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Functionalism, strain and subcultural theories
Functionalism Merton's strain theory (1930) Subcultural strain theories
- Police and the courts ae necessary to keep deviance in check - People engage in deviant behaviour when they are unable to achieve - Deviance as the product to a delinquent subculture with deviant
- Durkheim believes crime is normal ­ collective conscience by legitimate mean values from those of mainstream society
- The inevitability of crime; crime is inevitable and universal. Not - Anomie (normlessness) - Alternate opportunity structure for those who are denied to achieve
everyone is equally socialised. People develop their own - Structural factors: society's unequal opportunity structure by legitimate means
subcultures - Cultural factors: stronger emphasis on success goals - Cohen - status frustration ­ 1) ignores crimes such as assault and
- Without this brings anomie (normlessness) - Result of two things; goals that culture encourages individuals to vandalism. 2) WC boys suffer from cultural deprivation and lack of
Positive functions of crime achieve and what the institutional structure of society allows them to skills to achieve. They release their frustration by rejecting
- Boundary maintenance ­ reduces crime. Everyone is against it. E.G. achieve mainstream MC values.
Cohen ­ folk devils The American dream Alternate status hierarchy
- Adaption and change ­ too much crime tears bonds of society - Pursue goals by legitimate means: self discipline, study, qualifications - Cohen ­ subculture laws are characterised by spite, hostility and
apart, but too little means it is controlling its members too much, and hard work contempt for those outside
stifling freedom and preventing change - Anyone who makes the effort can get ahead - Failed in the legitimate opportunity structure so have to create their
Other functions of crime; - A lack of opportunity creates a pressure to adopt illegitimate means, own
- Davis ­ the safety valve while the norms are not strong enough to prevent some from AO2- Cohen assumes that WC boys start off sharing MC goals, only to
- Polksky ­ porn safety channels a variety of sexual desires succumbing ­ e.g. Poverty, ethnic minorities and those of lower reject those if they fail
- Cohen ­ a warning that an institution is not functioning properly classes Ignores the possibility they didn't shae these goals in the first place so
- Labelling theory Deviant adaptions to strain never saw themselves as failures
- Crime is inevitable - Individuals position in the social structure affects the way they adapt - Cloward and Ohlin ­ 3 subcultures; different ways to lack legitimate
- Young people may be given leeway for their behaviour or respond to the strain to anomie opportunities, criminal/convict/retreatest.
- Crime and deviance integral to society - Whether an individual rejects or replaces cultural goals and the The Chicago school
legitimate ways of achieving them - Differential association theory ­ Shaw and McKay (1942) ­ generations
AO2 ­ how much crime is too much? ­ Durkheim - Conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion. - Cultural association theory ­ Sutherland (1939) ­ behaviour was
- just because crime strengthens society doesn't mean that's why it is AO2 ­ Merton explains the patterns shown unofficial crime statistics learned through social interaction
there in the first place - Crime rates over represent WC crime, so Merton sees crime as a - Social disorganisation theory ­ Park and Burgess (1925) changes such
- Does not explain how crime and devience might affect different working class phenomenon as rapid population turnover and immigration creates instability,
groups or individuals within society - It assumes there is a value consensus, that everyone strives for resulting in deviance
- crime doesn't always promote social solidarity, it might have the `money success' and it ignores the possibility that some people may AO2 ­ Deterministic
opposite effect, leading people to become more isolated ­ e.g. not share this goal - Ignores the wider power structure
Forcing women to stay indoors for fear of attack. - It only accounts for utilitarian crime for money gain, and not crimes of - Provies an explanation for different types of WC devience in terms of
violence, vandalism and terroism different structures
- It explains how deviance results from individuals adapting to the strain - Draw boundaries too sharply between the different types
to anomie but ignores the role of group deviance such as deviant - Matza (1964) claims that most delinquents are not strongly committed
subcultures to their subculture, as strain theory suggests, but merely drift in and
out of delinquency
- Nigel South (1997) ­ drug trade is a mix of both `disorganised' crime
(conflict structure) and a professional `mafia' style criminal subculture…read more

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Crimogenic capitalism AO2 ­ feminists criticise Taylor Et Al for focussing on male crime
- Capitalism naturally causes crime by damaging the working class by exploiting them for - Left realists ­ romanticise crime, `Robin Hood'
profit - Burke ­ too general and no idealist
- Crime is an incising way out of poverty, I.e. With advertising, you want it so you steal it
