Crime and deviance

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  • Created by: Becky
  • Created on: 11-06-13 15:07

Hirschi - age & crime

- Looked at those who don't commit crime, 4000 self report studies.

- Social control theory, people with strong social bonds to agencies of control are less likely to commit crime.

- 4 types of bond: Attachment, commitment, involvement and belief.

- bonds are weakened during adolescent years making them more likely to commit crime

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Cohen - Age & Crime

'Status fustration' 

- lower classes are more likely to achieve mainsteam success (they have the same goals) through legitimate means because they have less opportunities due to cultural deprevation

- they end up in deadend jobs which leads to status fustration

- A delinquent subculture is the collective response, turns societies norms & values on its head. They take enjoyment out of discomforting others.


- Only looked at boys 

- Only looked at american society

- Only looked at gang orientated crime, doesnt explain crimes such as fraud

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Murray - Age & Crime

ill disciplined boys are more 'wayward' & find themselves more likely to end up in trouble. 

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Age & Crime

- Highest rates of crime at ages (mostly theft, drug use, violence & stealing0 - 19 for males

           - 15 for females

- Adults are more likely to commit benefit fraud or domestic violence.

- The elderly are victimised the least however can be at risk to ill treatment or abuse in care homes

- They may commit grey crimes but get away with it because they dont look the part.

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Gender & Crime - Women commit less crime?

Biology - Lombroso, physical difference, women are naturally caring, emotional & maternal

Rise of girl gangs & ladette culture & house husbands. 

Sex role theory - Oakley, Canalisation. Boys have freedom while girls face strict socialisation. 

Parsons - strict gender roles means women have less opportunity to commit. 

Social control - Heidenson, domestic violence. keeps women in their place, outside of the home they are vulnerable. 

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Gender & Crime - women's crimes go unoticed

Problems with official statistics - men are less likely to report a crime on themselves such as domestic violence. 

Chivalry thesis - self report showed that differences between men & womens crimes are not wide

Allen, motoring offences. 73% of of women were fined while only 54% of men were = men get harsher sentences. 

Biology - Pollak, 'the masked offender'. Women can talk themselves out of trouble, good liars eg period pains. 


double deviance eg Vannessa George. 

Walklate - **** trials, girls made to feel like they were in the wrong 

Dobash & Dobash, women are less likely to report men 

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Gender & Crime - Why do women commit crime?

Alder - changes in society have enabled women to be liberated from male oppression and also roles are becoming more equal. 

Denscombe - women increasingly challenge masculinity. Rise in girl gangs, women challenging men in the work place. 


Not all women commit crime

challenging men in the work place = equality! 

Still a glass ceiling means not as much opportunity for women to commit crimes. 

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Gender & Crime - Masculinity

Katz - 'the seductions of crime'. Men commit crime for pleasure eg. irrational violence of football hooligans. 

Collier - challenges 'normative masculinity' - Thomas Hamilton. Generalisations may cause men to commit crimes. 

Dick Hobb et al - Studied the night time economy using participant observation & interviews with bouncers. They asserted their masculinity through violence.

Messerschmidt - 'normative masculinity' - expressing that they are 'real men'. especially the working glass and ethnic minorities. 

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Gender & Crime - Victimisation

Young males are more likely to be victims & offenders 

 - w/c & ethnic minorities live in poor inner city area where more crime takes place

Men are more likely to commit violent offences to other men where as women are more likely to be victims of mens violence. 

Females have more fear of crime, especially the elderly, so take more precautions 

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Ethnicity & Crime - Offending

Official statistics - show black ethnic groups are over represented. Asians are slightly over representated. 

Victim surveys - crime tends to be inter racial 

Self report studies - offending rates are the same for white, black & asian. 

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Ethnicity & Crime - Racist police practices

Canteen culture - developed distinctive working values, gives them a sense of unity. Conservativism and racism are part of their values. 

Institutional racism - Stephen Lawrence. Individual police are not racist but come to associate young, black malese with offending. 

Police 'stop & search' - black people 6x more and asians 4x more than whites - discrimination. 

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Ethnicity & Crime - Victimisation

Rising number of racially motivated crimes towards ethnic minoirities. 

British crime survey - 2000 blacks & indians victims of robbery and theft. 

