Are Criminals Born or Made? Essay

1890 Words 8 Pages
As the act of criminality is a global phenomenon, there must therefore be some explanation as to why this is; some schools of thought strive to explicate this by means of genetics, whilst others take a more socially influenced approach. Although at the time, the micro-criminological theories of Lombroso and Sheldon may have appeared credible, modern research has attempted to refute such notions. In an epidemiological context, the act of crime is seen by some as a positive contribution to society, as noted by Durkheim (Kirby et al, 2000), although too much will lead to social instability, or anomie. In contrariety to Durkheim's beliefs, a Marxist perspective would consider the mere notion of capitalism as criminal; thus deeming the vast …show more content…
The research findings of Herrnstein & Wilson are not only conclusive to the claims of Lombroso, but also correlate with Sheldon's (1949) declaration of somatotypes relating to criminality. In an attempt to authenticate the notion of hereditary criminal predisposition, Lange's (1931) study of twins concluded identical twins share innate criminal tendencies, however; the results were less conclusive with fraternal twins; whereby evidencing the possibility of hereditary criminality. However, the claims of Lombroso, Sheldon and Hernstein & Wilson that criminals are generally of lowered intelligence, fail to consider crimes of a highly intricate, strategic nature, such as corporate crimes, which “...take place within an occupational or business environment … [and] are frequently complex, ambiguous and diverse.” (Muncie & McLaughlin, 2001, 243) suggesting an increased level of intelligence and authority as a prerequisite for executing crimes of such calibre. Although much

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