Who Founded The Classical School Of Criminology?


Who Founded The Classical School Of Criminology
The father of classical criminology is generally considered to be Cesare Bonesana, Marchese di Beccaria.
View complete answer

What is the classical school of criminology theory?

This module is a resource for lecturers – The classical view in criminology explains crime as a free-will decision to make a criminal choice. This choice is made by applying the pain-pleasure principle: people act in ways that maximize pleasure and minimize pain.

Classicists believe that people are hedonistic and will seek pleasure at every opportunity and avoid pain. The way to prevent crime, according to classicism, is by deterrence-the risk of apprehension and punishment (Beccaria, 1764; Roshier, 1989; Valasik, 2014). Applying classicism to criminal conduct, when the potential pain associated with crime (the likelihood of apprehension) is greater in the mind of the offender than the pleasure (gain) to be derived from the crime, the crime is prevented.

This explanation fails to explain why crime persists even in those countries where governments add new laws, increase penalties, and make efforts to improve law enforcement. One type of classical approach focuses on “routine activities” or “situational crime prevention.” This perspective concentrates on “criminal settings” (i.e., environments conducive to organized crime activity) rather than on the motivations of individuals or groups of people.

By focusing on the circumstances of crime, this perspective examines the availability of opportunities to commit specific crimes and aims at reducing them through, for instance, improved urban renewal and environmental design. This approach is based on the principle of routine activities, or, in other words, on the assumption that levels of organized crime are determined by several facilitating factors, such as: availability of attractive targets and opportunities, a low level of supervision, and low risk of apprehension.

Rather than focusing on distant causes of crime (e.g., poverty, poor education, peer groups), the focus is shifted to practical ways to reduce the opportunities for crime or to minimize their harm (Bullock, Clarke and Tilley, 2010; Eckblom, 2003). The situational crime prevention approach is also considered in Module 13.

  • Situational crime prevention of organized crime There is evidence that situational crime prevention can be useful in reducing some activities of organized criminal groups by limiting criminal opportunities and minimizing harm (Felson, 2006).
  • The situational crime prevention perspective has been used to try to account for the manufacture of methamphetamine, automobile theft, open-air drug markets, products counterfeiting and other crimes.

(Bullock, Clarke and Tilley, 2010; von Lampe, 2011; Zabyelina, 2016). These empirical efforts have shown some support for the situational perspective in preventing organized illicit activity. Situational crime prevention requires that crime prevention techniques be directed at five areas:

Increasing the effort for offenders (e.g., target hardening, controlling crime facilitators). Increasing the risks (e.g., surveillance of offenders and victims, screening entrances and exits). Reducing the rewards (e.g., removing targets, controlling markets). Reducing provocations (e.g., reducing temptations, avoiding disputes); and Removing excuses (e.g., setting clear rules, alerting conscience). (Clarke, 2005)

The exact methods needed to achieve these goals depend on the particular crime and its underlying preparatory behaviours, although empirical efforts reveal that it is sometimes difficult to isolate the methods of crime prevention that will have an impact on organized crime activity (Bullock, Clarke and Tilley, 2010).

Another influential classical explanation is the “general theory of crime” intended to explain all kinds of crime, including organized crime. This explanation sees crime emanating from the human tendency “to pursue short-term gratification,” rather than consider the long-term consequences. Short-term gratification usually implies impulsiveness, aggression, and lack of empathy for others (Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990).

A notable shortcoming with the classical approach in criminology is overstating the impact of penalties on human conduct. Deterrence is a weak influencer in criminal justice, because the odds of apprehension are generally low. In addition, the tendency of some to act on the base of short-term gratification must be caused by some factors that would need to be further investigated.

There are questions that are hardly answered when trying to explain criminal conducts through classicism. For instance: why do many people choose not to engage in crime, despite the low risk of apprehension? A study of several hundred organized crime offenders in Europe found that “internal drives are the hardest element to capture, particularly when offenders seem to be motivated internally (i.e., they were not talked into committing a crime by others)” (van Koppen, 2013).

At the same time, there are other drives and factors that this approach underestimates or fails to consider and that clearly have a relevant impact on a person’s decision to commit a crime. Back to top
View complete answer

When was the classical school of criminology founded?

Critically Assess The Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Classical School Of Criminological Thought. The classical school of criminology was developed in the eighteenth century, where classical thinking emerged in response to the cruel forms of punishment that dominated at the time.

  • It is considered that writers such as Montesquieu and Voltaire encouraged perhaps the emergence of this new ‘classical’ thinking, by becoming involved in campaigns for more enlightened approaches to be taken towards crime and the punishment given by the justice systems at the time.
  • Also the development of society craved new forms of legal regulation due to the fact that there needed to be predictability in the system, as technology and properties in particular needed legal protection and workers needed to be disciplined in a consistent way.

There were two main contributors to this theory of criminology and they were Jeremy Bentham and Cesare de Beccaria. They are seen as the most important enlightenment thinkers in the area of ‘classical’ thinking and are considered the founding fathers of the classical school of criminology.

