A2 Functionalism on crime, AQA

VERY brief summary of functionalism on crime. 

A2 Sociology

AQA Exam Board 

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  • Created by: Toni
  • Created on: 04-01-12 17:45

Durkheim - Key Ideas

1. Crime is inevitable and necessary to society. 

2. Crime has positive functions. 

3. The perfect amount of crime will keep society healthy and avoid anomie. (Normlessness). 

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Crime and Society

  • Society is only healthy when social order is maintained through the police and courts. 
  • We need a small amount of crime to remind us of what we believe in. 
  • Only as small minority will be self-interested and commit crime. 
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Positive functions of crime

1. Re-marking social boundaries - affirms social norms and values. 

2. Media coverage - as a warning to others.

3. Social bonds - strengthen as we unit in disapproval.

4.Safety value - a little bit of deviance reduces more serious problems - prostitution    - Kingley Davis.

5. Malfunctioning society - theft, drug use and truancy alert to other social problems in society.

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Society of saints

  • Imagine there was no crime or deviance...even the slighest slip lie coughing without putting your hand over your mouth would become a crime. 
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  • What actually is the perfect amount of crime?
  • Explaining the functions of crime doesn't explain what caused them in the first place. 
  • Murder maybe functional for society but what about the victim
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