Strengths And Weaknesses Of Biological Positivism

2488 words - 10 pages

Biological Positivism has both its strengths and weaknesses, it changed the way of criminological ideas and opened up new theories that were based on scientific facts rather than philosophical ideas like in Classicism. It also highlighted the importance of looking into peoples genetic make-up as research such as Brunners' research into the extra 'Y' chromosome which led to the idea that genetic defects in a family can cause abnormal behaviours and also the Twin and Adoptions studies that showed a correlation between genetics and crime. In more modern approaches, researchers then started to look more into the brain and biochemical factors such as brain dysfunctions and imbalanced chemicals. These explanations showed the huge affect these problems had on an individuals behaviour and thought processes.
This essay will also approach the weaknesses of these theories. It will look at the nature/nurture debate and how most of the theories fail to take into account social and environmental factors that contribute to an individuals behaviour. It will also look at the idea of 'determinism' (Lombroso, 1876), the idea that people have absolutely no control over there actions so shouldn't be punished, but rather, treated.

Up until the 19th century, Classicist ideas dominated the way in which people looked at crime. However during the late 19th century a new form of “scientific criminology” emerged, called Positivism (Newburn, 2007). Positivism looked at the biological factors on why someone would commit a crime, this involved looking at the physical attributes of a person, looking at their genetic make-up and their biochemical factors.
In the 1800s Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909), Italian criminologist, wrote in his book L'Uomo Delinquente (1876) that up to 70% of criminals were “born criminal”, a term that plays a recurring theme throughout this essay. Some people may argue that Lombroso's contributions to Biological Positivism made him the “father of modern criminology” (Newburn, 2007: 122), his theories were based upon scientific evidence with the idea that all criminals had no free-will and that their 'determinism' was driven by their biological influences in which they had no control over. This view was quite different from Jeremy Benthams (1748-1832) old philosophical views of classicist criminology who's ideas were based on people having complete control over their actions.

Lombroso was specifically interested in the 'atavistic criminal', an individual who was seen to have not properly evolved, in his studies he focused on the physical attributes of an individual, also known as the stigmata, of a criminal. The abnormalities in a persons physical appearance, such as a sloped head or exceedingly long arms, was seen as the individual being a “throwback to an earlier stage of the developmental history of the species” (Walklate, 2007: 20) and they were inevitably destined to a life of crime. This technique of pointing out a criminal was seen as a major...

Find Another Essay On Strengths and Weaknesses of Biological Positivism

Personal Strengths and Weaknesses Essay

998 words - 4 pages The method by which a person can seek to be successful in the varied areas of their life, can be pin pointed to how well a person is aware of them self. To be more specific, the person needs to have an understanding of self-awareness and the connection it has to success. "Self-awareness is fundamental to self-leadership. Leaders who have mastered self-awareness are realistic and accurate when they assess their personal strengths and...

Strengths and Weaknesses Essay

975 words - 4 pages Hello Class, It is vital when looking for a new job or career that you know what skills and qualities you have. Knowing what you can or cannot do will alter what employers and positions there are for you. Throughout my higher education at Full Sail University, I have been able to overcome weaknesses that I have and raised other strengths beyond what I thought I could. Matching what you are good at and not so good at can help shape what...

Personal Strengths and Weaknesses.

1008 words - 4 pages Strengths and weaknesses are important to us as individuals in order to make a difference in correlation to personal growth. Our individuality is further intensified by each of us having different goals, priorities and other special qualities. In writing this paper I plan to clearly define and identify each of my strengths and weaknesses. I believe...

Personal Strengths and Weaknesses

704 words - 3 pages Knowing my personal strengths and weaknesses is a very important step to improving myself. It will help me to define the areas in which I need to work on most. Many people feel that working on their weaknesses will be enough, but to really improve myself, I must be prepared to work on my strengths also. Achieving my life's goals will be greatly enhanced by knowing what my strengths and weaknesses really are and being able to improve them by...