- White collar crime ­ dog eat dog, tax fraud Evaluating traditional Marxism
- Crime is a tangical response to capitalism Pros;
The state and law making - Useful explanation of the relationship between crime and capitalism
- Chainbliss (1975) ­ capitalism needs law and law enforcement to protect private - Link between law enforcement and the interests of the RC
property I.e. The British Colonisation of East Africa - Labelling theory into a structural context
- Snider (1993) ­ law makers are able to block laws from being introduced that would - Helped to influence some more recent studies I.e. Slapper and Tomliss
negatively affect the ruling class, such as laws that regulate business or threaten profits - Highlight the positive impact an effective welfare state can have
Selective enforcement
- Powerless groups are disproportionately punished Cons;
- Reiman (2001) ­ "the rich get rich and the poor get prison" ­ WC crimes are more likely - Too deterministic
to be treated as criminal I.e. Assault rather than ruling class crimes I.e. Tax evasions - Ignores alternative to class I.e. Ethnicity and gender
Ideological functions of crime and law - Capitalism hasn't created crime in every society e.g. Japan and Switzerland
- Pearce (1976) ­ health and safety laws are designed to keep the WC working and help - Prosecutions for corporate crimes do occur
to create a false class consciousness by giving capitalism a friendly and caring face - Left realists criticise Marxists for ignoring the fact that WC on WC crime still harms victims
- W.G Carson (1971) ­ 200 companies, only 1.5% of these companies have been
- RC crimes go unreported which makes WC crimes over reported
The New Criminology
- Capitalism needs class conflict and exploitation and creates inequality in wealth and
- The class system should be abolished
- Low making and law enforcement both work in the interest of the RC while demolishing
the WC
Taylor, Watson and Young disagree ­ critical criminology…read more

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The social construction of crime Jock Young ­ hippy marijuana users, Notting Hill in the 1960s. Smoking became illegal and played a big part
- No act is necessarily deviant or criminal. It is the reaction of society that creates crime and deviance by of their identity, turned to them to being alienated from society and a deviant subculture and the gap
labelling specific acts between culture and society grew
- Becker ­ a deviant is someone who has come to be labelled as such. Two consequences of moral Downes and Rock say that just because labelling takes place, it does not mean that a person is going to turn
entrepreneurs who campaign to change the law with a `crusade'. 1) new group of `outsiders' is created. 2) to a deviant career
social control agencies expand. Labelling theory also often forgets that a criminal act has to take place before a person is labelled and that
- Platt (1969) ­ juvenile delinquency was created by the upper class to protect the young act can be hugely damaging e.g. Murder
- Becker - US federal bureau of Narcotics campaigned to outlaw marijuana to protect the young from `ill Cohen: Folk devils and moral panics
effects' of the drug Mods and rockers (1964) - press exaggeration of the events created moral panic, growing public concern and
Who gets labelled? moral entrepreneurs calling for a crackdown. Harsh arrests and sentences led to more concern amongst the
- Appearance/background/personal biography public and amplified the deviance, demonising the groups as `folk devils' and outsiders
- Situations and circumstance of the event Labelling and the criminal justice system
- Their interactions with the agencies of social control such at the police and courts Triplett (1964) ­ increasing tendency to see young offenders
- Pillagin and Briar; police decisions to arrest are based on manner/dress or gender/class/ethnicity/time - Labelling has serious negative consequences for society and individuals
and place Brainwaite: reiterative shaming
Vanden Haag ­ police are correct to target ethnic minority communities and the working class are much Positive functions;
more likely to commit criminal or deviant acts. - Disintegrative shaming ­ crime and the criminal is labelled as negative. The offenders are excluded from
Marxists ­ forced to commit crime due to criminogenic capitalism society
Cicourel and the `negotiation of justice' - Reintergrative shaming ­ the act is labelled not the person
- Decision to arrest people is based on stereotypes
- MC youths less likely to be charged ­ negotiate justice for their children by convincing agencies they were
sorry and that they would also discipline their child
- Pierre Bourdieu ­ the MC have more cultural capital and speak in elaborated codes and so are able to
negotiate their justice much better than the WC
- Marxists ­ RC have more power in society as they target the WC and the RC `get away' with crime and
Deviancy amplification
- Deviant act -> defined as criminal or dangerous -> news -> amplification -> law and order campaign ->
deviant act etc
- E.g London riots
- Describes how an attempt to control deviance actually creates more deviance
The effects of labelling
- Lemert: primary and secondary deviance; Primary ­ an act that does not get publically labelled.