  • They both sought to reduce the harshness of eighteenth century judicial systems, even though coming from different philosophical stances.
  • Bentham’s contribution to ‘classical’ theory is based on the fact that he was a utilitarian, interested in the happiness and well being of the population and therefore believing that punishment, in the form of the infliction of pain, should always be justified in terms of a greater good.

At the heart of Bentham’s writing was the idea that human behaviour is directed at maximising pleasure and minimising pain, (the pleasure-pain principle). Bentham believed that crime was committed on the outset, by individuals who seek to gain excitement, money, sex or anything of value to the individual.

  • Beccaria (1764/1963: 93) stated that; ‘It is better to prevent crimes than to punish them’.
  • This is at the heart of the classical school of criminology.
  • Beccaria believed that laws needed to be put into place in order to make punishments consistent and in line with the crime.
  • He believed that crime prevention in its effectiveness is down to three main ideas, these being the certainty of the crime and how likely it is to happened, the celerity of the crime and how quickly the punishment is inflicted and also the severity of the crime, and how much pain is inflicted.

Beccaria thought that the severity of the penalties given should be proportionate to the crime committed and no more than what is necessary in order to deter the offender and others from committing further crimes. Classical thinking says that criminals make a rational choice, and choose to do criminal acts due to maximum pleasure and minimum pain.

  1. The classical school says criminals are rational, they weigh up the costs and therefore we should create deterrents which slightly outweigh what would be gained from the crime.
  2. This is the reason behind the death penalty being viewed by classical thinkers such as Beccaria and Bentham as pointless, because there would be no deterrent.

However when considering manslaughter, as Bentham also believes, if the severity of the punishment should slightly outweigh the crime then surely capital punishment should be used, there doesn’t seem to be any stronger a deterrent to other criminals thinking of undertaking the same criminal behaviour, than seeing another eradicated due to their actions.

Classical thinking has had a significant impact on criminological thinking in general and perhaps a greater impact on criminal justice practise. In Europe and America the idea of punishments being appropriate to the nature of the crime has become a foundation for modern criminal justice systems. Since the introduction of the classical school of criminology and classical thinking, the use of capital punishment, torture and corporal punishment has declined.

Neither Beccaria nor Bentham believed in the death penalty, apart from, Bentham argued, in the case of murder. The second half of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries also saw the establishment and growth of the prison, as a major system of punishment, the idea and concept of prison was to take punishment away from the body and instead punish the mind and soul, and these are the keys to changing a person’s outlook and views of their criminal behaviours.

Many elements of classical ideas are very useful in modern society and these show the strengths that the theory does have. Deterrence continues to underlie all judicial systems and indeed underpinned the principles of the first commissioners of Sir Robert Peel, in the creation of the Metropolitan police.

Prisons are also used as major deterrents and also to try and reduce rates of crime. However a great weakness of the classical school of criminology is, the idea stemming from classical thinking that all criminals are rational is not generalisable to the whole population nor is it entirely valid, due to the fact that there may be biological factors stopping an individual from being able to think and behave rationally.

Therefore it may not be the particular choice of the individual as they may have been born that way; they may not have the ability to make a rational decision due to a mental illness such as schizophrenia. They may be disorientated or even drugged which affects the brain functioning and therefore any behaviours, resulting in an individual becoming irrational.

Also, if people act due to principles of rationality and free will then why is it that the poor are predominating in the criminal justice system, classical thought doesn’t include factors of necessity in order to survive. As Jeffrey Reiman (1979) said; “the rich get richer and the poor get prison” White and Haines (2004) said that the classical school of criminology has 3 main challenges to it.

Firstly; how to make such ideas serve the interests of justice and equality when faced with a particular defendant in court. (Not all criminals appear to be acting rationally and of free will) Secondly; that for criminal justice bureaucracies such as the police, growing efficiency may not always be compatible with an emphasis on equal justice, as their gain is to decrease crime rates.

Thirdly a power issue, the rationalisation of the legal system potentially means some reduction in their power, which may backfire in terms of being a deterrent. In late 19th century the classical school came under criticism by a form of scientific criminology which emerged due to Darwin’s great works being published between 1850 and 1870, this therefore had a profound effect on scientific thought and individuals views of human behaviour.

  • Classicism defines the main object of study as the offence.
  • The nature of the offender was defined as being free-willed, rational, calculating and normal.
  • The classical thinking response to the crime was to give punishment that is proportionate to the offence.
  • The Positivist school of criminology however opposes this classical school of thinking, positivism states that the object of study is the offender, and that the nature of the offender is driven by biological, psychological and pathological influences.
You might be interested:  How Long Is Esthetician School In California?

Their response to the crime is that of giving a treatment of an indeterminate length, depending on individual circumstances. Unlike classicism, positivism views criminal behaviour as irrational and perhaps due to a problem (biological, physical or psychological) that an individual has, therefore they are partially relieved of the crime they committed.

Cesare Lombroso is related to much positivist thinking, as a psychiatrist he looked at criminals as being throwbacks to a more primitive stage of human development, he compared physical features of criminals and related them to more primitive stages of mankind and formed a prediction based on measurements of skulls and main physical features, of how certain criminals look.

