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Page 1

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CRIME AND
DEVIANCE REVISION
GUIDE
FUNCTIONALISM
Durkheim Functions of Crime
Durkheim argues that crime is inevitable, and even beneficial for society

The right amount of crime will help prevent anomie/normlessness

There are two main reasons for this:
Not everyone is socialised into the same norms and values, so some will…

Page 2

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Davis supports the idea that crime can be positive. He argues that prostitution lets men
release sexual frustration without threatening the nuclear family!

Linking to this is Polsky, who said that porn helps channel sexual desires, instead of
something like adultery which harms the nuclear family

Cohen ­ crime and…

Page 3

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Merton ­ Takes official crime statistics at face value, as official statistic over
represent working class crime, so Merton sees crime as a working class phenomena.

Marxists say Merton ignores how the ruling class enforce laws that benefit the rich
and not the poor

He assumes that everyone strives for…

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Conflict subculture ­ arise due to low social cohesion and a high population
turnover. = high levels of disorganisation illegitimate opportunities are the only
ones available.

Retreatist subculture ­ are the result of being unsuccessful in society and in
conflict and criminal subcultures. They don't succeed in society OR in…

Page 5

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Moral Entrepreneurs ­ people who lead a crusade to change the law to benefit those to
whom it has been applied to. He argues it has two effects : 1. Creates new groups of
outsiders 2. Expansion of social control to impose labels on offenders (e.g.
police)

However, these control…

Page 6

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Secondary deviance IS labelled, and is te result of labelling of society. Once the
individual is labelled, they may only be seen as that label and the label becomes
the master status. This can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy

LINK ­ links to interactionism theory as it sees social reality…

Page 7

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Glamorising offending

Cohen ­ Moral Panics
Mods and Rockers ­ Mods worse smart dress and rode scooters and rckers wore
leather jackets and rode motorbikes. The media over reacted to a tuffle when some
stone throwing and broken windows occurred. The media do 3 things:
-Exaggerate and Distort situation
-Predict…

Page 8

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TRADITIONAL MARXISM
Criminogenic Capitalism
Capitalism is criminogenic as by its nature it leads to crime. It is based on exploiting
the working class: Poverty can make crime the only way for working class to
survive, only way to get consumer goods and lack of control and alienation leads
to frustration.…

Page 9

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Not all capitalist societies have high crime rates, e.g Switzerland and Japan have very
little crime

Corporate crime does get prosecuted.




NEO MARXISM
Neo Marxists combine traditional Marxism with ideas such as the labelling theory

Taylor, Walton and Young ­ New Criminology ­ They agree with traditional
Marxists on these…

Page 10

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ROBIN HOOD IS A NEO MARXIST!!
Fully Social Theory of Deviance Taylor Walton and Young

= a comprehensive understanding of crime and deviance to help change society:
-Ideas from both traditional Marxism (unequal distribution of wealth) and
interactionism/labelling (meaning of deviant act and effects of a deviant label)

Needs six…

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