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).
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.
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.
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.
- 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?