the positivist attitude to criminals

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rednirt
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Lombroso was a pioneer of this theory, which in a very simple way proposes that criminals are atavistic - i.e. they are evolutionary throwbacks, with big sloping foreheads and big eyes and ears etc. I was just wondering if this way of thinking still goes on today, I mean do you look at some people and assume they are criminal because of the way they look?
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Eru Iluvatar
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(Original post by rednirt)
Lombroso was a pioneer of this theory, which in a very simple way proposes that criminals are atavistic - i.e. they are evolutionary throwbacks, with big sloping foreheads and big eyes and ears etc. I was just wondering if this way of thinking still goes on today, I mean do you look at some people and assume they are criminal because of the way they look?
Well i don't. I think that you can only judge whether someone is a criminal by their behaviour.
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rednirt
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(Original post by Iluvatar)
Well i don't. I think that you can only judge whether someone is a criminal by their behaviour.
thats my thinking, but there are some people who do still go by this i think. I mean, you look at some groups of people and sometimes start to feel uneasy, or know I have friends who will make judgements on others because of they way they look or dress.

This could also explain by black people sometimes feel picked on as the theory had definate racists over tones... and a lot of the main theorists in the field went on to support fascism (spelling?) and eugenics, which is of course the selective breeding of populations to get rid of the bad and undesirable factors.
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Elle
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There used to be lots of studies carried out on this.. by measuring features on criminals etc. Big busted women were thought to be prostitutes and men with eyes too close togther were thought to be shifty. I don't know whether this is just me- but I've noticed the older generation judge people based on looks more than we do.
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Half related:

Heard on the radio in the car a debate about whether prisoners should be allowed to vote. Currently the UK and luxembourg are the only european countries where all prisoners are not allowed to vote.

many polititions and various groups want them to get to vote apparently, i don't think they deserve it
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Weejimmie
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Look ata ny social psychology text-book under prejudice and stereotyping in the index. It's a bit more complicated: Edmund Burke argued that prejudice is the inherited wisdom of our ancestors. Certainly it's sometimes sensible: if someone is running towards you screaming and waving a knife it's very reasonable to be prejudiced about them.
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SHANDY
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(Original post by rednirt)
Lombroso was a pioneer of this theory, which in a very simple way proposes that criminals are atavistic - i.e. they are evolutionary throwbacks, with big sloping foreheads and big eyes and ears etc. I was just wondering if this way of thinking still goes on today, I mean do you look at some people and assume they are criminal because of the way they look?
There is an old saying 'never judge a book by it's cover'.
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