Lombroso’s thinking clashed with that of classical thinking, saying that criminals were born not made, and they are not rational as they reproduce thoughts similar to that of inferior humanity. The differences between the thinking behind both the classical school of criminology and the positivist school of criminology highlight the strengths and weaknesses that are associated with both.

The classical school has much less biological fact and figures backing up its views, however it has proven successful in reducing crime rates and in providing a deterrent and a way in which to successfully contain individuals who rebel against the system. Unlike positivism which doesn’t have any form of punishment, just a form of treatment, the classical school shows criminals that they cannot behave in certain ways in order to maximise their pleasure and minimise pain if it involves breaking the law, it does this successfully because the punishment that is given is more than that of the pleasure that they would receive.

Therefore as rational thinkers, individuals contemplating criminal behaviours would not do so due to the laws set in place to deter the behaviour. However the main weakness of the classical school of criminological thinking is that it considers all criminals to be rational and make decisions by free will, but not all individuals are rational and not all their behaviours are free, as if an individual had a mental illness or a physical defect, this may totally change the way in which they act and think.

The social construction of crime has changed over time; feudal and religious influences have changed, and affected the criminological theory used. When the Classical school developed it was in a time of major reform in penology, there were many legal reforms at the time due to the French revolution and the legal system was developed in the united states, which would have had an effect on the united kingdom making an increased effort to set laws on crime in stone.

As modernity has progressed so has the development of the judicial systems, if positivism was used as the main criminological thinking then these systems wouldn’t exist because positivism uses treatments to the criminal in order to solve crime. This could be why the classical school of criminology has been so influential and still is, because it protects various organisations set out to remove crime and it also provides a good theoretical basis on which more recent theories have been developed.
View complete answer

Who is the father of classical criminology?

The father of classical criminology is generally considered to be Cesare Bonesana, Marchese di Beccaria. Dei Delitti e della Pene (On Crimes and Punishment) (1764): This book is an impassioned plea to humanize and rationalize the law and to make punishment more just and reasonable.
View complete answer

Who is the philosopher of classical school of criminology?

Philosopher and criminologist Cesare Beccaria’s classical school of criminology dictates that human selfishness can lead to crime, and swift punishment will help deter society from continuing illegal activity.
View complete answer

Who was the author of the classical theory?

Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations – Scottish economist Adam Smith was the leading figure of the classical theory of growth. Smith wrote that the division of labor among workers into more specialized tasks was the driver of growth in the transition to an industrial, capitalist economy.

  1. As the Industrial Revolution matured, Smith argued that the availability of specialized tools and equipment would allow workers to further specialize and thereby increase their productivity.
  2. In order for this to happen, ongoing capital accumulation was necessary, which depended on the owners of capital being able to keep and reinvest profits from their investments.

He explained this process with the metaphor of the ” invisible hand ” of profits, which would push capitalists to engage in this process of investment, productivity gains, and reinvestment by seeking their own personal gain, and indirectly the benefit of the entire nation.
View complete answer

Why is Cesare Beccaria known as the father of classical criminology?

Cesare Bonesana di Beccaria
Born 15 March 1738 Milan, Duchy of Milan
Died 28 November 1794 (aged 56) Milan, Duchy of Milan
Nationality Italian
Education University of Pavia
Occupation(s) Jurist, philosopher, economist, politician, and lawyer
Notable work On Crimes and Punishments (1764)
Spouse(s) Teresa Blasco, Anna Barbò
Children Giulia Maria Giovanni Annibale Margherita Giulio (by Anna Barbò)
Era Age of Enlightenment
Region Western philosophy

Italian philosophy

  • Classical school of criminology
  • Italian Enlightenment
Main interests Criminology
Notable ideas Penology

Cesare Bonesana di Beccaria, Marquis of Gualdrasco and Villareggio ( Italian: ; 15 March 1738 – 28 November 1794) was an Italian criminologist, jurist, philosopher, economist and politician, who is widely considered one of the greatest thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment,

He is well remembered for his treatise On Crimes and Punishments (1764), which condemned torture and the death penalty, and was a founding work in the field of penology and the Classical School of criminology, Beccaria is considered the father of modern criminal law and the father of criminal justice,

According to John Bessler, Beccaria’s works had a profound influence on the Founding Fathers of the United States,
View complete answer

What is the difference between Beccaria and Bentham?

Chapter Summary and Key Concepts Chapter 3 explains the difference between theory and hypothesis and why this is important to the study of juvenile delinquency. The chapter also introduces three ways of thinking about crime and delinquency: the classical school, the positivist school, and spiritual explanations. INTRODUCTION

The work of the juvenile justice system is based on theory, and the study of theory is fundamental to all academic enterprise, including juvenile delinquency.


