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“Ghost From the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence” by Karr-Morse

Introduction

Juvenile delinquency has been discussed thoroughly in the United States in the last decades. There have been several notorious cases of juvenile crime in the history of this country. Some of the most famous of them are the high school shooting in the small town of Columbine and the shooting in a university in California. But there are also many other ‘minor’ cases around the country. These cases have reopened the debate regarding the roots of criminal behavior. For centuries scholars have tried to understand the reasons and principles behind the criminal behavior of a human being. It is quite interesting to understand the principles and motives behind this socially damaging behavior.

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Especially the focus has been on the deviant behavior of young people. Many theories have been put forward. During the last decades, the social-influence-related theories were considered more than other theories. According to them, people acquire criminal behavior due to the social environment they live in. The family, primary and secondary affiliations groups, friendship, schools, churches, etc. Are social institutions that affect the personality and behavior of the human being. The book we are discussing here, “Ghost from the nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence” from Karr-Morse & Wiley is an alternative view that promotes the biological-based theories of juvenile deviant and criminal behavior. This book had such an impact that it was considered to be “an eye-opening book” by the critics.

Ghosts for the nursery

The very title of the book is meant to “express the idea that murderers and other violent criminals, who were once infants in our communities, are always accompanied by the spirit of the babies they once were together with the forces that killed their promise” (Karr-Morse & Wiley, 1997, p. ix).

The whole book is written around the principle that criminal behavior is ‘embedded’ into the cortex, brain, of the human being since its childhood. The book does not advocate the view that criminal behavior comes totally from biological factors and that the social environment does not influence one’s life. Rather, it is an attempt to clarify the ideas given by biological theories regarding this issue. Karr-Morse and Wiley pretend that the social phenomena around the child do influence him by leaving ‘traces’ in his nervous and central system.

Juvenile delinquency has been discussed thoroughly in the United States in the last decades. There have been several notorious cases of juvenile crime in the history of this country. Some of the most famous of them are the high school shooting in the small town of Columbine and the shooting in a university in California. But there are also many other ‘minor’ cases around the country. These cases have reopened the debate regarding the roots of criminal behavior. For centuries scholars have tried to understand the reasons and principles behind the criminal behavior of a human being. It is quite interesting to understand the principles and motives behind this socially damaging behavior.

Especially the focus has been on the deviant behavior of young people. Many theories have been put forward. During the last decades, the social-influence-related theories were considered more than other theories. According to them, people acquire criminal behavior due to the social environment they live in. The family, primary and secondary affiliations groups, friendship, schools, churches, etc. Are social institutions that affect the personality and behavior of the human being. The book we are discussing here, “Ghost from the nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence” from Karr-Morse & Wiley is an alternative view that promotes the biological-based theories of juvenile deviant and criminal behavior. This book had such an impact that it was considered to be “an eye-opening book” by the critics.

Juvenile delinquency has been discussed thoroughly in the United States in the last decades. There have been several notorious cases of juvenile crime in the history of this country. Some of the most famous of them are the high school shooting in the small town of Columbine and the shooting in a university in California. But there are also many other ‘minor’ cases around the country. These cases have reopened the debate regarding the roots of criminal behavior.

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For centuries scholars have tried to understand the reasons and principles behind the criminal behavior of a human being. It is quite interesting to understand the principles and motives behind this socially damaging behavior. Especially the focus has been on the deviant behavior of young people. Many theories have been put forward. During the last decades, the social-influence-related theories were considered more than other theories.

According to them, people acquire criminal behavior due to the social environment they live in. The family, primary and secondary affiliations groups, friendship, schools, churches, etc. Are social institutions that affect the personality and behavior of the human being. The book we are discussing here, “Ghost from the nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence” from Karr-Morse & Wiley is an alternative view that promotes the biological-based theories of juvenile deviant and criminal behavior. This book had such an impact that it was considered to be “an eye-opening book” by the critics.

References

Karr-Morse, R. Wiley, M. (1997). Ghosts from the nursery: tracing the roots of violence. Atlantic Press: New York.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“Ghost From the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence” by Karr-Morse." April 3, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ghost-from-the-nursery-tracing-the-roots-of-violence-by-karr-morse/.

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