• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Any account of the development of criminology should begin by looking back to Europe in the late 18th century

Extracts from this document...


Any account of the development of criminology should begin by looking back to Europe in the late 18th century. This was a time of great social upheaval and change. Science was beginning to be a new force and, for the first time, it began to challenge the doctrines of established religion in seeking to explain social phenomenon including crime and deviance. Up until this point any thoughts or discussions on crime and deviance had mainly centred on the Christian church's belief that criminals were no different from 'ordinary' people, but that their deviant behaviour was merely evidence of mans inherent 'sinful state'. (The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 2002) Beccaria's book 'Of Crime and Punishment' published in 1764, was one of the first books to attempt to analyse criminal behaviour using this new scientific approach. He wrote a critique of the existing legal systems claiming that they were unfair. He said they were unfairly biased towards privileged members of society. He was also one of the first so suggest that punishments should be appropriate to the crime committed and claimed that this would help 'rational' people to make decisions not to commit crime. ...read more.


Bowlby concluded from this that offending may be caused by an interruption of the attachment process between an infant and its mother (or primary caregiver) during the infant's formative years. He called this his 'maternal deprivation hypothesis' and claimed that 'emotional deprivation' and disturbance to the normal attachment process will have an adverse effect on normal social development which, he claimed, would lead to criminal behaviour in later life. (Psychology for AS Level, 2003). While both theories discussed previously are 'individual' theories of crime, there are also many 'social' theories, which look, not at the individual, but at society as a whole to try and explain what role it may have in creating crime and criminals. One of these social or environmental theories is Durkheim's functionalist theory of criminology. Durkheim claimed that there is crime in all societies and that it is in fact 'an integral part of all healthy societies' (Durkheim, cited in Haralambos, 2004). He said that it is actually healthy to have some level of crime as, by looking at and defining crime, society can establish and enforce what it defines as right and moral. ...read more.


They claim that even though those crimes committed by the powerful are more damaging they receive much less punishment than those committed by the less powerful. They also claim that when crimes are committed by the disadvantaged people in society it is done for reasons of 'subsistence' that is, they feel it is necessary because they cannot afford to by the things they need, whereas the powerful are motivated by greed, something that is actively encouraged by capitalist society. Over the years there has been a gradual shift from theories that seek to find the individual criminal responsible for their behaviours and deviancies to ones that look to society at large for explanations of crime and deviancy. We can see that each theory is a product of its time. Each is influenced by other scientific ideas around at the time they were proposed. If we look at the theories that have been proposed in chronological order we can see how later theories often contain elements of previous ones. There has been clear scientific progress made in criminology over the last 150 years. It has developed from unscientific 'common sense' thinking into complex, highly organised schools of thought, with genuine scientific principles. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Teenage Suicide in the United States - comparing suicide rates in Europe and East ...

    Russia is then followed by Lithuania, Finland, Latvia and Slovenia. Though, what is interesting to consider is that Sweden is placed on the 18th place with 10 suicides in 100,000 (Kanalley).Sweden's rate is actually similar to that of the U.S, which is low compared to the rates of other European countries (Reiss, et al.).

  2. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    Such religious subcultures may encourage respectability and conformity. Key Pryce (1979) found in the black community is Bristol identified a variety of subcultures or lifestyles including hustlers, Rastafarians, saints and working class respectable. Left realists argue criminal subcultures still subscribe to values and goals of mainstream society such as materialism and consumerism.

  1. The Classical School of Criminology

    Our criminal justice system proves to be a lenient one by definition of its duration of sentences, thereby, lowering its efficacy-but nothing states that doing so is prohibited. If a punishment is excessively harsher than the crime, it can be considered a vengeance by the state (Beccaria, 1764, p.280-281), defies

  2. Child Called It

    The two bothers thought that it was acceptable to hit their younger brother. When a child normalized abuse, they being hit other children and punish them for doing something wrong. When a child thinks that child abuse is okay, they are at a higher risk of becoming a child abuser

  1. Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century

    From past to present, in relation to this question, crime statistics have lowered and there has been a regeneration of most buildings making Whitechapel a successful town in which new businesses and accommodation are appearing frequently. Whitechapel has left its shadows of the terrible poverty and crime and is now a growing town.

  2. "Deviance is normal" - In what sense is this true?

    Supporting this view point that it is not just the individual thought for being deviant and society must play a key role is the "Labeling theory". Which originates from the interactionalist prospective, and suggest that we are deviant and that deviance is social constructed and created by social definitions.

  1. How does positive criminology differ from classical criminology in its approach to understanding criminology ...

    They think that this is human nature. They believed that each one of us is a potential criminal, and that crime provides a short cut way to getting what we need. Responsibility- the classical school believed that if we do something wrong or do something at the expence of someone

  2. Describe competing criminological theories

    It is common to reduce the explanation of a person's score, such as a high N (neuroticism), high E (extroversion), and high P (psychoticism). Every type of personality has noticeable characteristics. A person with a score of a high E would be sociable, cheerful, positive, bright and spontaneous.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work