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Schools of thought on criminology

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Positivist school. In criminology, the Positivist School has attempted to find scientific objectivity for the measurement and quantification of criminal behavior.

Positivist school

As the scientific method became the major paradigm in the search for all knowledge, the Classical School's social philosophy was replaced by the quest for scientific laws that would be discovered by experts. It is divided into Biological, Psychological and Social. Biological positivism[edit] If Charles Darwin's Theory of evolution was scientific as applied to animals, the same approach should be applied to "man" as an "animal".

Biology. History The objects of our research will be the different forms and manifestations of life, the conditions and laws under which these phenomena occur, and the causes through which they have been effected.


The science that concerns itself with these objects we will indicate by the name biology [Biologie] or the doctrine of life [Lebenslehre]. Although modern biology is a relatively recent development, sciences related to and included within it have been studied since ancient times. Cesare Lombroso. Cesare Lombroso (born Ezechia Marco Lombroso; Italian: [ˈtʃɛzare lombˈroso]; 6 November 1835 – 19 October 1909), was an Italian criminologist, physician, and founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology.

Cesare Lombroso

Lombroso rejected the established Classical School, which held that crime was a characteristic trait of human nature. Instead, using concepts drawn from physiognomy, early eugenics, psychiatry and Social Darwinism, Lombroso's theory of anthropological criminology essentially stated that criminality was inherited, and that someone "born criminal" could be identified by physical defects, which confirmed a criminal as savage, or atavistic. Life[edit] Concept of criminal atavism[edit] Italian school of criminology. The Italian school of criminology was founded at the end of the 19th century by Cesare Lombroso (1835–1909) and two of his Italian disciples, Enrico Ferri (1856–1929) and Raffaele Garofalo (1851–1934).

Italian school of criminology

Lombroso's conception of the "atavistic born criminal"[edit] The central idea of Lombroso's work came to him as he autopsied the body of a notorious Italian criminal named Giuseppe Villela. 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.

Anthropological criminology

Franz Joseph Gall then developed in 1810 his work on craniology, in which he alleged that crime was one of the behaviors organically controlled by a specific area of the brain. The philosopher Jacob Fries (1773–1843) also suggested a link between crime and physical appearance when he published a criminal anthropology handbook in 1820. Positivism. Poverty. Poverty is general scarcity or dearth, or the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money.[1] Absolute poverty or destitution refers to the deprivation of basic human needs, which commonly includes food, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter, health care and education.


Relative poverty is defined contextually as economic inequality in the location or society in which people live.[2][3] After the industrial revolution, mass production in factories made production goods increasingly less expensive and more accessible. Of more importance is the modernization of agriculture, such as fertilizers, to provide enough yield to feed the population.[4] The supply of basic needs can be restricted by constraints on government services such as corruption, tax avoidance, debt and loan conditionalities and by the brain drain of health care and educational professionals. Etymology The English word "poverty" via Anglo-Norman povert. Population density. Population density (people per km2) by country, 2006.

Population density

Population density (people per km2) map of the world in 1994 (detailed). Population density (people per km2) map of the world in 1994. Deserts around the world. Compare with maps above. See also this image for location of densely populated areas (cities) in various vegetation zones. Gender. Alcohol. Ball-and-stick model of the hydroxyl (-OH) functional group in an alcohol molecule (R3COH).


The three "R's" stand for carbon substituents or hydrogen atoms.[1] The hydroxyl (-OH) functional group with bond angle. Crime statistics. Crime statistics attempt to provide statistical measures of crime committed in societies.

Crime statistics

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. Or not all types of offences are reported constantly and completely as they occur. Public surveys are sometimes conducted to estimate the amount of crime not reported to police. Statistics on crime are gathered and reported by many countries, They are of particular interest to several international organizations, including Interpol and the United Nations. Two major methods for collecting crime data are law enforcement reports, which only reflect reported crimes and victimization statistical surveys.

Counting rules[edit] Education. School children sitting in the shade of an orchard in Bamozai, near Gardez, Paktya Province, Afghanistan A right to education has been recognized by some governments.


At the global level, Article 13 of the United Nations' 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes the right of everyone to an education.[2] Although education is compulsory in most places up to a certain age, attendance at school often isn't, and a minority of parents choose home-schooling, e-learning or similar for their children. Etymology[edit] Etymologically, the word "education" is derived from the Latin ēducātiō ("A breeding, a bringing up, a rearing") from ēdūcō ("I educate, I train") which is related to the homonym ēdūcō ("I lead forth, I take out; I raise up, I erect") from ē- ("from, out of") and dūcō ("I lead, I conduct").[3]

Differential association. In criminology, Differential Association is a theory developed by Edwin Sutherland proposing that through interaction with others, individuals learn the values, attitudes, techniques, and motives for criminal behavior. Differential association predicts that an individual will choose the criminal path when the balance of definitions for law-breaking exceeds those for law-abiding. This tendency will be reinforced if social association provides active people in the person's life. Earlier in life the individual comes under the influence of those of high status within that group, the more likely the individual to follow in their footsteps. This does not deny that there may be practical motives for crime. If a person is hungry but has no money, there is a temptations to steal. Subculture. In sociology, and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people within a culture that differentiates themselves from the larger culture to which they belong.

The term subculture has become deprecated among some researchers, who prefer the term co-culture, in order to avoid the connotations of inferiority associated with the "sub-" prefix.[1][2] While exact definitions vary, the Oxford English Dictionary defines the term as "a cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture. Anti-social behaviour. Anti-social behaviour is behaviour that lacks consideration for others and may cause damage to the society, whether intentionally or through negligence. This is the opposite of pro-social behaviour, which helps or benefits the society.[1] Anti-social behaviour is labelled as such when it is deemed contrary to prevailing norms for social conduct. This encompasses a large spectrum of actions. A wide variety of other activities are deemed anti-social behaviours.[2] Criminal and civil laws in various countries attempt to offer remedies for anti-social behaviour.

Social development[edit] Intent and discrimination may determine both pro- and anti-social behaviour. Classical school. Chicago school (sociology) Concentric zone model. Juvenile delinquency. In recent years in the US the average age for first arrest has dropped significantly, and younger boys and girls are committing crimes. Between 60–80% percent of adolescents, and pre-adolescents engage in some form of juvenile offense.[2] These can range from status offenses (such as underage smoking), to property crimes and violent crimes. The percent of teens who offend is so high that it would seem to be a cause for worry. However, juvenile offending can be considered normative adolescent behavior.[2] This is because most teens tend to offend by committing non-violent crimes, only once or a few times, and only during adolescence. It is when adolescents offend repeatedly or violently that their offending is likely to continue beyond adolescence, and become increasingly violent.

It is also likely that if this is the case, they began offending and displaying antisocial behavior even before reaching adolescence.[3] Social ecology. Social ecology is a critical social theory founded by Green author and activist Murray Bookchin.