Crime and deviance

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  • Created on: 18-03-18 16:49
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  • Crime and Deviance
    • Explanations of crime
      • Deviance is socially defined: it depends on how people view and label the act.
      • cross-cultural evidence suggests that what is seen as deviant can vary across cultures.
      • Historical evidence suggests that what is considered deviant can change over time e.g attitudes towards gay people.
      • Sub-cultural theories explain crime and deviance in terms of the values of a particular subculture.
    • Impact of crime
      • Fear or worry about crime is one way that crime affects everyone.
      • Crime can impact on local communities by generating fear of violence, burglary and car crime
      • Crime is seen as causing damaging tensions within communities.
      • Physically: injury or assault. Financially: having to replace stolen items. Socially:affecting relationships.Psychologically: feeling stressed
    • Social distributions of crime
      • Ethnicity: black people are around five Tims more likely to be in prison than white people. Crime stats exaggerate crime among some ethnic groups.
      • Gender: more men than women commit crime, Only 20% of people found guilty of serious offences are women.
        • Males are often under pressure to act in masculine ways. Females have fewer opportunities to commit crime.
        • Female offenders who conform to gender stereotypes are treated less harshly than men. this is known as the chivalry effect.
      • Social class: w/c people have fear opportunities to succeed. More likely to commit crime for financial gain.
        • W/C subcultures stress deviant/criminal behaviour. Marxist believe that the legal system works in favour of the rich
      • Age:  younger people more likely to engage in crime than older people. Peer group pressure and sub-cultural influences.
    • Explanations
      • Psychological: being impulsive is an example of a personality trait linked to criminal tendencies. impulsive people act with thinking,
      • Biological:  look for biological causes for criminal activity. Lambroso thinks that people are born criminals.
      • Sociologists focus on social factors: socialisation patterns, opportunity structures and relative deprivation.


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