“Critically discuss who and what were the focus of early criminological theories.”
Cut off date is 1970
Might want to take one of the earlier ones
– Focus on how they are different but also the same.
– (Lombroso/ biological theories/ eugenics) and compare it to sociological comparisons.
– How they’re similar in what they’re looking for.
– How they shift from looking at the individual to perhaps groups.
– In regards to subcultural theories mention about how they focus on the working class, males and white British subcultures. They don’t touch on the middle class or ethnic minorities (The Chinese would have been in triads, yet they’re not researched).
Why did they think biology was important.
Can challenge question, saying that there wasn’t just one simple focus.
Perhaps they focused on what made the criminal AND how to prevent it.
Sociology focuses on what they do and where they go in their lives.
– All have one thing in common.
– They don’t ask questions as to why people DONT commit deviant acts and instead focus on those that do.
– They’re all concerned with the causes of crime. All attempts to get at the causes of crime, they believe that there is a truth there. They are all in this way positivist.
– Think about what positivism means in the essay.
– Put in photos – if talking about Lombroso and body types put the picture in. It adds to the impact of the essay.
– Don’t go for more than two theories – spend some time describing the theory, telling the reader of what it consists of before analysing it.
– Why are there any theories at all? Why did criminology start? What is the context in which these theories developed? A lot of it was developed in America, Britain then has their own developments but Britain and America are different societies.
– One of the big differences between America and the UK is that America had a much larger black and immigrant community in the slums (such as Chicago). Britain didn’t have these larger groups until ww2. There were pockets but not large communities.
– There are no black focus theories. The researchers probably weren’t aware of how select they had been.
– Decide what do they focus on and what DONT they focus on. They may focus on things consciously and unconsciously
Can reiterate some of the points in the conclusion but show what was stated at the start.
Can talk about how some theories have influenced current criminology (perhaps how biological theories have made a come back) and how people think about crime and criminals today.
The theories haven’t just stayed in a textbook they have penetrated the public consciousness.
– Certain theories really encourage certain stereotypes. They are very widespread
– The idea that a whole area is bad is very much a Chicago type idea.
– The idea that criminals congregate in a certain area but what about middle-class criminals. White-collar crime tends to have wider implications but tends to go unknown until there is something dramatic like a financial crash.
– Criminals are a throwback to primitive man.
White colonial theory that ethnic minorities are inferior in some type of way.
Based on a Darwinian theory
Shooting a black slave wasn’t considered a crime – criminologists don’t really look at this.
The way white people have treated indigenous settlements were not a crime, throwing people off a cliff, baking poisoned cakes.
– There’s a big gap looking at a post-colonial point of view.
– Rebellion: second-generation Jamaicans rebelled because they realised that they weren’t being accepted.
They never talk about who defines the criminal – they assume that there is an assumption that there is an agreed normal, conventional morality (may want to look at Beccaria and Bentham, cost/benefit analysis). It’s one of the few schools of thought that states that potentially anyone can be a criminal