Functionalist Theories of Punishment

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  • Created on: 12-06-13 20:20
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  • Functionalist Theories of Punishment
    • Durkheim saw punishment as representing the collective conscience at work.
    • Punishment is the key form of social control.
      • Durkheim- nature of social solidarity is closely related to form and severity of punishment.
    • Simple societies operate on the basis of mechanical social solidarity
      • Have a narrow range of beliefs, meaning punishments are more severe.
    • Modern complex societies are  based on organic social solidarity.
      • Punishment is far less vicious, being mainly rehabilitation and re-socialisation
    • Punishment and changes in penal practise due to changes in the collective sentiments and beliefs that occurs in the evolution of societies.
      • Linked to Parson's idea of moving equilibrium
    • + Provides detailed examination of the social processes of punishment


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