biology. Some evolutionary psychologists apply the same thinking to psychology, arguing that the mind has a modular structure similar to that of the body, with different modular adaptations serving different functions. Neuropsychology. Neuropsychology studies the structure and function of the brain as they relate to specific psychological processes and behaviors.

It is seen as a clinical and experimental field of psychology that aims to study, assess, understand and treat behaviors directly related to brain functioning. The term neuropsychology has been applied to lesion studies in humans and animals. Sociology. Deviance (sociology) Anthropological criminology. History[edit] The physiognomist Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741–1801) was one of the first to suggest a link between facial figures and crime.[1] Victor Hugo referred to his work in Les Misérables, about what he would have said about Thénardier's face. Criminology. Penology. Has Jack the Ripper Finally Been Solved? Now a private researcher, Russell Edwards, claims that he has finally solved the case. First I will present his story without comment, and then we can take a skeptical look at it.

Edwards claims he acquired a blood-stained shawl in 2007 that is supposed to be from Catherine Eddowes, one of the five fairly accepted victims of the Ripper. The shawl was apparently recovered from the scene of Eddowes murder, and was covered in her blood. Acting Sergeant Amos Simpson took the shawl home as a gift for his wife. She was, apparently, not impressed and stored the shawl away without cleaning it.