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Criminal Brain Understanding Biological Theories of Crime

ISBN-10: 0814776140
ISBN-13: 9780814776148
Edition: 2008
Authors: Nicole Rafter
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Description: The Criminal Brain will have an important impact on social, political, and moral debates as biological criminology becomes increasingly prominent in coming years. --Simon A. Cole, author of Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and  More...

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Book details

List price: $27.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 10/1/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

The Criminal Brain will have an important impact on social, political, and moral debates as biological criminology becomes increasingly prominent in coming years. --Simon A. Cole, author of Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification What is the relationship between criminality and biology? Nineteenth-century phrenologists insisted that criminality was innate, a trait inherent in the offenders brain matter. While they were eventually repudiated as pseudo-scientists and self-deluded charlatans, today the pendulum has swung back. Both criminologists and biologists have begun to speak of a tantalizing but disturbing possibility: that criminality may be inherited as a set of genetic deficits that place one at risk for theft, violence, and sexual deviance. If that is so, we may soon confront proposals for genetically modifying at risk fetuses or doctoring up criminals so their brains operate like those of law-abiding citizens. In The Criminal Brain, well-known criminologist Nicole Rafter traces the sometimes violent history of these criminological theories and provides an introduction to current biological theories of crime, or biocriminology, with predictions of how these theories are likely to develop in the future. What do these new theories assert? Are they as dangerous as their forerunners, which the Nazis and other eugenicists used to sterilize, incarcerate, and even execute thousands of supposed born criminals? How can we prepare for a future in which leaders may propose crime-control programs based on biology? Enhanced with fascinating illustrations and written in lively prose, The Criminal Brain examines these issues in light of the history of ideas about the criminal brain. By tracing the birth and growth of enduring ideas in criminology, as well as by recognizing historical patterns in the interplay of politics and science, she offers ways to evaluate new theories of the criminal brain that may radically reshape ideas about the causes of criminal behavior.

Nicole Rafter is Professor and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University and author of many books, including The Criminal Brain: Understanding Biological Theories of Crime .

List of Illustrations
Preface
Introduction: Crime, History, Science
Biological Theories in the 19th Century
Moral Insanity and the Origins of Criminology
Phrenology: The Abnormal Brain
Criminal Anthropology: The Atavistic Brain
Evolutionary Theories: The Degenerate Brain
Biological Theories in the 20th Century
Stupidity Theories: The Backward Brain
Constitutional Theory: Bodytypes and Criminality
Criminology's Darkest Hour: Biocriminology in Nazi Germany
Contemporary Biocriminology
Biological Theories in the 21st Century
A Criminology for the 21st Century
Notes
References
Index
About the Author

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