Blacks are more likely to be assulted

Indians, Pakistantis & Bangladeshis are less likely to be assulted. 

Chlancy et al - social factors in areas that ethnic minorities live - higher rates of unemplyment & younger age structures of groups. 

Explains victimisation. 

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Ethnicity & Crime - Structural Left realist approa

Crime is a product of cultural deprivation, subculture & marginalisation

The members of the subculture may also commit non utilitarian crime. 

Emphasism on comsumerism means they are left wanting but no legitimate means of getting it. 

Lea & Young - Britian as a society is racist - some of the police force is racist but other factors explain the differences in statistics 

90% of crimes known by the police are reported by the public. 

Lea & young criticised the approach to police racism 

since 9/11 stereotyping has increased for asians, not blacks. 

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Suicide - Durkheim

Functionalist & positivist - used official statistics to gain patterns & trends & quantitative data.

Suicide rates are high in protestants, unmarried and drop during times of war. 

Social intergration & cohesion: Bonds to institutes in society prevent suicide esp family & religion.

4 types: Alturistic, excessive integration. Egoistic, lack of integration. Fatalistic, excessive regulation. Anomic, lack of regulation. 

Suicide as a social fact: 

there are certain forces in society that have a clear, definite influence over peoples behaviour. Durkheim can be considered a realist. 

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Suicide - Douglas

Interpretivist - Durkheim fails to see the true meaning.

Qualitative data = greater depth & deail. Used case studies, interviews and biographies. 

Suicide has 4 different meanings:

transformation of self,

transformation of self for others,

achieving fellow feeling &

gaining revenge. 

There is no single act that can be defined as suicide. 

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Suicide - Atkinson

Phenomenological approach - extreme interpretivism. 

The categories of suicide are socially constructed, 

Coroners have to 'guess' & piece together what they think the victim used as a reason to commit. 

They should look at the following when deciding: 

- Suicide notes

- Mode of death 

- Location & circumstances of death 

- Life history & mental state

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Suicide - Taylor

Links interpretivist and positivist approaches. 

Looked at parasuicides. 

Used case studies of people who took their lives on the London transport network, 

the majority of individuals did not intend to die & simply gambled with their lives.

Durkheims social facts + Douglas' meaning 

Ordeal suicides, amoie & fatalism

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Functionalism & crime - Durkheim

Society is held together by peoples shared values

Some crime is inevitable & should be managed not solved

too much crime is dysfunctional for society when it gets too high - anomie is the main cause of crime

Crime reaffrims boundaries of collective conscience eg Madeline McCann 

- Provides jobs

- has a detterence function 

- can help ensure apporiate social change occurs 


No explanation for why? 

Feminists & Marxists 

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Functionalism & crime - Hirschi

Most people in society dont commit crime due to social bonds, control theory. 

4 types of social bond: 

1. attachment to institutions 

2. Commitment to our role within institutions 

3. Involvement, time taken up 

4. A belief that we have too much to lose by committing crime 

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Functionalism & crime - Merton

Strain theory

When the w/c cant achieve through meritocracy = strain. Eg The American Dream 

They respond in 5 ways: 






Cannot be fully applied to British society

Marxists, Cohen


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Functionalism & crime - Kingsley - Davis

Crime can be functional for society

Eg. Prostitution helps maintain the nuclear family. 

- If unhappy husbands pay for sex then they are less likely to have an affair. 

Under estimates the negative effect it can have on women 


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Environmental theories, gangs & subcultures

Enviromental theories - looks at nature of neughbourgoods in describing & explaining social problems. 

Routine Activities Theory: 

Crime is likely to take place somewhere where there is: Likely offenders, attractive targets, absence of 'capable guardians' 

Familiarity means please are more likely to commit 1.93 miles from their home on average. 

Brantinghams & cognitive mapping - georgraphy of the place we live in & familiar routes. 

Skogen & spiral of decay - 2 types of disorder: physical & social. 

weakens informal social control

Shaw & McKay - Crime flourises in the transition zone due to the social disorganisation. 

Crime remains constant in that zone but when individuals move away they do not commit

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Environmental theories, gangs & subcultures - Cohe

Looked at delinquent boys who held different values 

They had 2 reasons to join gangs: 

- poor socialisation at home 

- denial of positive recognition from teachers 

Due to status fustration, gangs are a way of gaining respect. 

