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Psychoanalytical Theory

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Introduction

Criminology Psychoanalytical Theory Jessica Komperda Dr. Craig Criminal Justice 242 December 8, 2003 Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was the first person to initiate the thought of psychoanalysis. According to Friedlander (1947), classical Freudian psychoanalytic explanations of delinquency focus on abnormalities or disturbances in the individual's emotional development from early childhood. Since then many people have amended his original writings and presently there are numerous versions Freud's original psychoanalytical theory. Many of these recent versions are similar to the original version with the exception that they are updated to current times. Few new models are extremely different from Freud's theory. Adler, Mueller, and Laufer (2004) describe the psychoanalytical theory as follows: "In criminology, a theory of criminality that attributes delinquent and criminal behavior to a conscience that is either so overbearing that it arouses excessive feelings of guilt or so weak that it cannot control the individual's impulses" (p. G-6). Freud stated in the text "The Ego and the Id" (1961) that it was a surprise to find that an increase in the Ucs. sense of guilt can turn people into criminals. But it is undoubtedly a fact. In many criminals, especially youthful ones, it is possible to detect a very powerful sense of guilt which exists before the crime, and is therefore not its result but its motive. It is as if it was a relief to be able to fasten this unconscious sense of guilt on to something real and immediate (p.52). ...read more.

Middle

Displacement is an ego defense mechanism and can be defines as the process for substituting an acceptable goal for an unacceptable goal of an Id motive. In displacement, the Ego resolves a conflict between the Id and the Superego in the real world by making an acceptable compromise. Another defense mechanism is sublimation. This is the process of substituting a socially desirable goal for a socially harmful goal. In sublimation, teenagers often sublimate their sexual energy into a sport. Adults may move themselves into their work rather than to pursue a divorce. The Ego uses many other defense mechanisms to protect it from conflict between the Id and the Superego. These defense mechanisms may be in the form of denial, projection, identification, intellectualization, reaction formation, and aggression. All together, there are about twenty defense mechanisms that the Ego uses. Everyone, at some point and time in their lives, will use some sort of defense mechanisms. Over using these defense mechanisms will, over time, result in the Ego becoming detached from reality and, in time, can cause psychological disorder. Psychoanalysis involves an effort to understand defenses and unconscious motives during self-destructing behaviors (Ackers, 1999). Also included in the psychoanalytical theory is psychosexual development. In psychosexual development there are five stages that humans normally pass. The five stages are the oral, anal, phallic, latent, and genital stages. In the oral stage, which occurs until about one year of life, the Id gratification is fixated on the mouth. ...read more.

Conclusion

We notice at once that there might have been another result, and that we might have been just as well able to understand and explain the latter (p. 226). Empirical studies are having a hard time testing the stages of human development. Critics are agreeing with the studies; that with few little concepts it is hard to understand how different stages of human development lead to criminality and deviance. Along with critics, there have been numerous people studying and advancing Freud's psychoanalytic theory. Two very prominent people are Stanton Samenow and Samuel Yockelson. Together these two men have studied Freud's theory inside and out. They have made numerous contributions to this theory that are still being practiced today. Thanks to these two men, and many others, the psychoanalytic theory is alive and active today. Without their contributions and the contributions of others, the psychoanalytic theory might have become out dated. Many people have discouraged Freud's theory; that one could have psychological problems that dwell deep within the person. However, Freud did not let this hinder his work in any way. He has shown us that the mind is a powerful tool that is capable of many things. Freud's psychoanalytic theory has its advantages as well as disadvantages. Overall, it has made an impact on the study of criminality and deviance. This theory and others have been a building block for which we link crime and deviance to. ...read more.

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