Secondary ­ act that is labelled nd has consequenes for a person where they become an outcast or
stigmatised…read more

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Left realism
- Young ­ `New criminology' Tackling crime
- Women and elderly are the most likely to be victims of crime Leinsley, Lea and Young ­ ineffective policing
- Traditional Marxists ­ corporate crime, neglects WC crime and its effects - Police rely on a flow of information from the public but public confidence in the
- Neo Marxists ­ romanticises WC criminals as latter day `Robin Hoods' police is declining
- Labelling theorists ­ neglects real victims who suffer at the hands of criminals - Police spend very little time investigating crime
- Young ­ this has led to an aetiological crisis/crisis in an explanation for the theories of - Clear up rate is very low
crime - Police have to resort to `military policing' e.g. Stopping and searching/CCTV which
- Relative deprivation ­ deprived in relation to other groups. Media and advertising. WC leads to the public feeling alienated nd police see them as an alien force who are
Runciman 1966 ­ turn to crime to obtain what they feel they are entitled to intent on criminalising local residents. `mobilisation of bystanders'
- Young 1999 ­ "lethal combination is relative deprivation and individualism"
- Subculture ­ if people feel they cant achieve mainstream goals through blocked - Improve policing ­ the police should spend as much time as possible investigating
opportunities, subcultures are the collective solution crime
- Marginalisation ­ use violence and rioting to express their frustration because they lack - Tacking social causes of crime; Young ­ problem of crime being rooted in social
other outlets inequalities, improving leisure facilities, reducing income inequalities (national
- Late modernity, exclusion and crime ­ Young ­ Compares todays society to the golden minimum wage increase), reducing unemployment, raising living standards of the
age. Since the 1970s deindustrialisation, loss of unskilled jobs led to more poverty poor, providing community facilities which enhance `sense of belonging'
especially for the young and ethnic minority groups. Jobs are now often insecure and
low paid. Higher divorce rates ­ marginalisation and exclusion at the bottom.
- Cultural inclusion and economic exclusion ­ media promotes cultural inclusion and has AO2
higher expectations. Poor are excluded from the opportunity to gain. Society sets - Huges ­ fails to explain the causes of street crime
cultural goals while denying people to achieve them by legitimate means - Relies too heavily on subcultural theories
- Modernity has a high crime rate and low tolerance for crime. - Jones ­ emphasis on victims is flawed
- Jones ­ fails to explain why some people who are relatively deprived turn to crime
and some don't
- Neglected coroporate crime and organised crime. This type of crime cannot be
understood…read more

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Right realism
- View crime as a growing problem that destroys communities, undermines social AO2
cohesion and threatens society's work - Ignores wider structural causes such as poverty
- Needs to be controlled - Overstates an offenders rationality
- New right and neo-conservative political attitude - Ignores corporate crime
- James Q Wilson ­ "crime is an activity disproportionately committed by young men - Zero tolerance can lead to targeting ethnic minorities and the homeless
living in large cities" 1. number of young males, 2. cost/benefits, 3. social and cultural - Lacks details of the under ruling causes of crime
changes - Jones (1998) ­ USA crimes continue to rise. Neglect while collar crimes. Consentration
- Vansen Haag (1975) ­ family discipline, policemen should more harshly punish of minor offenses. Lack of investment in certain neighbourhoods
- Biological differences ­ Hernstein and Murray/Wilson and Hernstein
- Murray ­ socialisation of the underclass
- Don Clarke ­ rational choice theory ­ rational calculation of the likely consequences
- Felson (1998) ­ routine activity theory ­ absence of a capable guardian
- Pro active policing/zero tolerance
- Wilson and Kelling (1982) ­ broken windows policy
- Target hardening Extended
- Naming and shaming Davies ­ less crime in the 19th century because people had more personal responsibility
- Situation management. More street lighting, CCTV etc and higher levels of morality
- Crime deterrence ­ burglary alarms etc Dennis (1993) ­ link between crime and the nuclear family;
- Increase in men leaving the family and divorce is much easier to access
- Increase in cohabitation
- Increasingly dominant role of the mother has led to the marginalisation of the father…read more

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Heindensohn 1996 ­ 4/5 convicted offenders in England and Wales are male. By the age of 40, 9% of females The liberation thesis ­ adler argues that as women become liberated from patriarchy, their crimes will become as
had a criminal conviction as against 32% of males. frequent and as serious as men's. As patriarchal controls and discrimination have lessened and opportunities in
A higher proportion of females are convicted of property offenses except burglary yet males have higher education and work have become more equal, women have become to adopt traditionally male roles. As a result,
conviction rates of violence or sexual offences women no longer just commit traditional female crimes such as shoplifting and prostitution. They now also
Males are more likely to repeat offenses, have longer criminal careers and commit more serious crimes. Men commit traditionally male offences such as crimes of violence and white-collar crimes.
