C+D topic 1A

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  • Created by: Sasha127
  • Created on: 26-03-15 11:15

funtionalist definitions of crime and deviance

  • the idea of what counts as normality and what counts as deviance is the result of shared values and ways of behaving and a deviant is a person who breaks these shared values 
  • Durkheim- society is concensual and the vast magority of people are socialised into similar values and ways of behaving creating a value concensus in socuity. the more behaviour differs from these core values the more likely it is to be seen as deviant. He also beleived that as society became more complex and modern socialisation agencies will be less likely to do an effective job of ensuring a value concensus concequently it was likely there was to be more crime in post industrial societies than pre. 
  • Functionalists argue there are formal and informal social controls that clearly show what counts as deviant in the magority of social situations
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Interactionalist definition of crime and deviance

  • interactionalists are critical of functionalists definitions of deviance because it implies that such definitions are fixed, absolute and universally shared. 
  • They argue that definitions of normality and deviance are a social construction meaning the same act can be interpretated in different ways therefor deviance is relative and will depend upon a persons individual point of veiw the place in which they live culture they are brought up in, the time period and the social context. ie drinking is acepted in western culture but is banned in islamic socities. 
  • interactionalists reject the idea society is based on a value concensus instead pointing out that societies are too complex for there to be a shared set of values, modern societies are characterised by conflicts of interest and diversity of beleifs 
  • This aproach to deviance suggests that there's competing sets of values that co exist beside eachother ie britian contains a range of ethnic and religous subcultures which have different values and thereofor definitions of normality and deviance compared with mainstream white culture however these values and definitions rarely crash. 

Therefor definitions of normality and deviance are in a constant state of change as social attitudes evolve over time conceuqently what is seen as normal and deviant is constantly subject to change rather than absolute and fixed however they do achnoladge some social groups have the power to impose their definitions on onthers and label them as deviant and criminal.

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Conflict theories and definitions of crime and dev

  • marxism
  • confilct theories such as marxism also argue that there is no such thing as a value concensus, they beleive modern western  capetalist societies are characterised by extreem inequalities in wealth and power concepquently the bourgoisie are able to impose their definitions of normality and deviance ontothe less powerful and poorer groups such as the wc and the poor who are seen as a threat to their power
  • Marxists argue that the law functions to protect bougoisie interests and to criminalise the working class so that their control through policing can be justified an example of this is that employers are charged with "negligence" as a result of the death of one of their workers rather than murder maning they don't aquire a criminal record and are more likely to be fined than imprisoned.
  • Waberism 
  • Waber argreed with marxism that the wealthy are the dictators of normality and deviance but was critical of the fact marxists reduced all  power and inequality to the economic relationship between the bourgoisie and proletariate beleiving there were other sources of power and inequality in adition to social class such as race, ethnicity, age,gender autority and coercion. ie feminists argue patriarchy defines normality and deviance. or south africa in apartide
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Conflict theories and definitions of crime and dev

  • marxism
  • confilct theories such as marxism also argue that there is no such thing as a value concensus, they beleive modern western  capetalist societies are characterised by extreem inequalities in wealth and power concepquently the bourgoisie are able to impose their definitions of normality and deviance ontothe less powerful and poorer groups such as the wc and the poor who are seen as a threat to their power
  • Marxists argue that the law functions to protect bougoisie interests and to criminalise the working class so that their control through policing can be justified an example of this is that employers are charged with "negligence" as a result of the death of one of their workers rather than murder maning they don't aquire a criminal record and are more likely to be fined than imprisoned.
  • Waberism 
  • Waber argreed with marxism that the wealthy are the dictators of normality and deviance but was critical of the fact marxists reduced all  power and inequality to the economic relationship between the bourgoisie and proletariate beleiving there were other sources of power and inequality in adition to social class such as race, ethnicity, age,gender autority and coercion. ie feminists argue patriarchy defines normality and deviance. or south africa in apartide
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Evaluating the social construction of crime and de

  • Some interactionalists argue theres no such thing as normal or deviant behaviour as behaviour is subject to a range of interpretationshowever there are some activities ie child abuse that are morally never going to be veiwed positively ie they are always wrong in all time places and contexts. 
  • the implication of this aproach is that deviance and crime are an invention of those with power thast they are only labels and therefor unreal. This is not very comforting for the victims of crime. 
  • interactionalists beleive that the crime rate can be lowered through de criminalisation however this idea can be more ealisy applied to trivial crimes rather than serious crimes.
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A note on objectivity

  • Objectivity means the conclusions that sociologists arive at are indipendent of the values they hold such as their moral preferences or political veiws.  In reality its difficult to be value free.
  • Lloyotard- a postmodernist argues that knowledge simply reflects the veiwpoint and values of different social groups thus a marxist theoris veiws society as unequel and the law as vaouring one group over another where as functionalist theorists hold politically conservative veiws and beleives the law reflects socities interests. acording to Llyotard no one veiwpoint and sep of values is superior toanother. 
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