Crime and Deviance

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  • Created by: krishmaq
  • Created on: 17-03-14 20:38

Crime and Deviance 1

Crime: behaviour that breaks the formal written laws of a society. e.g murder

Deviance: behaviour that doesn't conform to the norms of a society.  e.g bad behaviour in class

An act can deviant but not criminal or both

  • Time: drinking in morning vs afternoon
  • Place: naked at beach vs naked at cricket match
  • Social situation (context): e.g waving flag at football match vs at funeral
  • Culture: cannabis in arab country (legal) vs cannabis in UK (illegal)

Official Stats: + government officially produced (reliable/factual) - not everything is reported,not everyone knows they're a victim = Dark figure

Victim Surveys: BCS, asks what crimes have been committed against them even if not reported. + more realistic, completes dark figure - could be filled incorrect/not understood, not honest.

Self Report Studies: asks what crimes you have commited + picks up minor crimes unreported,anonymous - not filled in correctly/honestly

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Crime and Deviance 2

Explanations of criminal behaviour

  • Biological: Lombroso 1876, measured size of skull to show how likely someone would be to commit crimes. Less evolved= more likely. Steve Jones 1994 - argues genetics + socialisation affects likelyhood. Widely discredited.
  • Psychological: PMT - stress caused= women become irrationalal and can't be held responsible for their acctions. 80% of female crime occurs around their period.
  • Psychological: Maternal Deprivation: early childhood deprivation, lack of emotional support, seek attention elsewhere= leads to criminal activity.
  • Psychological: Hans Eysnek- Impulsive behaviour/ extrovert people= more likely to commit crime.

 what do sociologists mean by the term deviance?

1- an act that goes against the norms of the society

2-  depends on time,culture,place and social situation

3- e.g misbehaving in a classroom

4- act can be deviant in one society but illegal in other e.g drinking in UK vs Saudi Arabia

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Crime and Deviance 3

Sociological Explanations

  • Relative deprivation: individuals feel disadvantaged compared to toerhs e.g colleugues with different pay. Feel discontent, leads to crime. Materialistic society, re-inforced through media (adverts), people obtain through illegal ways.
  • Labelling: tags given to groups/individuals, labelled as criminal = self fullfilling prophecy
  • Media influence: media identifies "troublemakers", police "tackle group"= media amplification (more people caught during act)
  • Peer groups/subcultures: groups create sense of belonging/acceptance, peer pressure, own norms. Albert Cohen (1955) vandalism/violence linked to weak education system (mc>wc). Paul Willish 1977 anti social boys enjoyed masculunity = manual jobs, qualitications are pointless.
  • Oppurtunity structure: no of legal/illegal activites available in area. Levels of employment/education down= illegal activities ^
  • Inadequate socialisation: influence/family/home environment = parentially deprived= prone to crime. Inadequate parenting/supervision= delinquecy. Lack of school/religious/media= crime. Media glamorouses guns and crime
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Crime and Deviance 4

sociological theory for people comitting crimes

Marxists: we live in a CAPITALIST society= materialistic,consumerism,competition. Media re-inforces through advertising, therefore people obtain items though illegal (proliteriat) means

Functionalist: crime/deviance= threat to success, boundaries for what is acceptable for norms/values of a society. 

New Right: crime/deviance is increasing due to lone parents because of the change in norms/values of society. Dislike feminism, similar to functionalist.

How far would sociologists agree that deprivation is the main cause of crime in Britain?

Crime- act that breaks written laws of society. Deprivation - lack of basic needs.

Agree deprivation: parientially deprived so they seek attention elsewhere, inadequate socialisation (psychological factors) according to functionalists. Deprived from religion,school, discipline (guns glamourised). Relative deprivation (Marxists due to materialistic society), deprived from job oppurtunity = commit crime.

Disagree other: labelling=sfp, media amplification

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Crime and Deviance 5

Why do women commit less crime?

