Functionalist and Subcultural Theories of Crime and Deviance

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  • Functionalist and Subcultural
    • Functionalist
      • Durkheim
        • Crime is inevitable
        • Some deviance is necessary
          • It strengthens collective values, reminded of boundaries
          • Enables social change, allows new ideas to develop
          • Act as safety valve (Kingsley Davis), release stress (protests)
          • Warning device that society isn't working
      • Merton Strain theory
        • Explains why deviance arises in first place
        • Conformity - accept means and goals, non deviant, conformist
        • Innovation, accepts goals not means, goals can't be achieved, turn to crime
        • Ritualism accept means but not goals, give up on achieving goals, workers who give up on promotion
        • Retreatism, do not accept means or goals, drop out, drug addicts
        • Rebellion, reject means and goals but replace with new society, members of gangs or sects
    • Subcultural
      • Cohen
        • Status frustration
        • Develop alternate values (delinquent subculture)
        • Working class adolescents
        • e.g. stealing to achieve and gain status in peer group
      • Cloward and Ohlin
        • Cohen didn't explain gangs, could be to do with location brought up in
        • Criminal, (theft) have role models, well established pattern of crime in area, professional criminal hierarchy
        • Conflict, socially disorganised, no illegitimate opportunity structure, formation of violent gangs
        • Retreatist, double failures, failed legitimate and illegitimate way. drug addiction, dealing, petty theft


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