When realising they cannot achieve they respond collectively 

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Environmental theories, gangs & subcultures - Matz

Delinquents are the same as everyone else, 

they have 2 sets of values suterranean and non deviant. 

If subcultures existed they would be deviant all the time however people just drift in & out of crime. 

They use techniques of neutralisation to get themselves out of trouble

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Environmental theories, gangs & subcultures - Mill

Miller - Delinquency is a consequence of normal w/c values. 

These values result in the inability of w/c boys to achieve success resulting in crime becoming a normal extension of w/c values. 

6 elements (focal concerns):







Patrick - Used covert participant observation, looked at motivation behind gang behaviour

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Environmental theories, gangs & subcultures - !!!

Evaluation of Cohen - Cloward & Ohlin

- failed to explain why there are different forms of gangs 

- depends on the enviromental factors providing different opportunties 

1. Criminal gang

2. Conflict gang

3. Retreatist gang

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Labelling theory - Becker & Lemert


Socially constructed master label = self fulfilling prophecy 

actions can be interpreted differently to their social context - eg nudity. 


Primary deviance = deviant act goes unnoticed 

Secondary deviance = negative label resulting in a master label and then a self fulfilling prophecy. 

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Labelling theory - Chambliss & Cohen


The saints & the roughnecks

saints from m/c, roughnecks from w/c

police labelled roughnecks negatively and so they got in more trouble

agencies of control generated further deviance. 


The Mods & Rockers

Media created further deviance, folk devils & moral panic aplified the problem

The media exaggerated and distorts reality 

Police were influenced by the media

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Labelling theory - Young & Evaluation


Hippies - media made a problem that hadnt previously existed 'dope smokers' 


- deterministic

- SFP doesnt always occur

- cold blooded urder is not socially constructed

- realist criminology, they are not REAL victims

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Labelling theory

People control society - interpretivist approach

Impact of crime in the media - more fear for tabloid readers, they are more likely to be in transition zone

Social Policy - 1) Name and shame = increasing labelling to deter criminals (Sarah Payne) 2)Avoid labelling to prevent further deviance

Crime & reality TV - Crime watch, police camera - focuses on street crime 

Crime & news - over-represened violent & sex crimes compared to official statistics, creates moral panic

Tabloid = 34% crime, Broadsheet = 5.1% crime. 

Good news: 

Novelty, excitement, titilation, personality

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Traditional Marxists & Crime - Conflict view & eva

Conflict view -

The rich exploit the poor and the law stops people expresing their dissatisfactions. The law is also selectively inforced.

To get rid of crime a transformation of society must happen to replace capitalism with communism


- deterministic

- feminists, ignores gender

- white collar criminals do not always get off lightly 

- Capitalist countries do not have high crime rates: switzerland 

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Radical Criminology

Focuses on the ways in which government criminalises certain groups in society more than others eg the oppressed and disadvantaged

claims individuals choose to commit crime in response to the oppression from capitalist society -unlike traditional marxist who believe they are forced to

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Radical criminology - 'The new criminology'

Taylor, Walton and Young:

merged marxism and the labelling theory in a radical alternative model to explain crime

Individuals choose to commit crime to fight the injustices of capitalist system

not caused by biology

Bulgary of the rich can be seen as the 're-distribution of wealth'

The purpose of criminology should be to create societies in which human diversity is accepted and tolerated

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Radical Criminology - Stuart Hall 'Policing in cri

'fully social theory of deviance' can become v. close to being achieved since it addresses the actions of 'offenders' and the workings of the criminal justice system and wider society.

growth of muggings during the 1970s, was homed in on by the media creating moral panic, this enabled the government to distribute more police officers in hot spots for mugging resulting in a steep rise in police 'stop and searches' particularly of young back males, the typical mugger.

Capitalist society used the mugging phenomena to justify their ever growing control and enabled them to put more officer on the street without fuss from the public. Gave the government more power the curb the growing discontent with capitalism

Criticisms: No evidence of panic, just media manufacturing

No evidence people did associate young black males with mugging

Ignores the mugger being labelled

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Globalisation & Crime - Beck, Taylor & Glocal crim

Postmodernists discuss. Refers to the process of the world becoming increasingly interconnected with the help of advances in ICT and communication technology such as the internet.

