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Class notes on Sociology Unit 4: Crime and Deviance

Who- Durkheim (functionalist, positivist, value consensus, social solidarity)

What- prove sociology is scientific (valid)

When- 19th century

Where- France

Durkheim- scientist (social science)
Believed he could show that suicide has social patterns/causes- used official
statistics, in Europe, 19th century


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Assess the usefulness of quantitative and qualitative sources of studying suicide (essay plan)

Qualitative Quantitative

Expressed in numbers eg stats expressed in words, opinions
Supported by positivists supported by interpretivits
Durkheim study of suicide Douglas study of suicide notes
Taylor supports Durkheim Study by jacobs
Atkinson (argue that official stats…

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Who: Taylor

When: 20th century

What: Argues that suicide statistics cant be valid. Realist approach: between positivists
and interpretivists.

Method: took stats, used case studies (32 tube deaths)= no evidence of death but over
half were seen as suicide> factors of mental health (history)> Parasuicides (attempted
suicide) *Like Atkinson, have…

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Crime and deviance answers (from Napier textbook on unit 4)

The three characteristics of a social fact are: external to the individual, they constrain
individuals, shaping their behaviour; they are greater than individuals- they exist on a different
level from the individual

Modern industrial societies have low levels of integration…

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Functionist theory

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To achieve social soilidarity: sociolisation: shared culture, social control, rewards for
conformity and punishments for deviance.

Deviance and crime is found in all societies: no everyone is socialised into norms and values.
Diversity of lifestyles and values. Different groups develop their own subcultures.

Positive functions of crime: Boundary maintainance: Purpose…

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What: Deviance of gangs not necessarily related to economic gain. Stated that deviant acts
such as vandalism and robbery could be understood in terms of the frustration felt by gang
members about their status in society.

When: 1996/1955

Evaluation: Structuralist approach and deterministic

Many working class parents do value education…

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Subterranean values (David Matza) Values that are hidden underneath mainstream societies

Anomie- (Durkheim/merton) Different social expectations of behaviour by delinquents

Subcultural theory

4 characteristics of crime: functional, universal, relative and inevitable (FURI)

Crime can be functional because it strengthens the bond between people and reminds
people of the boundaries…

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Integration of individuals: Basic function of value consensus to make social order possible,
The system has to ensure that people's material needs are met. *Parsons 2 mechanisms
that individuals conform to shared norms. Socialisation> needs are met by teaching
individuals what to do and what is requires them to do.


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