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The Dormant Roots and the Open Faces of Crime - Essay Example

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The systematic study of criminals, the criminal behviour, its impact on other members of the society and the strategies for preventing it is under the purview of Criminology. It is a relatively novel discipline of scientific enquiry, having been developed from the twin disciplines of sociology and Psychology…
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The Dormant Roots and the Open Faces of Crime
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Download file to see previous pages This has resulted in a plethora of theories, which has been relegated as obsolete information. Christian thought stressed the personal responsibility in wrongdoing and the gateway to return from the path of wrong is repentance, the aim of which is the ultimate salvation of the individual soul. Till the end of the eighteenth century the study of criminal interest was the domain, chiefly of reformers.
19th century witnessed more attempts to study crime as a science, which has to be studied with the tools of experimentation and statistical evidence to arrive at objective scientific conclusions. The early flowering of the study of crime took many directions in a somewhat phased manner over the course of time finally in the past two decades blossomed in to overabundance of theories due to a host of divergent and complementary movements.
Today's world is postmodern, multicultural, post -Marxian, post-feminist and post-structural. After the death-knell of many movements that appeared on the social life of modern societies with great fanfare, people have discarded simplistic notions of life and are more prepared to appreciate the reality of the complexities of social behaviour. The traditional one-dimensional explanations of crime and its prevention, which visualized human beings and societies in to watertight compartments is hardly convincing today. While the old school had glimpses of truth, the analysis and conclusions are inadequate and do not consider some of the essential factors before pronouncing their verdicts on the roots of crime and its expressions. The present day scholarship across the world is demanding a more integrated approach to the study of criminal behaviour and its reduction.
A significant work of early days of criminology, The Criminal Man, 1876, by the Italian scholar Lombroso asserted that criminals are separate physical and biological type. His over simplistic identification of the criminal type are based on physical traits, like a long lower jaw, asymmetric cranium and a few other external detectable conditions. These traits according to him indicated an inherent propensity to crime. He taught that the propensity toward crime was due to a primitive level of human development, which asserts atavistic tendencies.
Lombroso's theories now enjoys only the value of a historic curiosity as their formulation have not been accompanied enough research and statistical data analysis so as to be recognized as theories of universal applicability. The study was conducted in a limited geographic frame. The study was conducted on people who get convicted, comparing them with people who are free. Even in the modern days of sophisticated crime tracking the number of people who get arrested are very few and among them most of them are acquitted due to the loopholes of law. Gault quotes Garofalo who says: The fact is well known that not the half of those guilty of established crimes are brought to justice (94). So one may be weighing against criminals and non-criminals, with criminals, or criminals in jail with unapprehended criminals. Gault while admiring Lombroso, as a trailer blazer in the infancy of criminology, derides his simplistic conclusions in a most complex behaviour of humans. Lombroso's was a too simple formulation of an extraordinarily complex problem (94).
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