are 15x more likely to be convicted of homicide Most female criminals are working class ­ the group least likely to be influenced by womens liberation, which has
The chivalry thesis; most criminal justice agents such as police officers, magistrates and judges are men and benefitted middle ­ class women much more. According to Chesney-lind 1997, in the USA poor and marginalised
men are socialised to act in a chivalrous way towards women. The criminal justice system is thus more women are more likely than liberated women to be criminals.
lenient with women and so their crimes are less likely to end up in the official statistics, which gives us an Feminists argue that although malestream non-feminist theories of crime have in reality focused only on males,
invalid picture. these theories have assumed that they were explaining all crime, rather than solely male crime.
Roger Hoods 1992 study of 3000 defendants found that women were about 1/3 less likely to be jailed Masculinity and crime ­ messerschmidt 1993 ­ hegemonic masculinity is a social construct or an `accomplishment'
David farrington and Alison Morris' 1984 study of sentencing 408 offences of theft in a magistrates court - White MC youths; have to subordinate themselves to teachers in order to achieve MC status, leading to an
found that women were not sentenced more leniently for comparable offenses. accommodating masculinity in school. Outside school, their masculinity takes an oppositional form, for
Bias against women; feminists argue that the criminal justice system is biased against women. Heindensohn example through drinking, pranks and vandalism.
1996 argues that the court treat females more harshly than males when they deviate from gender normal. - -white WC youths; less chance of educational success so their masculinity is oppositional both in and out of
This is through double standards for premature or promiscuous sexual activity and women who do not school. It is constructed around sexist attitudes, being tough and opposing teachers' authority. Willis ­ the lads
conform to accept standards of monogamous heterosexuality and motherhood are punished more harshly. - - Black lower WC youths; may have few expectations of a reasonable job and may use gang membership and
Carlen 1997 ­ when women are jailed it is for less the seriousness of their crimes and more according to the violence to express their masculinity, or turn to serious property crime to achieve material success
court's assessment of them as wives, mothers and daughters. Is masculinity an explanation of male crime, or just a description of male offenders? Messerschmidt is in danger of
Functionalist sex role theory ­ socialisation of males and females, males are encouraged to be tough, a circular argument, that masculinity explains male crime because they are crimes committed by males.
aggressive and risk taking and this can mean they are more disposed to commit acts of violence. Winlow: postmodernity, masculinity and crime. Globalisation has led to a shift from a modern industrial society to
Parsons 1955 ­ instrumental and expressive roles. Boys reject feminine models of behaviour that expresses a late modern or postmodern de-industrialised society. This has led to the loss of many of the traditional manual
emotion and tenderness, instead boys seek to distance themselves from such models by seeing masculinity jobs through which working class men were able to express their masculinity by hard physical labour and by
in anti social behaviour and delinquency, providing for their families
Heidenson: patriarchal control. Patriarchal society imposes greater control over women and this reduces Bodily capital; an organised professional criminal subculture has emerged as a result of the new illicit business
their opportunities to offend. This patriarchal control operates at home, in public spaces and at work. opportunities to be found in the night-time economy. In this subculture, the ability to use violence becomes not
Dobash and Dobash ­ men exercise control through their financial power in the home, E.G. By denying just a way of displaying masculinity, but a commodity with which to earn a living.
women sufficient funds for leisure activities, thereby restricting their time outside the home.
Carlen: class and gender deals. Class deal; women who work will be offered material rewards, with a decent
standard of living and leisure activities. The gender deal; patriarchal ideology promises women material and
emotional rewards from family life by conforming to the normal of a conventional domestic gender role. In
terms of the class deal the women had failed to find a legitimate way of earning a decent living and this left
them feeling powerless, oppressed and the victims of injustice. Qualifications gained in jail had been no help
in gaining jobs. As they had gained no rewards from the class deal, they felt they had nothing to loose by
using crime to escape from poverty. In terms of the gender deal for conforming to patriarchal family norms,
most of the women had either not had the opportunity to make the deal or saw few rewards and many
disadvantages in family life I.e abuse by fathers. Many of the woman reached the conclusion that `crime was
the only route to a decent standard of living. They had nothing to loose and everything to gain."…read more

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