Deviance and Control Theories

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  • Deviance and Control Theories
    • Functionalist approaches to crime
      • Durkheim: Positives and negatives of crime
        • Positive sides of crime
          • Crime is needed for society
          • Society have shared beliefs that guide our actions, this is called the collective conscience, it tells us right and wrong
            • Every time someone breaks the law, courts and the following media attention reaffirms societies boundaries - those who commit crimes remind us of crimes, so we wont commit them
            • The boundaries can change meaning new laws are made or some are broken (see: cannabis use, sexism, racism)
            • Crimes that are so serve can bring people together, through they mutal discust
        • Negative aspects of crime
          • Too much crime has negative consequences
          • Anomie
            • In times of sociological stress, the collective conscience breaks down leaving people free from norms and values leading them to think of their own needs
              • Crime rockets
            • Merton: he reassessed this concept in his strain theory, Durkheim was too vague...
      • Hirschi: bonds of attachment
        • He asked the question "why don't people commit crime"
        • Crime occurs when people's attachment to society is weakened in some way, this attachment depends on 4 crucial social bonds
          • REMEMBER BICA
          • Involvement -is there time for law breaking behavior?
          • Belief - how strong is a person's sense that they should obey the rules of society
          • Attachment - to what extent do we care about others wishes and opinions
          • Commitment - what have we got to lose if we commit a crime
    • The family and crime
      • Putnam and social capital
        • social capital refers to the extent to which a person has a network of social contacts made up in a area
      • Farrington and West: Longitudinal research of 411 "working-class" males born in late '50s
        • By the age of 25, one third were recorded crime offenders
        • There are consistent correlations between family traits and offending
          • Offenders are more likely to come from homes with poor parenting - especially if the father had criminal convictions or from poorer single parent families
        • Study them until they were 30
    • Marxist prespective
      • Box, release from social control propels people into crime
        • If people aren't caught committing crime the first time, they are more likely to recommit (such as fraud and white-collar crime)
      • Marx says that capitalism is "crimeogenic"


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