A History of Criminology

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    The Enlightenment was a social, economic and scientific shift from believing and accepting (e.g. in the supernatural) to a culture of reason and rationality which led to great scientific progress. In Britain it coincided with the industrial revolution.
  • Insane asylums

    A network of insane asylums emerged across Europe. These led to a new breed of professionals... the "alienists", who were the doctors supporting and studying the inmates. We might think of "alienists" as the precursors of psychiatrists.
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    Classical Modernity

    Modernity is the shift away from the fuedal system and natural law towards capatalist society where nothing is pre-ordained and science and nature are distinct.
  • Prisons

    What we think of as a prison first became commonly used across europe in the middle of the 19th century. These provided better opportunities for scientists, particularly doctors to study and monitor criminals than the insane asylums had. Governments needed to be advised how best to utilize this new resourse.
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    Early Research: Britain

    In Briatin almost all work done studying criminals and criminal behaviour was carried out by prison doctors who worked for the government. Since British studies were situated in the institutional framework, findings were respectful of legal principles and oftern unecessarily modest. Furthermore "criminology" in it's early stages was mostly being forwarded by French, Italian and German thinkers.
  • Stronger Government

    In the latter half of the 19th century governments in europe and america became stronger and wanted to know how to control their populations. Goverments demanded empirical studies and evidence was gathered about criminal behaviour patterns, crime rates and prisons.
  • Lombroso publishes L'Uomo Delinquente

    Cesare Lombroso founded a specialist "science of the criminal" which arose from his studies of anthropology. He was attempting to identify different racial types and subject them to scientific scrutiny and categorization. Furthermore Lombroso believed that criminals were naturally occurring and not the result of various socio-economic processes. Although Lambroso's theories have been widely discredited now, he inspired 30 years of research.
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  • Goring introduces statistical methods.

    Dr Charles Goring wrote The English Convict: A Statistical Study, which was published in 1913. In it he describes new statistical techniques and his theorised that to be a criminal was normal, and he found that poor physique and low intelligence were very closely associated with crime.
  • WW1 Starts

  • WW1 ends

    In the aftermath of world war 1 Britain had to deal with an epoidemic of "shell-shock" and intrest in phychiatry and phycoanalysis greatly increased.
  • WW2 begins

  • WW2 ends (Europe)

    Several German scholars who were interested in the causes of crime etc came to the UK. These individuals helped create an imputus to link criminology with academia and break links with the government.
  • Modern Welfare state created in Britain.

    This push for social justice, partly in response to WW2 , meant a massive increase in government funding for research projects. In particular government concern about juvinile delinquency meant more funding for criminology. In fact juvenile delinquency was an area of special interest and expertise in Britain for many years.
  • Criminology goes Academic

    In the early 60's Criminology successfully integrated itself into mainstream academia as a subject in its own right in Britain.
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    Define Criminology. Go on, I dare you.

    Criminology was rapidly accepted as an academic subject and immediately there was a shift away from correctionalism ("fixing" a criminal so they won't do it again) towards a study of how factors/circumstances effect criminals and crime in general in an effort to try and reduce crime. There is still argument in the academy as to "what is criminology".