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Sociology Revision
Crime and Deviance:
Society is based on a value consensus. Members of society share a common set of values, beliefs, norms and goals.
Collective conscience ­ shared norms, values and beliefs integrate society by giving individuals a sense of belonging
to something greater than themselves.

Durkheim ­…

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Merton's Strain Theory:
Merton (1968) developed Durkheim's "anomie" into his "strain theory".
He said that it is not possible for everyone to achieve the American Dream.
This was a result of the strain between two things: the goals encouraged by our culture and what the institutions
allow people to achieve.…

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Functionalist Subcultural Theories:
Subcultural strain theories see deviance as the product of a delinquent subculture with different values from those of
mainstream culture.
Subcultural theories criticise Merton and seek to build on his work.

Cohen ­ Status Frustration:
Deviance is mainly a lower class phenomenon resulting from lower classes being…

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Marxist approaches focus on class inequalities and they ignore the influence of gender and ethnicity.
The law is seen as a tool for the capitalist class and consequently is not there for the benefit of everyone.
They see capitalism as generating inequality which leads to conflict and ultimately, crime.…

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Evaluation of Neo-Marxism:
+ Stuart Hall et al (1978) have applied Taylor et al's approach to explain the moral panic over mugging
in the 1970's.
+ Taylor, Walton and Young have changed their views since The New Criminology was published.
However, Walton and Young still defend some of the book's…

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Control Theory: Hirschi (1969)
This theory can be used to support functionalism as it assumes that society is based on a value
consensus and social solidarity.
Control theory differs from other theories of crime as it does not look at why some people commit
crime but looks at why some…

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Interactionism ­ Labelling Theory:
Interactionists focus on the actions of the individual and the meanings behind such actions.
Structuralists see individuals as rather powerless when confronted with outside forces such as poverty etc. whereas
Interactionists see order (and consequently deviance) as a process of negotiation.

Labelling Theory:
The essence of…

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People weigh up the costs and benefits of their actions. Crime rises because the costs are not high enough to
dissuade people.
Crime can only be reduced through harsher sentences.

Right Realists reject economic factors such as poverty and unemployment as responsible for crime. They point to
rising crime during…

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Lea and Young used the concepts of relative deprivation, marginalisation and subculture to explain
Relative deprivation refers to the gap between expectations people have and the reality of what
they obtain.
Crime can thus arise from the experiences of particular groups even if living standards in general are

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Postmodernist theories argue that society is changing so rapidly and constantly that it is marked by
chaos and uncertainty.
Society is fragmented into a huge diversity of groups with different interests and lifestyles.
Social structures have collapsed and have been replaced by growing individualism expressed through
a consumer culture in…


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