Topic 1 - Functionalist, Strain and Subcultural Theories

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  • Created on: 16-06-17 09:20
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  • Topic 1 - Functionalist, Strain and Subcultural Theories
    • Durkheim's Functionalist theory
      • Inevitability of crime
        • Not everyone is equally effectivley socialised - prone to deviate
        • In complex modern socieities, different groups develop different deviant norms
      • Positive functions of crime
        • Boundary matinence  - punishment doesn't function to cause suffering, but to reinforces shared commintment to norms
        • Adaptation and change - all change starts with an act of devience (e.g. prosecution of reilgious visionaries)
      • Other Functions of crime
        • Poltsky: *********** and prostitution safely 'channels' seexual desires and avoids distruction of monogomous nuclear family
        • Cohen: acts as warning that an institution is not functioning properly
      • Criticisms
        • Society doesn't create crime in advance with the intention of strengthening society - function not causation
        • Crime doesn't benefit everyone - especially the victim - and can weaken social solidarity (e.g. forcing women to stay indoors)
    • Merton's Strain theory
      • The American Dream
        • Americans expected to persue their goals through legitiate eans, yet many disadvangaed groups are denied these oppotunities, so seek them through illegitimate means
      • Deviant adaptation to strain
        • CIRRR: Conformity, Innovation, Ritualism, Rebellion, Retreatism
      • Evaluation
        • Assumes that everyone has the same value consensus - the persuit of monatry gain
        • Only accounts for utillitarian crime and individual crime
    • Subcultural strain theories
      • Cohen: status frustration
        • Accounts for individual crime and non-utillitarian crime
        • Status frustration occured in working-clas boys in a middle-class habitus school
      • Alternative status hierachy
        • Inverting original norms and values to form a subculture in which its goals are attainable for its members
      • Cloward and Ohlin: three subcultures
        • Drew on different subcultures from Chicago school study: Criminal subcultures, conflict subcultures, retreatest subcultures
        • Criticism: over-predicts and only focuses on working-class crime


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