Personal Strengths And Weaknesses

1153 words - 5 pages I am going to write about my personal strengths and weaknesses. I would like to start out by going over my personal strengths. Then I will go over some of my personal weaknesses. Finally I will compose a plan of action to take to improve on my weaknesses. I am an honest person. I tell people what I am thinking and how I feel. Even if they don't like what I have to say. Being honest has helped me become closer to the people I care about most....

Teaching Strengths and Weaknesses

650 words - 3 pages StrengthsI believe that teamwork is one of my strengths because according to Kinlaw (1993) "being part of a team is one who unites others toward a shared destiny through sharing information and ideas, empowering others and developing trust." My ability to interact, communicate and cooperate with a group will enable me to be an effective member of a team and work towards a common goal.I believe that teamwork is important when teaching...

Personal Strengths and Weaknesses

1331 words - 5 pages Everyone is embedded with things that make them unique. As individuals we each bring soemthing new, creative, and different to the table. This brings to to discuss personal strengths and weaknessess within myself and my everyday living. Personal strengths are areas where we tend to excel, and seem to express above average. Personal Weaknesses to me are areas where we would like to excel but seem to still need improvement. If I can, let me share...

Personal Strengths and Weaknesses

653 words - 3 pages I believe life is a learning experience and we all have certain personal strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what we are good at and what we are weak in can help us to become better people. Recognizing weaknesses along with having the desire to improve on them is a skill that I have. For me,...

Personal Strengths and Weaknesses - 680 words

680 words - 3 pages Life is a learning experience. As a child I was constantly criticized and reminded daily of my flaws, but never commented on the good things. As I grown, the negativity I received affected my personality and way of life. I realized that in order to become a better individual, I needed to recognize my strengths and weaknesses, whether it be at work, home, or school, for myself as well as make improvements where needed.The majority of my...

Personal Strengths and Weaknesses - 1388 words

1388 words - 6 pages Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.                                             Amy Lowell (1874 - 1925)         It's very surprising that I had to think for a reasonable amount of time before I finally came up with the lists of my strengths and weaknesses. As a human being sometimes we forget to measure ourselves for...

Shintoism: Strengths and Weaknesses

1276 words - 5 pages The Japanese culture has been greatly influenced by its religions, and one of the most influential religions has been Shintoism. Shintoism has been dated back to 500BC, when the descendants of the sun goddess, Amaterasu-OmiKami, worshiped the gods and goddesses of Japan. Shinto means "way of the gods" and that represents what people who practice Shintoism believe in. Shintoism is a religion based on Japanese mythology, which is centered on a...

Similar Essays

Strengths And Weaknesses Of Emotion Essay

1262 words - 5 pages Emotion is defined as the reaction to a stimulus, which is only inferred and not observed. Emotions play a powerful role in shaping thoughts, influencing behavior, and steering motivation to do things. As much as it helps with understanding the people around you and building relationships, it plays a big part in influencing daily decisions and behavior. While emotions are a universal language and may be a crucial key to getting to know yourself...

Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Ontological Argument

983 words - 4 pages The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument...

Personal Strengths And Weaknesses. Essay

850 words - 3 pages Personal Strengths and WeaknessesIdentifying personal strengths and weaknesses are crucial part of the overall learning processes. Just as understanding which methods and techniques help us to learn at a peak level, understanding our strengths and weaknesses help us to become more self-aware and well-rounded individuals.In any situation, a person has attributes that will detract from the task and others that will prove...

Strengths And Weaknesses Essay

891 words - 4 pages The objective of this paper is to show you the personal strengths and weakness that I identified by asking friends and family their opinion on the topic regarding yours truly, and by examining myself for areas that I am really good at (also known as strengths) and areas I need to improve (otherwise known as weaknesses). After I have identified them, I will tell you how recognizing my strengths and weakness can help me to improve myself to...