sy3, crime and deviance

a2 level SY3 basic approaches and theorists on crime and deviance

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  • Created on: 22-01-12 21:51
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Sy3 CRIME- Functionalist subcultural
Merton_ strain theory
Goals & means- goals- something which culture encourages you to achieve (monetary success)
Means- the socially acceptable way of achieving that goal
Strain ­ the disparity between the goal and the means.
MERITOCRACY____ the American dream___ goal- success__ means- hard work
Deviant adaptions to strain ­ when societies bonds are weaker there is a higher chance people will turn
to crime (social bonds- anomie)
5 deviant adaptions
Retreatism ­ resorting to drug use and dropping out of society
Innovation ­ accepting the goals and means theory but gaining success through crime
Rebellion ­ reject society's goals and create their own ( subcultures)
Conformity ­ accepting society's goals and means theory and work hard to achieve.
Ritualism ­ reject societies goals, dead end jobs
Previously crimes were based on biological and psychological theories.
Started the work into sociological explanations into crime.
Acknowledges the fact that not all people turn to deviance
Only accounts for crimes with monetary gain
Marxists enforce laws that criminalise the poor (easier to be deviant)
Assumes everyone has the same goals
Working classes experience most crime but do not deviate- why?
Does not look at group crimes
Cohen ­ status frustration/ alternative hierarchy.

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Cohen criticises Merton ­ Merton ignores group crime. & crimes without monetary gain.
Status frustration ­ when someone can not achieve a status in a traditional way they become
Alternative status hierarchy ­ reject mainstream norms and values; achieve status in a delinquent
Offers an explanation of crime for things such as vandalism and fighting
Good for explaining all non ­ economically motivated crimes.
Assumes all working class boys aspire to middle class goals.…read more

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Retreatist subcultures
Those who fail in legitimate and illegitimate opportunities, so turn to drug use.…read more

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Durkhiem ­ crime is inevitable
Maintains boundaries in society- unites people against the `wrongdoers'
Reinforces the norms and values of the law abiding citizen
Courtroom publically makes examples of criminals and stigmatises
Inspires change ­ laws passed in society from `illegal behaviour'
Shows the parts of society that aren't working, leads to change
Youth frustration ­ transition from childhood into adulthood, carnivals, festivals and student freshers
nights, allow youth to take part in criminal behaviour ( drug use ) and aren't punished when…read more

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Chambliss ­ 80-90% of the laws made are to protect private property.. rulling class protecting their
Snider ­ argues that it is unlikely for laws to get past that regulate business activity or threaten profit.
Not all working class commit crime
Criminal justice system does sometime act against the middle class
Left realist say that Marxists focus on class against class crime, and ignore inter class crimes.…read more

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Secondary deviance ­ a deviant act being labelled.. leading to further deviance. Being caught and
publically labelled creates the master status. Ways of coping: accept the label, self fulfilling prophecy.
Stan Cohen: mods and rockers. Folk devils- mods and rockers, mortal enmies, stigmatized as bad.
Moral panics- identification of a problem identification of a minority group simplification of cause
Stigmatisation of those involved stirring of population indignation stamping down hard.…read more

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Left realism
Lea & Young- relative deprivation
Crime is due to the high standards of living and the limited opportunities to achieve this.
Marginalisation- people being pushed to the edge of society.
Tackling crime- young- rehabilitation and avoidance of crime over harsh punishment.…read more

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