Classical School vs. Positivism

as thinking about why people commit crime


Free will. People have free will to choose their behavior. Crime as a choice, is more attractive to some than abiding by the law. People may refrain from crime if the punishment or pain for it may be greater than the gain from it


versus influence by internal and external factors. Role of science for understanding causes and control of crime

Classical is philosophy


Positivism is theory and science


Who founded Classical Criminology?

Beccaria and Bentham - 18th century

Classical theory: Utilitarianism:

people want to pursue pleasure, avoid pain.


Wrote essay on crime and punishment. 44 chapters. Moderate in punishment. Pope banned his book. People have the freedom to think, reason, and choose

Deterrent: Baccaria:

Must be certain, swift, severe yet proportionate to crime, and public

Who founded positivism criminology?

Lombroso. 19th-20th century

Positivism theroy:

"A school of social science that sees criminal and delinquent behavior as the result of biological, psychological and social forces." These internal and external forces are not under the individual's control. Scientific methods can be used to understand the causes of crime. Because wrongdoers are driven to deviance by external factors, they should not be punished but treated to lessen the influence of those factors. Because wrong doers are driven to deviance by external factors, they should not be punished but treated to lessen the influence of those factors

Head shape and crime:

Phrenology: Gall

Ceaser Lombroso:

"father of criminology": Serious offenders are born criminals Born criminals have "atavistic anomalies" - they resemble savages
Criminogenic traits are inherited. theory, and most early positivist claims, were discredited (not valid)

Positivism: Biological determinism:

Lombroso: behavior determined by your physical traits.

Sociological Criminology:

late 19 century- early 20th century. Distinct perspective - behavior influenced by social factors age, gender, poverty, drinking, based on science. Modern criminology has sociological thought as its base

who was part in social criminology:

Emilie Durkheim

Emile Durkkeim:

Crime always exists, normal and necessary
Wrongdoing defines what is right, creates group cohesiveness, punishment reinforces our values
Crime is functional, ensures creativity and independent thought. Crime calls attention to social problems


makes crime, norm violation more likely. without norms, loss of moral guidance and confusion about behavior, consequence of industrialized, urban society.