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Crime and Deviance Key Sociologists
Theories on Crime and Deviance
Functionalist Theory
Emile Durkheim ­ Crime has four key characteristics:
Inevitable means that crime will always exist
Universal means it exists in every society
Relative means that what is seen as criminal behaviour varies from society to society and
over time (Crime is a social construct)
Functional means that a limited amount of crime and deviance can actually benefit a
society, because the experience of crimes strengthens bonds between each other.…read more

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Toughness ­ being physically tougher than others and demonstrating it.
Box pointed out that there is little evidence to suggest that these are specifically lower-class
values. These points could be applied to male's right across the class structure.
Nightingale ­ Studied young black gangs in an inner-city area of Philadelphia, U.S. Gang members
want to achieve the American dream but are excluded educationally, politically and economically
and so are forced to gain the latest consumer goods through crime.…read more

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Frequency ­ the number of times the definitions occur
Duration ­ over what length of time
Priority ­ at what stage in life
Intensity ­ the status of the person making the definition
Morris ­ By his studies in Croydon he found local council's policy of housing `problem families'
together created the high crime areas.
Baldwin and Bottoms ­ REINFORCED MORRIS. They compared two local-authority housing estates
separated by a dual carriage way, Gardenia had 300% higher numbers of offenders than the other
called `Stonewall'.…read more

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Chambliss ­ The RDU demonstrates the racist policing strategies of some Washington DC police
officers. They treated the `black' areas of the city with more aggression and suspicion that the
`white' areas therefore creating a label of black men as criminals and would then stop more cars
being driven by blacks.
Braithwaite ­ Believes that shaming is important to consider. Disintegrative shaming is more likely
to make the offender re-join a criminal subculture and continue to break the law.…read more

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Subculture ­ groups of individuals sharing relative depression may come together and
form gangs
Marginalisation ­ feel on the edge of society and have no group to stand up for them. This
can lead to aggression which can cause street crime.
Gordon Hughes ­ this approach neither demonises of glorifies the police, instead it focuses on the
victims of crime.
Perspectives from the Right
James Q. Wilson ­ Advisor of President Reagan who implemented a zero tolerance approach to
crime.…read more

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Jones and Singer ­ The proportion of nationals of black British background in prison was 7.4 per
1000 population compared to 1.4 per 1000 for whites.
Philips and Browns ­ Studied 10 police stations across Britain found that those if African-Caribbean
origin accounted for a disproportionately high number of arrests. However, they found no
evidence that they were treated any differently during the arrest process, with about 60% of both
black and whites and about 55% of Asians eventually being charged.…read more

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Early subcultural theorists ­ Assume only teenagers from the working class will join gangs, possibly
due to status frustration because of educational failures.
Owen Gill (Environmental theorists) ­ Suggested that police labelling and deviancy amplifications
may play a role.
Right theorists ­ These theorists agree that the typical criminal is a working class male teenager.…read more

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Critical victimology disregards the role victims may play in bringing victimisation on themselves
through their own choices or their own offending. It is valuable in drawing attention to the way
that `victim' status is constructed by power and how this benefits the powerful at the expense of
the powerless.
The Impact of Victimisation
Pynoos et al ­ Found that child witnesses of sniper attacks continued to have grief-related dreams
and altered behaviour a year after the event.…read more

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Between direct and indirect actions of the state
Between crimes of commission and omission
Barak ­ States commit crimes in other countries in ways that will benefit major economic
organisations i.e. America interfering with the political processes of South American countries to
ensure that the interests of large US corporations would be safeguarded.
Green and Ward suggest that a problem with studying issues of crime by the state is that they
themselves define what is criminal within their own boundaries.…read more


Asha Ibrahim

great :)

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