functionalist - crime and deviance

  • Created by: M_gan
  • Created on: 27-02-19 09:28
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  • functionalist view
    • Durkheim
      • crime is universal and inevitable
      • crime can be functional
        • boundary maintenance: shows right from wrong, reinforces commitment to shared norms and values
        • adaption & change: all change starts with deviance, changes norms & values by challenging them eg Rosa Parks
        • a warning that something needs to change
      • evaluation
        • :( - not clear about what's the right amount of crime: too subjective
        • :( - doesn't think about victims view: insensitive
        • :( - racism/ sexism of a 'healthy society'
        • :( - not useful in explaining patterns of crime
        • :) - generated further research eg strain theories
      • caused by anomie (normlessness)
    • Mertons strain theory
      • everyone wants to meet the 'American Dream'
        • may not be able to meet it because of discrimination or high unemployment
      • deviant adaptions to strain
        • conformity: accept goals and want to achieve them legitimately
        • innovation: accept goals but achieve them illegitimately
        • ritualism: give up on goals but still follow the rules
        • retreatism: reject goals and ways to achieve them and become dropouts
        • rebellion: replaces goals with new ones to make change eg Hippies
      • evaluation
        • :) - shows how crime can come from people having the same goals
        • :) - explains crime patterns
        • :( - takes official statistics at face value
        • :( - only accounts for white collar crime
        • :( - assumes people want money more than community
    • Cohen status frustration
      • people from lower classes have problems adjusting to low status given by society
        • resolves this by rejecting mainstream middle class values and form/ join delinquent subcultures
      • subcultures 'invert' mainstreams societies values,  whatever society condemns the subculture praises
      • alternative status hierarchy: created a illegitimate opportunity structure where they get status through delinquent actions
      • evaluation
        • :) - explains why groups commit crime
        • :) - explains non utilitarian crime
        • :( - assumes people are only in gangs for status
        • :( - only applies to working class crime
    • Cloward and Ohlin
      • illegitimate opportunity structure: not everyone has the same opportunity to become successful criminals as they need the opportunity to learn the trade
      • three types of deviant subculture
        • criminal subculture
          • opportunity for a career in utilitarian crime
          • appears in neighbourhoods with a stable crime culture
          • provides those capable with opportunities on the criminal career ladder
        • conflict subculture
          • in highly populates areas
          • social disorganisation and no stable professional crime netwrk
          • loosely organised gangs - illegitimate opportunities
          • violence releases frustration - they can gain status from gaining 'turf' from rival gangs eg postcode wars
        • retreatist subculture
          • in any neighbourhood
          • not everyone's a successful criminal
          • double failures: fail in both legitimate and illegitimate opportunity structures
          • based on illegal drug use
      • evaluation
        • :) - provides an explanation for different types of group deviance - not just utilitarian crime
        • :( - ignores the crimes of the wealthy/ powerful
        • :( - deterministic - ignores the fact that most WC don't commit crime
        • :( - assumes they shared the same norms and values to begin with
        • :( - draws boundaries too sharply eg drug trade includes all three

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