The ethics of saying someone 'looks like a criminal'...

27 replies
Found 3rd Jun 2010
I know crims come in all shapes and sizes, and from all backgrounds...but I'd say you can quite often, by look, tell who's 'been in a bit of bother' in the past.

A sociology student who I worked with for a while told me it wasn't ethical to say it. Not sure I'd agree...if you're walking down the street and you see someone who looks like a nasty piece of work, you'd avoid them, right?

Not sure what's so wrong with what I said...???

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27 Comments

Banned

depends on the crime...........not all fit the "stereotypical look of a criminal"

Banned

casparwhite;8754339

depends on the crime...........not all fit the "stereotypical look of a … depends on the crime...........not all fit the "stereotypical look of a criminal"



I bet you look like a criminal.

criminals are hardly ethical.................end

it's not right to judge someone by appearance (there was a theory by lombroso that certain features are prevalent in criminals which was discredited)

However its only natural to avoid people/places which may cause you harm subconsciously, so i don't really see the harm of avoiding them, but labelling them is different and should be avoided =]

Banned

master_chief;8754345

I bet you look like a criminal.



a "model criminal" maybe.....

take that as you want;-)

Original Poster

coerce86;8754397

it's not right to judge someone by appearance (there was a theory by … it's not right to judge someone by appearance (there was a theory by lombroso that certain features are prevalent in criminals which was discredited)However its only natural to avoid people/places which may cause you harm subconsciously, so i don't really see the harm of avoiding them, but labelling them is different and should be avoided =]



I understand. But I can't help thinking we all do it internally anyway, so why not come out and say it. Perhaps if we did...if it wasn't so taboo...we could have people realise they are causing worry and concern in others, and perhaps people wouldn't so willingly live up to stereotypes???

casparwhite;8754412

a "model criminal" maybe.....take that as you want;-)



what, you're a dummy?

I see nothing wrong with judging by appearances. It's a good way to be. If people trusted everything until they got to know it\them better there would be a lot more sorry people out there. It's a good initial defense mechanism, it lets us know to be cautious about things.

dcx_badass;8754357

I agree mostly though. I was walking behind a group of chavs with my dad … I agree mostly though. I was walking behind a group of chavs with my dad yesterday and I said they shouldn't be allowed out their council estates as you could tell they were scratters, anyway we were behind them for about 5 mins, where do they end up going, yup they were walking to court, I said there's a stereotype if you ever see one and the police man at the door let out a little chuckle.



What were you there for like ?

Original Poster

tinkerbell28;8754431

Are you hot then?



Anyone would look hot with a facemask on, carrying a bag marked 'SWAG'

Banned

Alfonse;8754435

what, you're a dummy?



ho ho says the muppet

build a bridge and get over it...... whatever it is;-)

casparwhite;8754452

ho ho says the muppetbuild a bridge and get over it...... whatever it … ho ho says the muppetbuild a bridge and get over it...... whatever it is;-)



youtube.com/wat…VnM

Original Poster

tinkerbell28;8754454

Not really unless it's a fetish thing.



Damn, busted! I suppose it's wrong to think people look great with the all in one suits with arrows on too, right?

Banned

Alfonse;8754465

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhmjnYKlVnM



youtube.com/wat…piY

Banned

Was it Lombroso who came up with the theory of people looking like criminals? Such a long time since I did Sociology so not sure now but I remember getting a B+ for drawing a picture of Dr Crippen and therefore proving all of Lombroso's points incorrect.

Yay! Even in Sociology I was drawing!

Banned

cant be a much worse theory than Phrenology (feeling bumps in the skull) to show certain tendancies

Banned

Everyone has broken a law at some point in their lifes, even if they didn't know they were doing it, so everyone looks like a criminal because they are to some degree

whatsThePoint;8754607

Everyone has broken a law at some point in their lifes, even if they … Everyone has broken a law at some point in their lifes, even if they didn't know they were doing it, so everyone looks like a criminal because they are to some degree



Did you pluck that "fact" out of thin air?

CFC_Mark;8754950

Did you pluck that "fact" out of thin air?



It surely would stand to reason though. There are so many laws people are unaware of that we all must have broken some at some point

coerce86;8754397

it's not right to judge someone by appearance (there was a theory by … it's not right to judge someone by appearance (there was a theory by lombroso that certain features are prevalent in criminals which was discredited) However its only natural to avoid people/places which may cause you harm subconsciously, so i don't really see the harm of avoiding them, but labelling them is different and should be avoided =]



:thumbsup: Well said. Instict counts for a lot too. The loud chav thugs are sterotypical and we can all hopefully avoid their attention. It's the blue / white collar crimes / fraud / deceptions that are much harder to spot. Those we grow to trust and are then damaged by them, even harder to pick them out because there is no stereotype....they are just like us, aren't they ?

I remember a few years ago, The Daily Mail running a headline in which they exclaimed serious dismay at "Bin Laden lookalike" Richard Reid even being allowed on a plane in the first place. I was liek, "whuh?". But I guess this is like that.

Banned

CFC_Mark;8754950

Did you pluck that "fact" out of thin air?



Prove me wrong and if you drive your on the law breaker list for a start :thumbsup:

OP, I've stopped wearing that stripey jumper my gran knitted me :roll:

http://goremasternews.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/burglar.jpg

Alfonse;8754435

what, you're a dummy?



:x:-D

Banned

JonnyTwoToes;8754535

Was it Lombroso who came up with the theory of people looking like … Was it Lombroso who came up with the theory of people looking like criminals? Such a long time since I did Sociology so not sure now but I remember getting a B+ for drawing a picture of Dr Crippen and therefore proving all of Lombroso's points incorrect.Yay! Even in Sociology I was drawing!



Durkheim

SirBargainsALot;8754432

I understand. But I can't help thinking we all do it internally anyway, … I understand. But I can't help thinking we all do it internally anyway, so why not come out and say it. Perhaps if we did...if it wasn't so taboo...we could have people realise they are causing worry and concern in others, and perhaps people wouldn't so willingly live up to stereotypes???



it's more likely to work the other way round, you say someone looks like a criminal, they get treated differently and henceforth aspire to become criminals as they no longer feel as though they fit in society

(durkheim believed in normlessness or anomie not this, it was lombroso who categorised criminal characteristics via their skull shape as someone else said)

On another note! white collar crime is responsible for much more loss compared to other forms (other forms amounting to something like $1bn usd in losses, compared to white collar with $80bn usd or something similar most of which isn't caught or punished, i only remember the american statistics because i studied this over there)

Banned

ODB_69;8755455

Durkheim



I'm sure Lombroso had something to do with it?
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