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Sociolog
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CRIME AND DEVIANCE
FUNCTIONALISM
Durkheim Functions of Crime
Durkheim argues that crime is inevitable, and even beneficial for society

The right amount of crime will help prevent anomie/normlessness

There are two main reasons for this:
Not everyone is socialised into the same norms and values, so some will…

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Linking to this is Polsky, who said that porn helps channel sexual desires, instead of
something like adultery which harms the nuclear family

Cohen ­ crime and deviance acts as a warning that an institution is functioning badly, such
as people skipping school

Erikson ­ says bodies such…

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Explaining the functions of crime doesn't explain what caused them in the first place.

Murder maybe functional for society, but what about the victim?

Merton ­ Takes official crime statistics at face value, as official statistic over represent
working class crime, so Merton sees crime as a working…

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They agree that working class youth are denied legitimate opportunities. However
they say that different subcultures react differently, e.g. economic crime, drug use
etc., not JUST violence and vandalism like Cohen suggests.

They say these different responses occur because of lack of access to legitimate and
illegitimate opportunity…

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Evaluation of Subcultural Theory
Cohen:
GOOD BECAUSE...offers an explanation to non-utilitarian crime
BAD BECAUSE...assumes that working class boys start off by having middle class
values.

Walter Miller: Ignores the fact that middle and upper classes can also thrill seek, for
example, Anthony Warrell Thompson stole cheese even though…

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as deviant. This may be why today the working class are over represented in crime stats. =
justice negotiable as middle class less likely to be charged for the same offence

Effects of Labelling
Labelling process:

1 A label is attached by police and courts.

2 Label becomes…

Page 7

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The criminal justice system can re-label an act, such as becoming less tolerance of
minor deviance by making things like truancy seem a more major offence.

Braithwaite sees a positive role of labelling as it disintegrative labelling labels the
criminal and the crime as bad, but reintegrated labelling…

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-Make symbolisations ­ e.g mods wear leather jackets. Be afraid. Links now to
"hoodies" and Chavs.

Links to deviance amplification in labelling, as the media make the situation out of hand,
leading to labelling that cannot be removed ­ spiral.

He argues that moral panics usually occur at…

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Capitalism is criminogenic as by its nature it leads to crime. It is based on exploiting the
working class: Poverty can make crime the only way for working class to survive, only
way to get consumer goods and lack of control and alienation leads to frustration.

However crime…

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Too deterministic and over predicts working class crime. Not all poor people turn to crime
and not all working class are poor! E.g plumbers

Not all capitalist societies have high crime rates, e.g Switzerland and Japan have very little
crime

Corporate crime does get prosecuted.




NEO MARXISM
Neo…

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