Crime and deviance mock cards

Problems in defining state crime

State crimes are crime commited by or organised by state agencies. 

1. The state are responsibel for the formation of law production, and so they can create laws to justify their own morally illegal actions for example legalising bombings during wars. Avoid criminalising their own actions.

2. To label a crime, an audience must deicide it is so. This audiences definition may be manipulated by ruling -class ideology as most people that would have anything to do with defining a law are most likely upper-class.

1 of 4

Why males are convicted more than females

1. Chivalry thesis: men are socialsed to act chivalrous towards women so officers and justice system are more leniant when convcting women e.g. unwilling to use force to arrest, charge etc so higher volume of males convicted

2. Patriarchal control: women commit less crime than men; society impsoes greater control over women so have less opportunity to offend and be convicted. Females controlled by fear of behvaiour being unnaceptable so act as conformist as possible i.e not deviating from law.

3. The 'gender deal' (Carlen): women conform to conventional domestic role gain material gain from family life. Men do not have this option so  turn to illegitimate means to gain status and money so more men are convicted.

2 of 4

White collar crime not resulting in prosecutions x

1. Labelling theory: big coorporations have the monetary power to de-label their crime with the use of expensive lawers. By inabling the state to investigate crime, less WCC are prosecuted 

2. Invisibility of WCC: media doesnt report coorporate crime due to reinforcing the ideal that crime is working class, describing the coorpprate crime as 'technical infringements'. With this and the lack of political will to tackle multi-national conglomerates that often commit WCC, many cases are not taken to court and therefore not prosecuted.

3 of 4

Eval usefulness of labelling theory in understandi

Labelling theory: no act is deviant, society creates rules are apllies them to outsieders and defines them as criminals (Becker). Diffenetial enforcment, typifications, crime stats (dark figure), primary, secondary deviance, sefld-fulfilling prophecy, amplification spiral.

1. - marxists critise labelling theory as they fail to distinguish were these labels emerged from, no cause for cause and effect. It doesnt specify the cause of crime, only some people are labelled as deviant.

2. Labelling theorists use the 'dark figure' of crime to explain why crime stats are unrepresentative, but  offenders may lie on how much crime they commit to avoid arrest and social judgement

3. Not useful as primary and secondary deviance fails to explain why some people commit crime before they are labelled

4. Can we even use a theory such as the Self-fulfilling prophecy that is so over-deterministic, assuming that once labelled, the prophecy is inevitable. Free will does play a role.

4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Crime and deviance resources »