Theories attempt to explain the connections between facts so that we can observe patterns, construct policies, and better understand how factors are related. Curran and Renzetti’s definition of a theory is as follows: a theory is a set of interconnected statements or propositions that explain how two or more events or factors are related to one another. According to Akers and Sellers, these criteria must be addressed when evaluating theories: logical consistency, scope, parsimony, testability, empirical validity, usefulness and policy implications, and ideology. Three of the most traditional explanations of crime are spiritual explanations, the classical school of criminology, and the positivist school of criminology, Although developed in past centuries, all of these systems of thought influence our current system and ideas of justice.


Spiritual explanations, which are rooted in religion, tend to be favored by many people. The spiritual perspective has been largely overtaken in the justice system by other ways of envisioning understanding why people offend and how society should respond. One of the social reasons for punishment, especially for heinous crimes, is to satisfy the need for revenge of both society and the victim or victims by symbolically quelling evil. The English legal system, upon which the U.S. legal system is based, is largely derived from Christian ideas of justice and morality.


Classical criminology uses the idea of free will to explain that offenders choose to engage in crime and that the best way to control crime is deter offenders and make it uncomfortable or unprofitable for them to offend. The two figures best associated with classical criminology are Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. Beccaria was concerned with establishing a more rational and humane system of social control. Bentham developed an approach that was concerned with the way individuals weighed pleasure and pain when deciding whether to commit deviant acts. Another basic concern of deterrence research concerns the accuracy of knowledge of the severity of various sanctions. A belief that one will be caught (certainty) and swiftly (celerity), and punished drastically (severity) is needed in order for deterrence theory to work. Akers and Sellers conclude that certainty of punishment is the most powerful aspect of deterrence theory. According to rational choice theory, people weigh the costs and benefits of their decisions and act in their own best interests. Williams and McShane state that offenders make two types of decisions when contemplating crime: involvement decisions in which they determine whether they will engage in a particular offense, continue an offense, or desist from it and event decisions about what tactics to use when committing an offense. The positivist school of criminology focuses on the offender rather than the offense and uses science rather than philosophy to explain crime. It considers offenders’ motivations and examines their physical characteristics, social background, and moral development in order to determine why they offend and what can be done to rehabilitate them.


The positivist school is concerned with the offender’s motivations and characteristics. The positivist school focuses on the offender rather than the offense or the law, and posits that humans do not necessarily have free will and that human behavior is determined by various external factors. The classical school utilizes philosophy to try to understand why people break the law, while the positivist school uses science. Positivism considers the factors that affect juveniles and adults to be much the same: employment, poverty, family life, culture, health, etc. Positivism focuses more on youths’ specific ages than it does the ages of adults and considers in detail the effects of family issues on youths. Adolphe Quetelet was fascinated by the regularity in property and violent crimes, argued that poverty was not the main cause of crime, and stated that the primary factor in determining the tendency for crime was age. Andre-Michel Guerry pioneered the use of crime statistics to graphically represent how social factors contribute to crime rates across jurisdictions. Auguste Comte recommended several important steps in how social scientists should go about their work so that it can be verified and replicated. Cesare Lombroso was one of the first to employ the scientific method in the study of crime. In regarded to juveniles, positivism focuses more on the specific ages of youths than it does the ages of adults.

: Chapter Summary and Key Concepts
View complete answer

Who is the two father of criminology?

Critical Evaluation –

  • Lombroso became known as the father of modern criminology. He was one of the first to study crime and criminals scientifically, Lombroso’s theory of the born criminal dominated thinking about criminal behavior in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • This was an important shift from the thinking which had dominated this field for thousands of years which had analyzed crime on moral and religious terms and therefore crime was not seen as a legitimate topic for scientific study.
  • However, the research carried out by Lombroso lacked the rigor we now expect from scientific studies. He did not use a control group against which to compare his participants.
  • Furthermore, Lombroso interpreted the presence of some physical characteristics as a cause of offending behavior but it could be argued that these traits might have interacted with social factors.
  • According to Agnew (1992), possessing these unpleasant physical characteristics might lead to unpleasant social interactions, this leads to frustration and anger which, in turn, lead to offending behavior.
  • Goring (1913) carried out a study comparing over 2000 London convicts with a control group. He failed to replicate Lombroso’s findings.
  • Lombroso argued that the physical characteristics he identified were innate but this might not have been the case, they might have been influenced by environmental factors such as poor nutrition in childhood.
  • This theory is deterministic as it implies that possessing particular innate physical characteristics is likely to lead to crime. It does not take into account the influence of free will and moral/ religious values. This limits its usefulness as it cannot explain individual differences.
  • This explanation is socially sensitive; some of the features described by Lombroso are linked to skin color and other traits are associated with the concept of race, so it has been accused of scientific racism.
  • Furthermore, this theory has also been used to support eugenics. Eugenics is a philosophy arguing that those who are born with genetic advantages should be allowed to breed for the good of society but those who are born with genetic disadvantages should be eliminated to improve the genetic quality of the human population.
You might be interested:  Where Does Nc Rank In Public Education?

View complete answer

Who are the three fathers of criminology?

