Compare and Contrast Criminological Theories

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Criminological theories interpret the competing paradigms of Human Nature, Social Order, Definition of Crime, Extent and Distribution of Crime, Causes of Crime, and Policy, differently. Even though these theories have added to societies understanding of criminal behaviour, all have been unable to explain why punishment or treatment of offenders is unable to prevent deviancy, and thus are ineffective methods of control. The new penology is a contemporary response that favours the management of criminals by predicting future harm on society. However, all criminological theories are linked as they are a product of the historical time and place, and because of their contextual history, they will continue to reappear depending on the current state of the world, and may even be reinvented. Human Nature From Classicisms perspective, individuals are free and rational thinkers, but are ultimately governed by self-interest (Young, 1981). This voluntaristic outlook considers men equal in terms of free-will and the ability to reason; nevertheless some of the population are seen as pre-rational or sub-rational. Nevertheless, the central contradiction between formal and substantive equality plays a key role, not just classicism, but in many theoretical perspectives, as it does not depict why individuals continue to commit crime. Contrarily, Positivisms main principle is determinacy; that all behaviour is a result of circumstances. Therefore, the degree of socialisation an individual has in societal values, leads them to be categorised into conformist or criminal on the continuum. However, this is a problem as it denies the freedom individuals have in making choices. The same tension between instinct and the social self exists in Conse... ... middle of paper ... ...lacks, and men. Furthermore, the competing paradigms influence public policy. Those that maintain acts as voluntary are more inclined to punish the individual or group, however those that are seen to act under determined forces, judge treatment to be more suitable. Even though these theories contrast, they still contain similarities which are shared in the new penology. Aspects are taken from all to create a new perspective on crime that centres on the management of offenders. Works Cited Feeley, M., & Simon, J. (1992). The new penology: Notes on the emerging strategy of corrections and its implications. Criminology, 30 (4), 449-474. Young, J. (1981). Thinking seriously about crime: Some models of criminology. In M. Fitzgerald, G. McLennan, & J. Pawson (Eds.), Crime and society: Readings in history and society (pp. 248-309). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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