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Topic 1 The definition and measurement of crime and deviance

The normative definition of deviance
The normative definition is perhaps the commonsense one, this is a version of which most people
suggest when they are questioned as to the meaning of deviance.
A typical definition of deviance would be that…

Page 2

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Before we stated `What is the difference between deviants and conforming people, which makes the
deviants act the way they do?' However, the relativistic approach argues that dominant values are just
the outcome of a struggle to get group values accepted rather than another's.
Studying the personal or social characteristics…

Page 3

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When people do actively report an offence to the police, you would think that these statistics at
least would enter the official reports. Yet in any one year, approx. 57% of all crimes reported to the
police fail to appear in the official statistics.

The role of the police
Clearly,…

Page 4

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patterns of victimisation something completely missing from official accounts. The best known
victimisation study is the BCS which is now collect annually since 1982.

Weaknesses: The problem of basing statistics on victims' memories is that recollections are often
faulty or biased.
The categorization of the crimes that has been committed…

Page 5

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Nevertheless the only info that we have already available of who offends, other than from the
official statistics of people who have been arrested, comes from selfreport studies and they have
been very widely used to explore such issues as crime and drug use.
The data explosion and the risk…

Page 6

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The stats suggest that crime does not happen to everyone targets the poorer and less powerful
groups in society more than the affluent. They also tell us that violent crimes tend to happen
between people who know each other, even live together.

Types of offenders
According to both official statistics…

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