Parents of all Criminologist: Cesare Lombroso – Father of Modern and Empirical Criminology. Cesare Bonesa Beccaria – Father of the Classical School of Criminology. Dr. Hans Gross – Father of Criminalistics and Criminal Investigation.
View complete answer

Why is Cesare Beccaria important?

Influence of Cesare Beccaria on the American Criminal Justice System Cesare Beccaria was one of the most important influences upon American attitudes toward criminal justice. Beccaria emphasized individual dignity within the criminal justice system. He stood against the use of torture and capital punishment.

The ideas presented in his 1765 treatise had great influence upon major political documents of the era, not the least of which was the U.S. Constitution. Beccaria was endorsed by Voltaire and by such rulers as Frederick II of Prussia, Marie Teresa of Austria, the Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany and Catherine the Great of Russia.

Beccaria’s ideas are especially remarkable considering the era in which they appeared when conventional wisdom based crime prevention on fear and punishment on the “eye for an eye” principle. : Influence of Cesare Beccaria on the American Criminal Justice System
View complete answer

Who was the pioneer of Classical School of thought?

Classical School – The Classical school, which is regarded as the first school of economic thought, is associated with the 18th Century Scottish economist Adam Smith, and those British economists that followed, such as Robert Malthus and David Ricardo.

  • The main idea of the Classical school was that markets work best when they are left alone, and that there is nothing but the smallest role for government.
  • The approach is firmly one of laissez-faire and a strong belief in the efficiency of free markets to generate economic development,
  • Markets should be left to work because the price mechanism acts as a powerful ‘invisible hand’ to allocate resources to where they are best employed.

In terms of explaining value, the focus of classical thinking was that it was determined mainly by scarcity and costs of production. In terms of the macro-economy, the Classical economists assumed that the economy would always return to the full-employment level of real output through an automatic self-adjustment mechanism.
View complete answer

Who is the founder of positivist school?

Who Founded The Classical School Of Criminology Portrait of Cesare Lombroso from American Review of Reviews 39/1 (1909) Cesare Lombroso (Italian, 1835 – 1909) Gina Lombroso (Italian, 1872 – 1944) Criminal Man According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1911. Ellis Library 364 L83He University of Missouri Cesare Lombroso was the founder of the Italian school of positivist criminology, which argued that a criminal mind was inherited and could be identified by physical features and defects.

Lombroso, while not aware of Gregor Johann Mendel’s work on heredity, was inspired by Franz Joseph Gall’s phrenological theories. Lombroso was influenced by Charles Darwin and Francis Galton in his work in criminology. His theory of the born or hereditary criminal provided the scientific basis of many attempts to solve the problem of crime in society by eliminating the reproductive opportunities for criminals through institutionalization, prisons and penal institutions, or surgical sterilization.

The English edition of L’Uomo Deliquente (1876) on display here was put together by Lombroso’s daughter Gina.
View complete answer

What was Cesare Lombroso theory?

Cesare Lombroso argued that criminals could be identified through general characteristics they shared with one another, the ‘criminal type’. Having looked into all of those faces of people who had been convicted or were suspected of being offenders, we are now going to reflect on ideas about the appearance of law breakers.

In the nineteenth century, people commonly linked certain physical traits with criminality and their assumptions were backed up by pseudo scientific theories. The first of these theories was phrenology. Phrenologists believed that the brain was made up of different ‘organs’ or zones, each one relating to a specific aspect of the personality and character.

Well developed propensities, sentiments and faculties created a bump on the skull while flat areas or dips showed that the related area was less developed in that person. Someone who was destructive, for example, would have developed a bump over their right ear, where this character trait was believed to reside. Who Founded The Classical School Of Criminology A phrenology diagram (1883) © Wikimedia Commons Research linking physical traits with behaviour was facilitated in Britain by the Murder Act of 1752 which decreed that the bodies of executed criminals could not be buried in consecrated ground but, to deepen their punishment, should be hung in chains in a gibbet to slowly and publicly decompose or could be dissected for medical purposes (Tarlow, 2016).

The vast majority of bodies of criminals were turned over to medical schools where they were much needed for the training of doctors. This allowed for very close studies of criminals’ skulls and skeletons and triggered interest in whether they were typical of the whole population, or might have traits that differed from non criminals.

One of those who became very interested in the physical commonalities between criminals was an Italian army doctor named Cesare Lombroso. Now credited with being the founder of criminology as a field of study, Lombroso published his book Criminal Man in 1876, and then in another four editions; followed by Criminal Woman in 1893.

  1. Lombroso argued that criminals could be identified through general characteristics they shared with one another, which he designated as composing a criminal type.
  2. His core idea was atavism, which means that he understood criminals to be evolutionary throwbacks who were inferior to non criminals.
  3. While he was the first person to study criminals using scientific methods, his work was clearly informed by long term prejudices European people had about the origins of crime and who was most likely to behave in criminal ways.

Lombroso built on these prejudices, developing tools to measure body parts with great precision and tests designed to determine sensitivity to pain and propensity to lie, including a very basic lie detector. Lombroso collected items related to criminals as he conducted his research, extending to death masks and skulls.

