The Origins of Criminology : A Reader book cover
1st Edition

The Origins of Criminology
A Reader

Edited By

Nicole H. Rafter

ISBN 9780415451123
Published June 8, 2009 by Routledge-Cavendish
376 Pages

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Book Description

The Origins of Criminology: A Reader is a collection of nineteenth-century texts from the key originators of the practice of criminology – selected, introduced, and with commentaries by the leading scholar in this area, Nicole Rafter.

This book presents criminology as a unique field of study that took root in a context in which urbanization, immigration, and industrialization changed the class structure of Western nations. As relatively homogenous communities became more sharply divided and aware of a bottom-most group, the 'dangerous classes', a new segment of the middle class emerged: professionals involved in the work of social control. Tracing the intellectual origins of criminology to physiognomy, phrenology, and evolutionary theories, this book demonstrates criminology's background in new attitudes toward science and the development of scientific methodologies applicable to social and mental phenomena. Through an expert selection of original texts, it traces the emergence of ‘criminology’ as a new field purporting to produce scientific knowledge about crime and criminals.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Eighteenth-Century Predecessors  Section 2: Phrenology  Section 3: Moral and Mental Insanity  Section 4: Evolution, Degeneration, and Heredity  Section 5: The Underclass and the Underworld  Section 6: Criminal Anthropology  Section 7: Habitual Criminals and their Identification  Section 8: Eugenic Criminology  Section 9: Criminal Statistics  Section 10: Sociological Approaches to Crime

List of Contributors: Lavater.  Spurzheim.  Gall.  M.B. Sampson.  Farnham.  Pinel.  Rush.  Prichard.  Morel.  Dugdale.  Lowell.  Kerlin.  Maudsley.  J.B. Thomson.  Fletcher.  Quetelet.  Querry.  Lombroso.  Brockway.  Wey.  Ross

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"Criminology emerged from many traditions. Criminologists are usually unaware of this diversity and look at small segments of the history of their trade, if they look at this past at all. There are exceptions – and Nicole Rafter represents this broader perspective in the most impressive way. For this book she has used her wide reading in the past and present of criminological debates to compose an anthology of writings on the crime problem from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The result is unqiue and most welcome as it provides teachers, students, and an interested public with first hand access to the richness of criminology’s past.  You will have many fascinating deja-vu-experiences in reading through his book, which will allow you to put current criminological debates into a wider perspective." - Peter Becker, Professor of History, University of Linz

"This is an indispensable source for anyone interested in the history of criminology and a must read for all criminologists. As criminology moves toward establishing a settled disciplinary identity, this volume provides a collection of wonderfully rich insights into its intellectual genealogy and a timely reminder of its eclecticism. The selected texts derive from a striking array of disciplines and have an astonishingly wide geographical spread.

Many are by famous (and infamous) names that have endured to the present day – Beccaria, Tuke, von Krafft-Ebing, Lombroso, Darwin, Maudsley, Engels, and Ferri. Others are by less well known authors and some by those whose contribution to the birth of criminology might otherwise slip into obscurity. The choice of texts is skilfully handled by an author who has long been one of the leading historians of criminology. Together with Rafter’s authoritative introduction and engaging commentaries, these texts furnish an essential guide to the very origins of criminological endeavour." - Lucia Zedner, Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Oxford and Conjoint Professor, University of New South Wales

"Professor Rafter has long been a highly productive, enthusiastic and innovative explorer of the deep roots of the sciences of criminology that began to emerge in the nineteenth century. She has never been condescending, dismissive or uninterested in her examination of protean ideas that many contemporary criminologists so often lightly bat away. In The Origins of Criminology: A Reader, she has again advanced that project by assembling and framing a great spread of sample attempts made by those who first grappled with the problems thought to be presented by the dangerous and perishing classes of the new industrial age. It will be invaluable to any who seek properly to understand, as she does, how the new, eclectic and marginal discipline of criminology emerged out of a welter of sciences themselves new, eclectic and marginal." - Paul Rock, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Visiting Professor of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania

"Nicole Rafter's The Origins of Criminology: A Reader is a timely collection of criminological texts from the nineteenth century, many of them no longer easily accessible. Accompanied by a useful introduction and notes, the book brings together an unprecedented range of materials illustrating early criminological thought. As such, it is sure to become required reading for undergraduate criminology, social history and sociology courses, as well as a well-thumbed resource for the growing number of scholars researching and writing in the field."Neil Davie, Professor of British History, Université Lumière Lyon 2, France