A2 Sociology Crime and Deviance

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  • Created by: yagmur
  • Created on: 22-04-13 16:59
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Crime: Doing activities that break the law and individuals are punished for the crime.
Deviance: Doing something that goes against society's norms and values. Deviant behaviour is behaviour that is not accepted by society.

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Functionalist view of Crime and Deviance: DURKHEIM
Crime is an important part of all healthy societies ­ because individuals are exposed to different influences ­ therefore individuals
are not committed to the same shared values and beliefs of society.
1. CHANGE: All societies need to progress and all social changes begin with some form of deviance - for society to remain
healthy and stable.…read more

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Durkheim suggests that crime strengthens solidarity: BUT people do not commit crime in order to strengthen
solidarity; lack of finding the actual reason for crime committed.…read more

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Strain theories suggest that the reason why individuals take part in deviant behaviour is; individuals are unable to achieve socially accepted
goals by legitimate means (honest earnings).
MERTON: Explains how deviance can result from:
THE CULTURE: There is a strong emphasis on success goals and weak emphasis on actually achieving the goals by
legitimate means. = Americans are expected to follow the cultural goal `money success, individual material wealth and
gain high statuses.
AND STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY: Societies unequal opportunity structure for individuals.…read more

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RETREATISM: Individuals that reject the goals and the legitimate means to achieve it = DROPOUTS i.e. drug
addicts and tramps.
5. REBELLION: Individual rejects the goals and means. They desire to create a new society, by revolution and
engaging in protests.
Merton exaggerates the working class crime ­ too deterministic
Under estimates the white collar crime (individuals that have a high status/Middle class? )
The theory assumes that everyone's goal is `money success' but ignores the fact that some mat not share this
goal.…read more

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This then means that the boys suffer from status frustration and turn to delinquency to gain their status within peer
Alternative is: doing the reverse of the mainstream society by gaining a higher status from other members of
subcultural groups.
There was legitimate opportunity (passing exams and getting a job) and illegitimate opportunity (being in a gang and
committing crime i.e. theft).…read more

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Argued that self concept of being deviance can increase deviant behaviour. If a person is shamed by the reaction of
others who know they have been in trouble with the police, they are likely to join a criminal group to escape from that
Label of criminal is not easily removed by society because it becomes there master status.
Self-fulfilling prophecy ­ accepting the label........
Primary Deviance: the initial deviant act
Secondary Deviance: deviant acts that are committed after the individual accepting the label.…read more

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Structured interviews are like questionnaires; both involve asking people a fixed set of prepared questions, questions are closed-ended
with pre-coded answers.
ADVANTAGE: Quick and cheap to administer
ADVANTAGE: Inexpensive: as the interviewer only asks a set of questions and there are pre-coded answers
ADVANTAGE: Quantitative data ­ gather a large number of data
DISADVANTAGE: Inflexible: The interviewer must stick to the questions asked.…read more


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