He opened a museum of these objects in Turin, Italy in 1896 which remained open to the public until 1948, and reopened in 2001. Next time you are in Turin, go along to the Museum of Criminal Anthropology and you can see Lombroso’s own skeleton there, donated when he died in 1909, and the head of the first criminal he examined, thief and arsonist Giuseppe Villella – retained after a court action by his family to have it returned to them failed in 2012.

Drawing on his examinations of actual criminals and Darwin’s recently published theory of evolution (1859), Lombroso concluded that criminals had features more like those of the apes from which humans had descended and the Indigenous peoples (in his terms ‘savages’) who were thought to be closer to those apes.

Have a look at the photographs you selected as I go through Lombroso’s description of the criminal type. In his view, law breakers would be expected to have larger, protruding jaws, higher cheekbones, larger less symmetrical faces with more crests, grooves and depressions, more prominent ridges above the eyes, and ears more closely attached to the head, of unequal size or unevenly placed on the head than the general population.

Their eyes were hard, frequently with drooping eyelids and could be unequal in size or colour while their teeth tended to be large and well separated and their skin was heavily wrinkled. The born criminal’s hair was more typical of opposite sex, abundant in women and scanty in men, while eyebrows were bushy and could be slanted or meet across the nose.

Arms were excessively long, like those of apes and hands might have extra or missing fingers with pronounced webbing. Other typically criminal traits according to Lombroso were a high pain threshold which led, amongst other things, to enjoyment of being tattooed; acute sight; idleness; strong sexual urges and a craving for evil.

Lombroso concluded: These anomalies in the limbs, trunk, skull and, above all, in the face, when numerous and marked, constitute what is known to criminal anthropologists as the criminal type, they are the cause of the anti-social tendencies of the criminal They are the outward and visible signs of a mysterious and complicated process of degeneration, which in the case of the criminal evokes evil impulses that are largely of atavistic origin.

  1. Gina Lombroso-Ferrero, Criminal Man According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso (New York, 1911) Theories of criminality like phrenology and Lombroso’s criminal type have long since been discredited and discarded.
  2. Lombroso’s theories were deeply embedded in the racist assumptions of the late 1800s and early 1900s when around the world, people of European origin were finding ways to articulate and institutionalise race as a concept, to their own advantage.

There is no longer any sense that, as Lombroso claimed, the criminal ‘reproduces in his person the ferocious instincts of primitive humanity and the inferior animals’. However, returning to our theme of identifying underworlds, for law enforcement agents and the general public at this time, being told that criminals had a distinctive appearance was very helpful.
View complete answer

Who are the four classical theorists?

Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, and Max Weber are indispensable for understanding the sociological enterprise. They are among the chief founders of the discipline and among the foremost theorists of modernity, and their work can stimulate readers to reflect on their own identities and worldviews.
View complete answer

Who are the famous classical theorists?

4 Classical Theorists of Modernity (Their Approach to Modernity) The four classical theorists of modernity are as follows: 1. Karl Marx: It is commodification 2. Max Weber: It is rationality 3. Emile Durkheim: It is differentiation 4. Georg Simmel: City and economy make modernity.

  1. The classical theorists are those who are foundational theorists – they are the pioneer thinkers.
  2. Among them are included Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel.
  3. Though these thinkers have not taken the concept of modernity in a formal way, their works indicate that they are concerned with the processes of modernization.

In their own way, they have comprehended it. Here, we take up their approach to modernity.1. Karl Marx: It is commodification : Marx’s concern with modernity was in terms of production relations. It was the objective of the capitalist class to increase its production.

  • More production means more profit.
  • Capitalism, for him, was ultimately profiteering.
  • Marx, therefore, argued that for capitalism everything is a commodity.
  • Dance, drama, literature, religion, in fact, everything in society is a commodity.
  • It is manufactured and sold in the market.
  • Even, religion and rituals are also items of commodity.

Alienation, exploitation and oppression are all due to commodification. Quite like the economic items, the non-economic items are also things of commodification. Modernization, therefore, according to Marx, is nothing but a commodity, a thing to be bought and sold, and an item for trade and commerce.

  1. In a word, modernity is commercialization.2.
  2. Max Weber: It is rationality : Weber is credited to have developed the thesis of Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
  3. He argues that Kalvinism – a sect of Protestant religion – has certain ethics, which develop the spirit of capitalism.
  4. Religion, though a spiritual order, is run on the norms of rationality.

Weber scans a huge literature on domination, religion and other wider areas of life and comes to the conclusion that rationality is the pervading theme, which characterizes human actions. He has, therefore, defined modernity as rationality. For him, in one word, modernity is synonymous with rationality.3.

Emile Durkheim: It is differentiation : Durkheim had a very intimate encounter with industrialization and urbanization. He was scared of the impact of modernization. His studies of modern society brought out very interesting and exciting data. He was a functionalist. He very strongly believed in the cohesion of society.

For him, society is above everything else. It is par excellence. It is God. Despite all this, society is never static. It is evolutionary. Durkheim was a product of 19th century. Like any other sociologist, he was also an evolutionist of his times. He traced the origin of society.

