Choose a theoretical perspective (I.e., biological, psychological sociological)

In week 4, you learned about the importance of theory, the various theoretical perspectives and the ways in which theory help guide research in regards to crime and criminal behavior. To put this assignment into context, I want you to think about how Lombroso thought one could identify a criminal.  He said that criminals had similar facial features.  If that was the case you would be able to look at someone and know if they were a criminal!  Social theories infer that perhaps it is the social structures around us that encourage criminality. Look around your city- what structures do you think may match up to something you have learned about this week in terms of theory?  These are just two small examples to put this assignment into context for you. The idea is to learn about the theories, then critically think about how can one “show” the theory without providing written explanation for their chosen image.   Directions: With the readings week 4 in mind, please do the following: 1.  Choose a theoretical perspective (I.e., biological, psychological sociological) 2.  Look through media images (this can be cartoons, magazines, newspapers, internet stories, etc…) and select 10 images that you think depict your chosen theory without written explanation. 3. Provide a one paragraph statement of your theory, what kinds of behavior it explains and how it is depicted through images. Be sure to use resources to support your answer. 4.  You will copy and paste your images into a word document, along with your paragraph.  You do not need to cite where you got your images, but you do need to cite any information you have in number 3.   Format Directions: Typed, 12 point font, double spaced APA format style (Cover page, in text citations and references) 

Please read other attachment for the reading For week 4, you are to read the following sections in this book IN THIS ORDER:

  • 5.1-5.12

Here is a bit of information about each of the readings:

Topic: What is a theory and how do I know if it is a good theory?

            Readings: 5.1, 5.2

These readings will introduce you to theory. Theory is used in Criminology to describe, explain, predict and hopefully control criminal behavior. These readings introduce you to the science component of criminal justice- criminology.  While criminal justice is the study of police, courts and corrections, criminology is the study of crime and criminal behavior.  While different, they interact! It is important to understand why “people do what they do” in an effort to inform the criminal justice components to help gain a better understanding of crime and criminality, in addition to biological, psychological and social factors that influence criminality.

Topic: Pre-Classical, Classical and Neoclassical schools of thought

            Readings 5.3, 5.4, 5.5

These readings will introduce you to the early thoughts on criminal behavior.  They will provide you with the historical, cultural and society happenings that were influencing the study of criminals. You will also learn about the different ideas surrounding punishment historically.

Topic: Positivism & biological and psychological explanations of criminal behavior

            Readings 5.6, 5.7

These readings will introduce you to the idea of positivism- that empirical evidence through scientific inquiry could be used to improve society. You will learn various ways in which scientists tried to identify causes of criminal behavior beyond one’s individual choice.

Topic: Social Process and Social Structure Theories: Chicago School, Strain, Learning and Control Theories

            Readings 5.8, 5.9, 5.10, 5.11

Some criminologists believe that the cause of criminal behavior lies within society, either in the social structures that are in place, or as a result of social processes. These readings will introduce the impact that things like race, class, sex, education, peer groups, etc.. may have on criminal behavior.

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