'New' crime have emerged: Arms trafficking, trafficking nuclear materials, smuggling of illegal immigrants, trafficking women and children, sex tourism, trafficking body parts, cyber crimes, green crime, trafficking cultural artefacts.

Beck - led to an increasing awareness of risk especially with media reporting the risk associated with increasing cultural, ethnic and religious mix of people. Increase in 'hate' crimes

Taylor - has changed the ways in which businesses work. Trans-national where cheaper wages and lenient health and safety laws. Machines and trans-nationality puts people out of jobs cause them to turn to committing crime in order to survive

Glocal crime - eg drugs trade, both local and trans-natonial. Gang crime has changed, their relationships are now flexible and loose-knit = postmodernism. Some claim old ways still exist and the exist along side each other.

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Globalisation & Crime - Green crime

Green crimes include: Air pollution, water pollution, acid rain, fly-tipping, crime against species etc.

The effects of green crime often cross national boundaries.


Beck - green crime is a symptom of the global risk society we live in. Media technology enabled us to become aware of the effect and risks of human actions eg. climate change.

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Globalisation & Crime - Is green crime really a cr


Green Criminologists - it is crime as it harms people. A transgressive criminology is needed where boundaries are opened to new types of crime.


Traditional criminology - crime is specific law breaking behaviour (not green crime) so should focus on traditional issues. Marxist claim this is typical of the government trying to define 'law and order'


White - depends if you have an anthropocentic view or an ecocentric view

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Globalisation & Crime - Primary & Secondary green


Primary green crime - are those that result from the direct destruction of the earth's resources:

Crimes of air pollution, Deforestation, Water pollution


Secondary green crime - grows out of the breaking of rules which are intended to prevent environmental disasters or other crimes:

State violence eg terrorism, Hazardous waste & organised crime.

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Globalisation & Crime - State crime, McLaughlin

illegal or deviant activites committed by, or on behalf of, states in order to help further their policies. eg torture, imprisonment without trial, corruption, genocide and war crimes.

McLaughlin: 4 categories of state crime:

Political Crime, such as corruption

Crimes by police, such as genocide and torture

Economic crimes, such as breaking health & safety laws.

Social and cultural crimes, such as institutional racism

The sheer scale of state crime is due to the power that governments have, difficulty from principles of national sovereignty.

Eg. Genocide on Cambodia, Pol Pot. Zimbabwe under Maugabe's rule & Guantanamo Bay

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Globalisation & Crime - Human rights

Schwendinger - human rights should not go hand in hand with the law, therefore it is not up to the government to decide what is and isnt a human right = prevents governments from abusing power by breaching peoples rights. This means that States can be charged and punished accordingly      - Happy marxists!!

Cohen - dictatorships are more likely to deny human right abuses whereare its much harder for developed countries to do so. Instead they legitimise them 'Spiral of denial':

1) States begin to try and deny that a human right abuse had taken place

2) If denial is too difficult states try to cnceal the ful extent of the issue eg. 'its not what it looks like'

3) If the above is too difficult, states justify their actions by pulling on peoples heart strings eg. 'we're protecting national security

EG: US/UK invasion of Iraq.

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Realist criminology - RIght Realism

Wilson - Left realism is too soft. Poverty/deprivation and crime do not always go hand in hand since when the economy rises so do crime rates! Tough approach.

Causes of crime: Biology, Poor socialisation, Poor social control, the existance of the welfare states (Murray) 

Tackling Crime:

- target hardening


- military policing

Wilson & Kelling - Broken Windows, tackling anti-social behaviour as soon as it happens will quickly send out a message. Ecourages neighbourhood watch

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Realist Criminology - New Left Realism

Agree with Marxists that society is held together by the powerful oppressing the least powerful.

Young - 4 mains causes of crime: Relative deprivation, Individualism, Changing nature of job markets and the media.

To deal with crime according to young, real, practical, workable solutions are needed. Including:

A multiagency approach: the square of crime. Victims, offenders, formal and informal social control agencies need to work togehter.

Eg. Baby P's death, social services and police should have worked more closely together.

Eg. Police Community Support Officers

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