  • In its evolutionary stage, the society had mechanical solidarity.
  • Conscience collective, collective representations and repressive laws held the mechanical society together.
  • In course of evolution, the mechanical society attains the stage of organic solidarity.
  • In this society, there is differentiation – multiple of occupations, plural ethnicities and varying people.
You might be interested:  How To Become A Fashion Designer Without School?

This functional- organic structure of society is held together by social density and contractual relations. Durkheim defines modernity in the context of social solidarity. His thesis is: more there is differentiation, more there is modernity”. Modernity creates functional dependence.

  • 4. Georg Simmel: City and economy make modernity :
  • Frisby in his recent work (1992) observes that of the founding fathers “Simmel is the first sociologist of modernity”.
  • Ritzer accounts for his modernist status as under:

Simmel is seen as investigating modernity primarily in two major interrelated sites: the city and the money economy. The city is where modernity is concentrated or intensified, whereas the money economy involves the diffusion of modernity, its extension.

  • Thus, for Simmel, modernity consists of city life and the diffusion of money.
  • Simmel has put his ideas about modernity in his book Philosophy of Money.
  • Foggi elaborates the money criterion of modernity in these words: The first is that modernization brings with it a series of advantages to human beings, especially the fact that they are able to express various potentialities that are unexpressed, concealed and represented in pre-modern society.

Second, Simmel deals with the powerful effect of money on modern society. Finally, there is Simmel’s concentration on the adverse consequences of money for modernity, especially alienation. When we carefully analyze the definition of Simmel as interpreted by Foggi, the following points emerge: 1.

  1. All the above four founding fathers who have defined modernity had opportunities to experience it in their life too.
  2. Whatever they have identified as elements of modernity can be presented in the following capsule:
  3. Marx: Modernity is commodification.
  4. Weber: Modernity is rationality.

Durkheim: Differentiation, i.e., stratification. Simmel: City life and money economy. The concept of modernity has been defined by all the founding fathers of sociology. The definitions are diverse and varying. Despite diversity in their comprehension and perception, the fact remains that they have touched upon all the major formations or manifestations of modernity.

  1. It can therefore be safely concluded that these classical theorists have done very well in doing sociology of modernity.
  2. By 1920 all four of above classical sociological theorists were dead.
  3. As we have now entered the 21st century, it is obvious that the world would be very different than it was in 1920.

While there is great disagreement over when the postmodern age began (assuming for the moment that it did), no one puts that data before 1920. The issue is whether the changes in the world since that time are modest and continuous with those associated with modernity, or are so dramatic and discontinuous that the contemporary world is better described by a new term – postmodern.

Our guess is that in most of the parts of world, modernity is still a continuing process. Habermas, the German modernist, argues that the project of modernity, which started after enlightenment, is still an incomplete project. And then, postmodernity is multi-dimensional. It is never uniform. There are parts of a society, which are postmodern and still parts, which are simultaneously modern.

We now turn to the definitions of modernity given by contemporary social theorists. : 4 Classical Theorists of Modernity (Their Approach to Modernity)
View complete answer

Who are the classic criminologists?

Main proponents – Cesare Beccaria, John Howard, Jeremy Bentham, Samuel Romilly, John Anselm von Feuerbach, Sir Robert Peel, Samuel Pufendorf u.a.
View complete answer

Who is the father of criminology and why?

Who Founded The Classical School Of Criminology Cesare Lombroso (1835 – 1909) On November 6, 1835, Italian criminologist and physician Cesare Lombroso was born. Lombroso was the founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology, and is often referred to as the father of criminology, He rejected the established classical school, which held that crime was a characteristic trait of human nature,

Instead, using concepts drawn from physiognomy, degeneration theory, psychiatry and Social Darwinism, Lombroso ‘s theory of anthropological criminology essentially stated that criminality was inherited, and that someone ” born criminal ” could be identified by physical ( congenital) defects, which confirmed a criminal as savage or atavistic,

“Genius is one of the many forms of insanity.” – Cesare Lombroso, as quoted in
View complete answer

What is the classical school of Beccaria and Bentham?

Schools of Criminology The word Criminology is derived from the combination of two Latin words, crimen which means crime and logus which means study or knowledge in the year 1890. Criminology is a socio-legal study which strives to discover the causes of criminality and suggests appropriate remedies.

  • Criminal acts
  • The criminals
  • The victims of the crime (directly or indirectly)
  • Crime causation theory
  • Detection and prevention of crimes from potential offenders
  • Effectiveness of criminal justice system

The schools of criminology developed majorly during the 18th and 19th century. There are four popular schools of Criminology, they are:

  1. Pre-Classical School
  2. Classical School
  3. Positivist School
  4. Neo-Classical School

The pre-classical school is also known as demonological school. During the 17th century, the demonological theory flourished in Europe with the dominance of the church and religion. During this time there were not much of scientific explanations for the causation of crime and the concept of crime was vague and obscure.

