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Formal and Informal Social Explanations of Crime and
Crime and Deviance
Control Deviance
Measuring the Amount of
Dealing with Crime Social Distribution of Crime
Click on a button to be taken to it's title page for a
more specific selection of topics!…read more

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Choose a section from this topic to learn
Crime more about it, click on the home button
to return to the main menu, or you can
click next to jump to the next topic
Socially Defined
Behaviour…read more

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Crime is usually associated with behaviour that breaks the formal written
laws of a given society. A crime is an illegal that is punishable by law.
Examples include:
If a person commits a crime and it is detected, they could be arrested,
charged and prosecuted. If found guilty, they will receive a sentence such
as a community order, fine and imprisonment.…read more

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Deviance is behaviour does not conform to the dominant norms or social
rules of a specific society.
Examples include:
Talking loudly in a library or cinema
If a person behaves in a deviant way and this is discovered, it could lead to
a negative sanction such as being told off, ridiculed or ignored.
Some, but not all, deviant acts are illegal. Legal deviant acts are seen as
`abnormal' and are frowned upon, but don't break the law.…read more

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Socially defined behaviour is something which is thought of as `normal' but is the
actually the result of cultural expectations
Many sociologists argue that whether or not an act is seen as deviant depends on how other people
react to it. This means that deviance is judged according to the social setting and context in which it takes
Cross-Cultural Evidence suggests that what is seen Both Cross-Cultural Evidence and
as deviant can vary between cultures. For example Historical Evidence also suggest that
cultures differ in terms of how women dress and what is classed as criminal behaviour
what is seen as appropriate within their society. can change over time and vary
between cultures. For example it was
illegal to drink alcohol in the US
Historical Evidence suggests that what is considered
during the 1920's but not today and
as deviant can change over times; eg, attitudes
alcohol consumption is illegal or
towards smoking and homosexuality have changed
restricted in some countries today
in Britain since WW2.…read more

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