Essay on The Main Schools Of Thought Classical, Positive And Conflict

790 Words Sep 29th, 2015 4 Pages
In criminology, there are three main schools of thought-classical, positive and conflict. Each school of thought has a different viewpoint from one another, almost drastically so. Classical criminology believes that crime is committed when the benefits of committing a crime out weight the risk, such as imprisonment. Positive criminology theorizes that other forces, such as their psychological traits and social status, affect criminal behavior. The conflict view of criminology believes that wealthy and high ranking people in society use their power over those less powerful to control their lives.
Classical criminology is the oldest school of thought. This school of thought was inspired by Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria, in particular his essay “On Crimes and Punishment”. In said essay, he states that many people do not commit crimes due to their fear of being punished. Beccaria also believed that crime occurred when someone made the choice to do so. However, it was not until the Enlightenment period, in eighteen century, when Jeremy Bentham endorsed Beccaria’s point of view. Bentham used the term “utilitarian (hedonistic) calculus” which was how someone can weigh the gain/gains of committing a crime against the pain/punishment. In response to those concepts, classical criminology focuses heavily on deterring crime through punishment. It focuses on punishing the crime, not the offender, and it is supposed to be swift and certain punishment in order to make the crime…

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