  • Hence, the explanations for criminal behavior were sought through spirits, demons and unknown power.
  • The principle behind this concept was that a man commits a crime due to the influence of some external force and is beyond the control and understanding of man.
  • The wrath of god was considered to give punishment to the offenders.

The trail of the offenders was through battles, pelting of stones and was believed that no harm would be caused if the offender was innocent. The pioneers of the classical school of criminology are Cesare Beccaria, Jeremy Bentham and Romilly. The main belief of this school is that all men are self-seeking and therefore they tempt to commit the offence.

According to this school, men possess free will and act as per their pleasure and pain (hedonism). The theory of demonism; act of men under the influence of spirit is rejected by this school. Beccaria proposed that, punishment of crime should be proportionate to its seriousness. Beccarias thought was such that, torture was inappropriate and thus allowed weak to incriminate and the strong would be found innocent before the adjudication.

The ideology of Beccaria is followed by the classicalists, who focus on crime, rather the criminal. The classical school focuses on the principle of deterrence in place of punishment. The classical school has come up with three important theories that are still used even to this day.

They are:According to this theory, crimes are committed as a result of conscious choice. It is said that, individuals choose to commit a crime based on their free will decision. As per this theory, individuals choose to commit a crime when the benefits outweigh the costs of disobeying the law. As per this theory, there are three key elements for the routine activities theory, they are; motivated offender, an attractive target and lack of capable guardian.

It is believed that, a persons everyday routine activities affect the chance that there might be an attractive target who may encounter an offender in a situation where there no presence of an effective guardian. Changes in routine activities in society can affect the rate of crime.

The situational choice theory is based on the ideas of rational choice theory. As per this theory crime is committed based on situational constrains and opportunities. In simpler terms it means that a persons behavior is based on the given situation. The offender behaves in a certain way due to the situation he is place.

It is very unlikely that he may behave in a different situation. The positivist school is also known as Lombrosian School. The propounders of this theory are Cesare Lombroso, Enrico Ferri, Raffaeleo, and Garofalo. Positivists focus on criminals rather crime.

  1. The positivists oppose the classical schools understanding of crime.
  2. As per positivist, every person is different so is their understanding of right and wrong hence, the person and not the crime should be punished.
  3. This school was started by considering crime as a product of heredity and environmental factors.

The positivist school of criminology is linked with biological, psychological and sociological theories to criminal behavior. According to this theory, there is a difference between total free will and determinism and argues that, no person has total free will.

  • The neo classical school allows for mitigating factors to be reviewed by a Judge as per his discretion.
  • Before the advent of this school, all the offenders were treated alike no matter what age, mental condition, gender and so on.
  • Neo-Classicalists saw this as unfair and unjust and thus allowed for change to transpire.

This theory allows for the consideration of mitigating factors like physical and social environment where the individual was placed.
View complete answer

Who is the father of victimology?

Mendelsohn provided us with his victimology vision and blueprint; and, as his disciples we have followed his guidance. We now refer to Mendelsohn as ‘The Father of Victimology’.
View complete answer

What is the meaning of classical school?

What Are Classical Schools? – Classical schools are a school of choice option that implements a traditional classroom environment with a compelling curriculum that teaches learners to self-educate. Classical schools highlight history, literature, and language studies while embracing the concept of educating the entire child through truth and moral virtue.
View complete answer

What do you mean by classical theory?

a. Necessary and Sufficient Conditions – Consider an arbitrary concept, A necessary condition for being an F is a condition such that something must satisfy that condition in order for it to be an F. For instance, being male is necessary for being a bachelor, and being four-sided is necessary for being a square.

  • Such characteristics specified in necessary conditions are shared by, or had in common with, all things to which the concept in question applies.
  • A sufficient condition for being an F is a condition such that if something satisfies that condition, then it must be an F.
  • Being a bachelor is sufficient for being male, for instance, and being a square is sufficient for being a square.

A necessary and sufficient condition for being an F is a condition such that not only must a thing satisfy that condition in order to be an F, but it is also true that if a thing satisfies that condition, then it must be an F. For instance, being a four-sided regular, plane figure is both necessary and sufficient for being a square.

  1. That is, a thing must be a four-sided regular plane figure in order for it to be a square, and if a thing is a four-sided regular plane figure, then it must be a square.
  2. Finally, for a concept, necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for being an F is a set of necessary conditions such that satisfying all of them is sufficient for being an F.

The conditions of being four-sided and of being a regular figure are each necessary conditions for being a square, for instance, and the conjunction of them is a sufficient condition for being a square.
View complete answer

What is the difference between classical and positivist theory?

-The classical school of thought believes that a crime that an offender commits are a result of their free will. In contrast, the positivist school of thought believes in the concept of ‘biological determinism’, which means that hereditary factors are the major influences on a person’s behavior.
View complete answer

What is the new classical school of criminology?

Neoclassical criminology is a school of thought that presents criminal behavior as the result of individual circumstances and rational thought and places crime outside of the framework of society. This is the basis of neoclassical criminology: all criminal behavior is situationally dynamic and individually determined.
View complete answer