Compare and Contrast the Ideas Put Forward by Classicist and Positivist Criminologies to Explain Why People Commit Crime

Topics: Sociology, Crime, Psychology Pages: 1 (316 words) Published: April 1, 2009
Compare and contrast the ideas put forward by classicist and positivist criminologists to explain why people commit crime. Firstly I am going to look at classicism and assess what arguments they put forward as to why people commit crime. I will now observe the ideas put forward by positivism when it comes to explaining reasons why people crime. “However one important problem with twin studies is the lack of clarity about the sort of characteristics that are supposed to be passed on. This is important, as variations might reveal themselves in quite different forms of behaviour”. (Burke 2005:59) A further biological explanation of crime considers abnormalities in the genetic structure. Studies have looked at incarcerated criminals and focused on individuals with an XYY chromosome, to explain why people commit crime. “Casey (1965) and Neilson (1968) conducted the first major studies. They found that men with an extra Y chromosome tend to be very tall and generally low in intelligence. Many of these earlier examples were found to have histories of criminal and aggressive behaviour with theft and violent assault common offences”. (Burke 2005:62) A range of criticisms has been made about genetic structure theories. However the most important which this theory can’t explain is that “there are thousands of perfectly, normal and harmless people in the general population who have an extra Y chromosome”. (Burke2005:62) I will now look at psychological explanations of crime. Freud developed the psychoanalytical model; he believed that the human personality has three sets of interacting forces. The first is called the id. The second is called the superego; this controls the unconscious part of the brain. Lastly is the ego, which controls the conscious personality. Freud proposed different models of criminal behaviour. One of them views certain criminal activity, for example arson, shoplifting and some sexual offences as reflecting the state of mental disturbance or...
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