Explain What Criminology Is and Give an Account of at Least Two Different Theories That Claim to Explain Criminal Behaviour

Topics: Crime, Criminology, Sigmund Freud Pages: 4 (1197 words) Published: January 13, 2011
Explain what Criminology is and give an account of at least two different theories that claim to explain Criminal Behaviour

This essay is going to explain a crime definition, criminology development and two different crime theories: biological and psychological. Crimes have been an inseparable companion of humanity. It occures everywhere, from upper to lower class, but as long as there are people, there will always be crime. And due to this fact, along with the flow of time, the need of studying crime emerged. So what is crime? According to Oxford Dictionaries: an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/crime?view=uk)

However the law is not the same in every country, thus a second definition, in my words, would be more accurate: socially constructed concept that changes over time and place and relates to many behaviours that go against the morals of society and actions that cause harm. Sources to look at that promote me theory would be the Sage Dictionary of Criminology and Introductory Criminology textbooks.

Around the1870s the classical theory, was replaced with new one - the biological approach. This approach stated that an individual might be driven to commite a crime by abnormalities he/she had been born with. Abnormalities such as involving body function/health and facial details could determine that an individual is a criminal or not. The idea itself was meant to isolate those qualified as "bad people" from the society beforehand. This particular approach excluded those whom were born different and made rational reasoning and free will unavailable to them- one was simply born a criminal or not. (Akers 2000: p.42)

Cesare Lombroso is most known for one of the biggest contributions to a biological approach. In 1876 he published The Criminal Man where he described his conclusions after comparing body features of Italian prisoners and Italian soldiers. Lombroso called...
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