Durkheim's functional theory of crime

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  • Created by: lucexox
  • Created on: 04-07-16 09:44
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  • Durkheim's functional theory
    • Value concensus
      • A general agreement of core beliefs
        • Leads to social solidarity
    • Socialisation
      • The process by which individuals internalise the norms, values and culture of society
      • Social control
        • The ways in which a society directs the behaviour of its members using sanctions
        • Value concensus
          • A general agreement of core beliefs
            • Leads to social solidarity
      • Crime is found when not everyone is socialised into the norms and values of society
    • Social control
      • The ways in which a society directs the behaviour of its members using sanctions
    • Durkheim
      • 'Crime is an integral part of all healthy societies'
        • Although crime may destabilise society, it is inevitable and universal.
      • Too much and too little crime show malfunction in society
    • An increase in diversity is good but it means people live different lifestyles so have different values
      • Subcultures develop
        • This can be seen as deviant from mainstream norms
    • Anomie is normlessness,  where values and rules are weakened and less clear cut
    • Positive functions of crime
      • Boundary maintenance
        • Crime unties societies in condemnation of the wrongdoer
          • Punishments purpose is to reaffirm societies shared rules to reinforce social solidarity
      • Adaption and change
        • There must be flexibility for individuals to change societies norms and values
          • This may first appear as deviant
      • Other positives
        • Davis says that prostitution can act as a safety valve for the release of men's sexual frustrations
          • Polsky says that pornography acts similarly
        • Cohen suggests that things like high levels of truancy acts as a warning that an institution is not functioning properly
        • Erikson says that social control agencies such as the police can manage the level of crime
        • Events such as festivals give young people the opportunity to misbehave without causing too much dysfunction to society
    • Evaluation
      • STRENGTH This theory provides an insight into how crime can be beneficial
      • WEAKNESSThis theory doesn't state how much is the right amount of crime
      • This theory ignores the fact that social solidarity may exist already

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