Sociologists - Crime and Deviance

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  • Crime and Deviance
    • Carlen
      • argues that working-class women are expected to make the class deal and the gender deal
        • the class deal offers them material rewards
          • the gender deal offers material and emotional rewards if they live with a male breadwinner within the family
            • when these rewards are are not avalibale, class and gender deals break down
              • thus, having the possibility of turning to crime
              • poverty and being in care led to women rejecting the class and gender deals
                • lacked legitimate ways of earning a decent living
                  • crime was a way of solving the problems of poverty
                    • many had nothing to lose from committing crime
    • Becker
      • argues deviave is created by society
        • social groups create deviance by making rules, applying these rules to particular people and labelling them as 'outsiders'
        • some groups have the power to make rules and apply them to others
          • power is related to age, gender, ethnicty and class
            • eg. adults make many important rules for young people, such as those regarding school attendance
        • argues that labelling may produce a self-fulfilling prophecy
          • the person labelled may come to fit the image peolle hav of them
            • eg. a criminal
    • Stan Cohen
      • argues that the media help to create moral panics
        • particular group is cast as a folk devil, defined as a threat to society's values and portrayed in stereotyped ways by the media
          • the media created a false image of young people and their activities
            • Cohen describes this as deviancy amplification
              • this amplification encouraged other young people to behave in ways portrayed by the media, resulting in further disturbances and public outcry or moral panic
                • cohen argues that the media can actually amplify deviance or provoke more of it
    • Merton
      • some people accept the goal of achieving economic success but lack opportunities to succeed through sociallyacceptable routes
        • eg. most working-class people have limited opportunities to find high-flying jobs with huge salaries
      • argued people's aspirations and goals are largely determined by the values of their culture
        • eg. (in the USA) people are socialised to believe in the American dream
          • idea that anyone who works hard can become successful and rich, regardless of their background
      • people may experience strain between goals they have been socialised to strive for and the means of achieving them
        • a condition of anomie (the breakdown of norms) develops
          • people turn to whatever means work for them to achieve material success
            • when anomie develops, high rates of crime (eg. theft and fraud) and delinquency are likely
    • Albert Cohen
      • argued that juvenile delinquency is carried out by groups rather than individuals
        • young males learn to become delinquents by joining gangs in which delinquent behaviour is 'the done thing'
          • linked juvenile delinquency to the education system
            • argued that schools are based on middle-class values and expectations
              • working-class boys cannot compete on equal terms with middle-class boys to get status and qualifications through education
                • working-class boys experience status frustration in trying but failing to meet middle-class expectations at school
                  • being part of a delinquent sub-culture enables these boys to gain status within their group and hit back at a school system that has branded them failures
    • Heidensohn
      • uses the control theory to explain why women have a lower rate of officially recorded crime than men and commit fewer serious crimes
        • domestic life and marriage
          • women's opportunities to commit crimes are limited by their housewife role
            • their time is taken up with housework and monitroing others (eg. children) within the home
              • as a result, women's role as mothers can constrain their behaviour
        • female conformity and control
          • patriarchal society controls women more effectively than men as it is harder for them to break the law
            • women are controlled at home, in public and at work
        • women's behaviour in public
          • controlled by the fear of male violence
            • this fear controls their behaviour
              • eg. by preventing them fro gong out after dark
        • patriarchal society
          • has seperate spheres for men and women
            • public life is seen as the men's sphere and the home is seen as the woman's place
        • in the workplace
          • men have power over women, eg. as supervisors or managers
            • sexual harrassment is a form of male control
              • limits women's freedom in the workplace

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