Biological and Classical School

Topics: Criminology, Sociology, Crime Pages: 4 (1265 words) Published: July 12, 2010
The Classical School of criminology emerged during the eighteenth century after the European Enlightenment period. It was during this time that law enforcement and laws were disparate and unjust and punishment was brutal. Members of the Classical School would demand justice that based on equality and human punishment that was appropriate for the offense. According to Williams and McShane 2009, the Classical School was uninterested in studying the criminal per se; it gained its association with criminology through its focus on lawmaking and legal processing. The Positive School of criminology focused on explaining and understanding social behavior of criminals. The members of this school used the approach to the study of crime, which became known as criminology. Positivists saw behavior as determined by its biological, psychological, and social traits (Williams & McShane, 2009). This paper will compare and contrast the Biology/Biosocial theory of the Positive School theory of crime and the Classical School theory of crime. Positive School

The Positive School began around the late nineteenth century. Auguste Comte, a French philosopher and social scientist from the nineteenth-century, did the majority of the system analysis that constitutes sociological positivism today (Williams & McShane, 2009). Cesare Lombroso, who is the father of modern criminology, conducted studies in which he was trying to figure out what causes a person to be criminal. From this study, Lombroso coined the term atavism to suggest that criminality was the result of primitive urges that, in modern-day human throwbacks, survived the evolutionary process (Schmalleger, 2006). These studies led to the biological theory of the Positive School.

Criminal behavior results from a complex combination of social and biological factors. Social factors are reflection of environmental sources of influence, like socioeconomic status. Biological factors are more inclusive,...
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