All past paper essay questions for Crime and Deviance

Essay plans on:

study on suicide

coroners court

subcultural crime and deviance

Marxists view of the relationship between crime and social class

Labelling theory explanaing crime and deviance

Relationships between age and patterns of crime

Ethnic differences both in offending and in victimisation

Explanations of gender differences in patterns of offending victimisation and punishment

sociological explanations of social class differences in crime rates


Crime and mass media

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All Sociology Unit 4 Past papers
1. Assess the usefulness of quantitative and qualitative sources of data in studying suicide
Macro data (statistics)
Can generalise to a wider population
Easier to gather
Research Methods: questionnaires, statistics, structured interviews
Problems with quantitative: cant establish meanings, cant gather detailed
data on a large scale argued by interpretivists
Micro data
Atkinson study of coroners court
Can gather detailed data, probe deeper meanings supported by interpretivits
RM: unstructured interviews, observation
Problems with qualitative: it is only micro so it cant apply to the whole population,
2. Assess the strengths and limitations of observation of coroner's court as a means of
investigating suicide
Get insight into coroners' court; get detailed data about coroners court.
Observation especially overt, easier to get in and get out
Compared to statistics, prove meanings
Build rapport with coroners
Obersvation, prone to hawthrone effect
Researcher may need to be trained which is costly
Practical: may be hard to gain access
Micro data so it may not apply to all of the population
Ethical: informed consent
3. Assess the different sociological explanations of suicide
Durkheim use of statistics
Use of statistics can apply to a large range of people [macro]
Atkinson observation of coroners' court, macro data that provides
detailed data.
Douglas support Atkinson
Theoretical may be hard to replicate as you cant observe the exact same
thing twice.
Ethicalinformed consent may not be possible with covert observation
4. Assess the contribution of interactionist theory and research to our understanding of

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Labelling, people may be labelled on limited data
Macro data: observation, unstructured interviews
Symbolic interactionism: people react based on interpretation and symbols
Goffman: dramatic analogy.
Social action sees social order as a social construction created by society
Rejects the idea that sociology is objective it is very subjective.
5. Assess the usefulness of subcultual theories in explaning `subcultural crime and deviance'
in society today.…read more

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Lemert primary and secondary deviance
Deviance amplifications trying to restrict data causes data to increase
Key words: stimigatized, master status, deviant career, self fulfilling prophecy
Problem with the labelling theory is that it argues that once a person is labelled they will
behave the same way.
Social control agencies decide what is deviant and labels people as deviant
Aaron Cicourel typifications commonsense theories or stereotypes about offenders of
what typical delinquent is like.
Young marjihanna study where marjhianna smokers were labelled
8.…read more

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Black people make up 2.8% of the population but 11% of prison population
Blacks are seven times more likely to be arrested and four times more likely to be
stopped and searched
Ethnic groups are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police. This may
be due to labelling; racism amongst the police force and the police may stop
people as they believe they look suspicious.…read more

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Key words: white collar crime, corporate crime, subcultural, self report studies, selective law
enforcement, social constructions, opportunity structures, relative deprivation, marginalization,
Crime goes beyond the limits of laws.…read more

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Key words: Moral panics, social construction, news values, globalisation
The media is not just exist it is a socially manufactured product, according to Cohen. The
media portrays criminals and victims of crime as older and more middle class.
Richard Felson calls this `age fallacy' The media gives the impression that all age groups
are involved in crime
.…read more


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