Methodology - Methodology While the above has concentrated...

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Methodology While the above has concentrated upon individualistic explanations of crime and criminality (and the many assumptions about both individuals and the social world therein), it is clear that important methodological problems are involved in these kinds of non-sociological explanations. 1. In the first place, both genetic and psychological explanations tend to allow - to a greater or lesser extent - the idea that the social environment within which a person lives plays a part in the creation of deviants. For geneticists , this social aspect is allowed in relation to the roles played by particular personality types. For example, the personality traits that create the successful thief - cunning, the ability to deceive, the failure to recognise the rights of others and so forth - might also be applicable to the successful businessman or woman. The reasons why a particular personality type chooses to follow either a socially-acceptable or socially-unacceptable path are to be found in the social environment. For psychologists , the social aspect is allowed in relation to the experiences of the individual (mainly in their early years). Frequently, reference is made to problems within the socialisation process. Something, somewhere or somehow has "gone wrong" in this process, so as to produce not a well-rounded, well- adapted, individual but, on the contrary, a maladjusted personality - one, moreover, that is predisposed not to recognise various rules and regulations that exist within a society. Various psychologists, from Freud onwards, have identified childhood experiences as bring the key to our understanding of deviant behaviour. Usually, it is the mother whom takes the blame for producing maladjusted offspring. .. John Bowlby ("44 Juvenile Thieves"), for example, has argued that the failure of the mother to satisfy her child's "basic human need" for emotional security can result in the production of a psychopathic personality . The psychopath is seen as an individual who acts without a sense of guilt or recognition of the rights of others. Psychopaths cannot be deterred from criminal behaviour because they have no sense of right and wrong - they merely follow their own sense of personal need. A major problem with this kind of explanation is that it is methodologically naive:
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course SCIE SYG2000 taught by Professor Bernhardt during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Methodology - Methodology While the above has concentrated...

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