Sociological Explanations of youth crime & deviance

Using theory to explain why crime is committed by youth 

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  • Functionalism
    • believe crime in inevitable and if society has law someone will break them. they argue crime is functional to society
    • Eisenstadt- on route to achieving the status of adulthood some are bound to be deviant and stay from the norm as it is stressful
    • Miller- STATUS FRUSTRATION: lack of money and status. Crime allows status and attention to be achieved
  • Marxism
    • CCCS- many crimes committed by the working class are money motivated at crime allows them to beat the unfairness in society
    • Hall & Jefferson; RESISTANCE
    • Clarke- Exaggeration
  • Interactionist
    • Becker- young people are labelled by society as criminals or deviant by the media/authority figures = Self-Fulfilling prophecy.
    • Criticism: fail to explain primary deviance
  • Criticism: smart: ignores female offenders. marxists believe this theory ignores crime committed by the powerful middle class. doesn't explain why crime within different ethnic groups are varying
  • Criticism: Fail to explain why crimes not motivated by money are committed


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