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Functionalist, strain and subcultural theories

Based on value consensus
Sharing a common culture
Sharing the same culture produces social solidarity

Inevitability of crime

See too much crime as destabilising society
See crime as inevitable and universal

Two reasons why crime and deviance are found in ALL societies

1. Not…

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Merton's Strain Theory

o Argues that people engage in deviant beh. when they are unable to achieve socially approved
goals by legitimate means.
o Therefore may become frustrated and resort to criminal means to get what they want
o Looks at structural factors (societies unequal opportunity structure) and cultural factors…

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o Criticises Merton on two factors:
1. Merton sees deviance as an individual response to strain, ignoring the fact that crime is largely
committed in groups (especially among the young)
2. Merton focuses on utilitarian crime. Largely ignores crime such as assault and vandalism
o Cohen focuses on deviance among…

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Labelling Theory
Interested in how and why certain acts are defined as deviant or labelled as criminal
It is not the nature of the act that makes it deviant but society's reaction to the act
Labelling theory suggest that we should avoid publicly "naming and shaming" as this can lead…

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Deviance Amplification:

The process in which to attempt to control deviance leads to more deviance e.g. London Riots
Like an escalating snowball or spiral
Press exaggerations start a moral panic. Moral entrepreneurs start a "crackdown"
Deviance amplification spiral is similar to Lemert's idea of secondary deviance

Labelling and Criminal Justice…


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