Durkheim's Functionalist theory of crime

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  • Durkheim's functionalist theory of crime.
    • NORMAL
      • No society where there is no crime.
      • Individualism can be seen as a  source of crime and/or deviance.
      • HAITI.
      • Abnormal levels of crime occur in times of social upheaval.
        • The power of the collective conscience is weakened and a state of anomie develops as people look after their own interests rather than respecting their neighbours.
          • ANOMIE - normless - rules are there to be broken/changed.
    • Society has 2 key mechanisms -
      • Social Control - mechanisms include rewards for conformity and punishments for deviance.
      • ANALYSIS - show how basic functionalist concepts relate to the functionalist expl. of crim as Inevitable and Functional.
      • Socialisation - instils the shared culture into its members to ensure the internalise the same norms and values.
      • + Demonstrates the useful purpose served by crime.
      • + Offers an explanation that emphasises a social dimension to crime.
      • + Explains the reason for unhealthy levels of crime which could be altered by social engineering. (intro. new laws)
      • - Doesn't explain individual motivations.
      • - Assumes harmony and the law reflects the interests of the majority.
      • - Avoids biological and psychological theories which refer to 'sick' individuals.
      • - Over emphasis on the degree of consensus in society.
      • May result in a pessimistic approach (more laws, harsher sentencing)


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