crime and deviance

these cards consider all of functionalism and structuralist theories

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  • Created by: samantha
  • Created on: 11-05-12 15:14

Crime and Deviance

DURKHEIM - "crime is normal" - crime is enevitable - too much crime would disrupt social cohesion however too little crime would create a society of angels.

crime provides a healthy society not everyone is equally socialised into the shared norms and values - so some are prone to deviate. This diversity of lifestyle and values creates subcultures with distinctive norms and values what members of subcultures regard as normal, wider society see as deviant. ( S - WILLIS)

Crime fulfils two positive functions:

1. boundary maintenance - the reaction of crime through society binds people together as crime reinforces shared norms and values.

2. adaptation and change - all change starts with an act of deviance, so crime allows us to recognise where we need to make an adoptive change.

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Crime and Deviance


  • Prostitution allows that male member of the nuclear family to gain a sexual release
  • This is done without any emotional ties with the prostitute
  • Preventing monogamous relationships and the family being threatned


  • Porn channels sexual desires 
  • this is a positive alternative to adultry which threatens the nuclear family
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Crime and Deviance


Deviance is a warning that an institutions isnt working properly

For example high truancy rates may suggest that the education system is failing and allows them to improve


social control sustains crime rather than rid society of it

For example, licensed events such as festivals are a way of maintaining social control of crime rather than stop it.

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Crime and deviance

Merton's strain theory

Struturalist - as structural factors create crime

unequal opportunitiy

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