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The Criminal Brain: Understanding Biological Theories of Crime [Paperback]

Nicole Rafter

Price: £16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Dec 2008
What is the relationship between criminality and biology? Nineteenth-century phrenologists insisted that criminality was innate, a trait inherent in the offender's 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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: New York University Press; illustrated edition edition (1 Dec 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814776140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814776148
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 461,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"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"

About the Author

NICOLE RAFTER is Senior Research Fellow of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University and Fellow of the American Society of Criminology. She is the author of many books, including Shots in the Mirror: Crime Films and Society and Criminal Man and Criminal Woman, translations (with Mary Gibson) of Cesare Lombroso's work.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Marvel! 21 Dec 2012
By JOClass 2011 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the definitive work on biological theory of crime. Finally, someone who embraces the past however strange to some now. Further, A WHOLE chapter called "criminology's darkest hour". This is about the Nazi party and is so important. This subject is one that we have not studied in depth in the world of criminology. Rafter also gives the reader a great feel for where criminology is going and why it is so very important to prevent another "dark hour" in criminology! Recommend this to all in the field of criminal justice (especially undergrad and graduate students)!
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent history of crime book 4 May 2013
By anat fanti - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent base to understand the history of criminal theories, together with the cultural history in which these theories were embedded.
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