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Cesare Lombroso and Criminal Behaviour - Essay Example

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Lombroso’s positivist criminology established a theory of multiple- factor approach towards the causes of crime.The positivist school of criminology assumed that offenders had features that were not to be found among the non-offenders…
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Cesare Lombroso and Criminal Behaviour
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Download file to see previous pages In the beginning, positivist criminology had many features, such as economisim, biologism, and mental hereditarianism. At that stage, the main objects, namely criminal man, criminality and criminal character, were described and separated by means of the pre-given epistemological boundaries that ensured the separation of the normal from the pathological. This was quite different from classical criminology, which was based upon classical jurisprudence, and was active during the 18th century. As described in the works of Beccaria, Bentham and Romilly, classical criminology was a system of rational and efficient punishment that addressed the actions of volitional legal subjects.
Cesare Lombroso made several important contributions to the science of phrenology. As is well known, this area is regarded as the first major school of criminological thought. It stresses upon understanding behaviour. Typically, this school studies the shape of the skull of the offender, and considers this to be crucial for explaining criminal behaviour. Initially, Lombroso had claimed that offenders differed radically from non-offenders. Specifically, he believed that there were major differences in the physical traits of offenders, and that this was obvious with regard to the size of the skull of offenders. Certain skull shapes would lead to criminal behaviour, as contended by Lombroso. This fantastic assumption could not survive rigorous scrutiny.
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