Final Report

This summative broadened my knowledge of criminology immensely. I discovered plenty of new things while compiling research. However, the three major findings that stood out to me where the different theories criminologists have determined over the years, especially the positive theory, theory of anomie, and the psychoanalytical theory. Each of these theories was a major finding for me because they all offered such different ideas but each raised such interesting points that supported their arguments. It was also interesting to see how quickly the theories changed and evolved throughout the years especially considering how different they were. Although the positive theory died out it was still a fascinating concept to me. It believed that criminals were born not made, which is an example of nature not nurture. It focused on biological and psychological factors to explain criminal behaviour rather than environmental factors. The Italian physician and psychiatrist Cesare Lombroso, studied cadavers of executed criminals in an effort to determine scientifically weather criminals were physically any different from non-criminals. He believed that people were born criminals and they all had similar facial features including an enormous jaw and strong canine teeth. It was even argued that criminal behaviour lied in abnormal chromosomes. It is crazy to think about someone being genetically born in a certain way that would make them behave like a criminal uncontrollably because of their chromosomes and facial features. The theory of anomie took a far different approach. Emile Durkheim believed that everyone has a role or function in society and that is how society runs/functions for a reason, including criminal activity. If there was no crime, it would mean that everyone in society was the same and agreed on everything which in reality is unrealistic. It was also said that criminal behaviour was fostered and encouraged in certain environments over others. This gives support to the nurture over nature aspect. Poor neighbourhoods were studied and it was conclude that communities that suffered from high rates of poverty and social disintegration were more likely to condone criminal activity than more affluent and suburb neighbourhoods. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels took this concept further saying that the capitalist society encouraged crime as people competed for resources and wealth since our society protects those with power and property. Finally, there was the psychoanalytical theory. This was determined by Sigmund Freud who believed that all humans have criminal tendencies and it is through socialization that these tendencies are controlled during childhood. This is another example of nurture instead of nature.

My interview with a criminologist was extremely informative. She raised many interesting ideas and information that I was able to investigate deeper for the majority of my website. Completing the interview before I did the majority of my research gave me great background and a good starting point. It was great to get someone who is a professional at this topic to give me their opinion on all my questions. Even simple and basic questions such as “what is crime” I was able to evaluate in a different way since it was from someone who works in the field and has a profession involving criminology. They were not purely factual answers but rather specific view and judgment.

In my statistical findings, statistics Canada evaluated various infringements on the criminal code over the years. Figure 1 displays the general findings while the others are specific crimes and from specific age groups. Figure 1 has a steep incline of crime from 1962 until its highest point of crime in 1991. After this year there is a small decline in the crime rates but we can see at the end of this graph that the line was beginning to steep upwards again which means increase once again in crime. Below the black bolded line are lighter ones which show the rates of certain crimes including property and violence. It is nice to see that the violence line is the smallest but there is a slight incline present. The other two lines are fairly steady property crime even had a decline near the end.

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