Slides in this set
Durkheim's functionalist theory
· The nature of society
· Inevitability of crime
· functions of crime
· Boundary maintenance
· Adaptation and change
· Other functions of crime
· Evaluation…read more
The nature of society
· Society is based on mutual agreement and unity. Society is fair and
meritocratic everyone has the possibility to succeed and be socially
mobile everyone wants to have high life chances!
· Durkheim highlights the fact that within a class based society some
people are able to achieve more than others. This is still useful
because all of society's roles get filled up (no matter how high/low
they might be. This is known as role allocation.…read more
Inevitability of crime
· The inevitability of crime provides jobs, government money (fines),
and enables people to know what's right and wrong.
· For Durkheim `crime is normal...An integral part of societies'.
· There are at least 2 reasons why crime is found in all societies:
1. Diversity of lifestyles and values. Different groups develop their own
subcultures which may have deviant aspects.
2. Not everyone is equally socialised nto the shared norms and values, so
some people deviate LINK Murray single parent families, W/C, black
Ignores mental health biological reasons mental state
· When people experience inequality and barriers to their life-chances
they begin to experience anomie (normalness). As a result of this
anomie they turn to crime/deviance in order to gain the things that
they have been prevented from achieving.
· Anomie, and the resulting deviant behaviour, breaks down social
solidarity and weakens value consensus. This is described as the
erosion of societies norms and values.
· Deviants are those who experience anomie and as a result go against
society's value consensus. Deviants therefore are somehow
`different' to `normal' people. > anyone can dip into deviance and go
back to normal.…read more
Functions of crime Boundary maintenance
· Crime produces a reaction from society uniting its members against
wrong doers and reinforcing shared norms and values.
· The function of punishment is to reaffirm societies shared rules and
reinforce social solidarity. This may be though the rituals of the court
room which dramatize wrongdoing and publically stigmatise the
· Cohen The media plays an important part in the `dramatization of
evil' the media often create folk devils: examples:
· W/C benefit cheats
· Black/Hispanic communities
· Muslims Islamophobia…read more