skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 66527 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: EVOLUTION OF CRIMINOLOGY
Author(s): W V PELFREY
Corporate Author: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 122
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-NI-AX-0050
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HISTORY OF CRIMINOLOGY IS REVIEWED FROM ITS 18TH CENTURY ORIGINS THROUGH A PROGRESSION OF DOMINANT THEORIES TO THE CURRENT DICHOTOMY OF THE FIELD, DIVIDED INTO FUNCTIONALIST AND CONFLICT SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT.
Abstract: CRIMINOLOGY, A SEPARATE DISCIPLINE CONCERNED WITH CRIME, CONFLICT, AND CONTROL, EMERGED WITH THE PUBLICATION OF BECCARIA'S 'ESSAY ON CRIMES AND PUNISHMENT' IN 1764. THIS WORK FOUNDED THE CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF CRIMINOLOGY BASED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF FREE WILL. THE CLASSICAL SCHOOL VIEWS PUNISHMENT AS THE EFFECTIVE DETERRENT OF CRIME. THE POSITIVE SCHOOL AROSE IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURY IN OPPOSITION TO THE HARSHNESS OF CLASSICAL THOUGHT AND TO THE DISREGARD OF CRIME CAUSES. THIS WAS AN APPROACH BASED ON SCIENTIFIC DETERMINISM AND THE STUDY OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. FATHERED BY THE WORK OF CESARE LOMBROSO, IT DELINEATED A CLASSIFICATION OF CRIMINALS. THE SOCIOLOGY OF CRIMINOLOGY, A DEVELOPMENT OF THE 1950'S, ARGUES AGAINST POSITIVISTIC ASSUMPTIONS AND THE STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL OFFENDERS. IT MAINTAINS THAT THE LEGAL CRITERION IS THE ONLY STANDARD DISTINGUISHING THE CRIMINAL FROM THE NONCRIMINAL BUT DIVERGES FROM THIS TENET INTO TWO DISTINCT BRANCHES. FUNCTIONALISM, ESPOUSED BY THINKERS SUCH AS DURKHEIM, RADCLIFFEE-BROWN, AND MERTON, VIEWS CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR AS HAVING COMMON ROOTS IN THE CUSTOMS OF SOCIETY. IN CONTRAST, THE MOST RECENT SCHOOL OF CRIMINOLOGY, BASED ON THE CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE OF MARXISM, SUGGESTS THAT SOCIETY IS AN ARENA IN WHICH STRUGGLES OVER SCARCE COMMODITIES TAKE PLACE. CRIMINAL LAW, A TOOL OF THE RULING CLASS, PROVIDES THE STATE WITH COERCIVE FORCE TO REPRESS THE RULED. EARLY POSITIVIST CRIMINOGENIC THEORIES WERE BIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL. LATER SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES EVOLVING CONCURRENTLY CAN BE DIVIDED INTO CONTROL, CULTURAL DEVIANCE, STRAIN, AND SYMBOLIC INTERACTION THEORIES. THE HISTORICAL EVOLUTION HAS PROGRESSED FROM EMPHASIS ON THE ACT TO THE ACTOR AND FINALLY TO SOCIETY ITSELF. THE RADICAL 'NEW CRIMINOLOGY' FOCUSES ON SOCIAL CONFLICT AND QUESTIONS THE POWER ROLE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS AND THE VALIDITY OF THE WRITTEN LAW. REFERENCES AND AN INDEX ARE PROVIDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Conflict theory; Criminology; Labeling theory; Psychological theories; Radical criminology; Social control theory; Sociology; Subculture theory
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66527

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.