Crime Mock


3 Criticisms of Labelling Theory

  • It removes the blame away from the offender and onto those who define him or her as deviant
  • It assumes an act isnt deviant until it is labelled as such, yet many know perfectly well that they are doing is deviant
  • It does not explain the causes of the deviant behaviour, which originate before the labelling process
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What does Durkheim say about crime?

He says crime is inevitable as not everyone is effectively socialised and that due to society

becoming more diverse and moving towards anomie, different subcultures and individuals have

different norms and values. 

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Why does Durkheim believe that crime is beneficial

He says that crime provides boundary maintainance which reinforces societies norms and values

by unifying members in condemnation of the act. He also states that it is beneficial as it allows

society to be able to change its views with the times.

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2 Criticisms of Durkheim

  • does not state how much crime is needed for society to function
  • limited in explaing why individuals commit crime
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What does Cohen say about crime?

Believes crie acts as a warning device to show society what is wrong with society and that they will

be punished. He states that working class boys suffer from status frustration due to living in a

society that they are unable to achieve in. They become part of a criminal subculture where they

are provided with a sense of belonging and an alternative hierarchy that they are able to achieve


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Criticisms of Cohen.

His theory is androcentric and only considers the working class.

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What does Davis say about crime?

Says that crime is a safety value to releave stress from members of society. 

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What is Mertons Strain Theory?

He used the criticisms of Durkheim to come up with his Stain Theory. The theory demonstrates

why people commit crime, suggesting that crime occurs due to a strain between the goals that

society encourages people to achieve and what society allows them to achieve. Due to society

being unequal some people, mainly working class, lack oppotunities to achieve goals, explaining

why the working class are more likely to commit crime, further supported by crime statistics. He

devised five different ways people can respond to strain: conformity, innovation, retreatism,

rebellion, ritualism. 

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Criticism of Merton.

Only explains utillitarian crime and individual crime whilst ignoring group crime.

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What did Downes and Hansen discover?

They carried out a surveys which found that countries that spent more money on welfare had lower

crime rates.

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What did Cloward and Ohlin discover from their sub

They developed Cohen's strain theory to explain group crime and why people commit non-

utilitarian crime. They proposed that people form different subcultures depending on their own

situations. They state that three different subcultures were formed: criminal, conflict, or retreatist.

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