  • Different socialisation: girls are taught to be more law abiding whereas boys are socialised to be tough and aggresive.
  • Oppurtunity structure: girls are normally confined to the home and have greater parental supervision.
  • Inaccurate statistics: males are normally prosecuted more due to labelling
  • Chivlary thesis: male dominated police are easier on women, women are cautioned rather than prosecuted or charged. "Sad rather than bad"
  • Social control: women are taught to be more family centred

Ladette: a girl who's adopted the nroms/values/traits what's considered to be male. e.g loud,drinking,anti-social

Girl gangs: female gangs involved in violence, mostly LA

Folk devil: media create idea that the public fear e.g hoodies/girl gangs

Chivalry thesis: common belief that male police,judges,courts ect are easier on women

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Crime and Deviance 6

Crime and Social Class

Murray's underclass theory: diff norms/values, different socialisation, instant gratification, fatalism

Durkheim: society without norms/rules= more deviance + crime 

White collar crime - commited by middle class (sutherland)

  • Occupational crime: crime comitted at work place of offender, normally dealt with by the company. Due to bad press/repuatation. e.g Fraud/ doctor harrassing patient/supermarket scans
  • Professional crime: life time career 
  • Corporate crime: ERON (Business commits crime)
  • Computer crime: e.g identity theft
  • e.g: embezzlement,tax evasion,pillering,expenses claims

Treated differently because they are: harder to prove/expensive,bad publicity/rep, m/c can afford legal treatment,m/c judges are sympathetic,not a serious threat or dangerous to public.

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Crime and Deviance 7

Ethnic minorities over represented in crime stats

  • Stephen Lawerence case, Instituational racism, Mcpherson report
  • Stop and srarch unfairly targets/labels A/C
  • E.M more likey to suffer poverty
  • Media amplificates stereotypes
  • Police mostly m/c white = discriminate E.M
  • Institutional racism: a process that produces racism outcomes even without intent
  • Canteen culture: cliques/groups of people that hold ideas similar to Institutional racism

Labelling- individual given name/stereotypes, positive hardworked by teacher, negative troublemaker, police may target label e.g stop and search

Prejudice- opinions not fact, due to race/religion, e.g arabs = terrorism,media amplifies

Racism- individual discrimated based on race, seen as lower status, may face abuse/violence, schools try to tackle thoughts through programmes

Reduce racism - anti bullying projects, educated on wrongs/effects/consquences, successful bc younger accept/embrace, small incidents reported/dealt with.

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Crime and Deviance 8

Ethinic groups appear to commit more crime than other because they are stereotyped (12)

some agree, some disagree and say media, however some say they do bc of poverty...

Agree stereotyped: stop and search, reported= high crime statisics= dangerous to public,institutional racism, Stephen Lawerence, canteen culture, stereotyped/labelled,media,asian families stronger religion influences

Disagree do actually commit: face unemployment,language barrier,w/c areas, location=oppurtunity, cultural/material deprivation, bad jobs=crime, murrays underclass theory

describe problem associated with teens,explain why its a problem

1- underage drinking

2- drinking under age of 18 e.g binge drinking

3- may lead to crime/violence e.g fights

4- require medical help = expensive

5- member of public say problem because money comes from tax payers

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Crime and Deviance 9

describe one way govt deal with teen crime, explain success

1- asbos

2- anti social behaviour order, restricts areas + times

3- not very successful because it requies monitoring

4- expensive and hard to look for tags

5- even with asbos, anti social behaviour takes place + seems "cool"

Urban areas: inner cities, more deprivation, more unemployment/relative poverty, less social control, more pubs= more crime detected

Rural areas: handled differently,informally, more household crimes

More likely to be victim: lower w/c,male,young 16-24 (vunerable), E.M, urban dwellers

More likely to experience: E.M (hate crime), women (domestic violence), repeated victimisation, university students (theft)

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Crime and Deviance 10

What makes us fear crime?

  • Socialisation: parents tell us not to come home late,not to talk to strangers,beware
  • Media: moral panic,folk tales, exagerate crime
  • Govenment: enforce laws,harsh sentence to warn us
  • Police: monitor/guard crime, tackle crime

relative deprivation is the most important factor in explaining crime levels (12)

Agree: relative bc marxists say we live in materialistic society

Disagree: oppurtunity to commit crime, inadequate socialisation,poverty trap,subculture,subcultures,labelling=sfp,media amplification,N.R say crime is due to changes in society

Explanations of delinquecy: alcohol/drugs,family problems,failure at school=status frustration=approval from group= negative subterranean values + agression (subcultures)

Solve: curfews,higher parental responsibility (compensate for crimes),after school clubs (less oppurtunity), reducing exclusions= away from trouble

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Crime and Deviance 11

define criminal stereotype

-characteristics & physical

-deviant norms and values e.g slang,hoodies


-media amplification

police relationships ^, how successful

1- hire more E.M police, encouraged through cadets,tv,posters ect 

2- reduce institutional racism, Mcpherson report

3- not very successful because it still happens

4- E.M still over represented in stop & search, 2nd Stephen Lawerence enquiry

5- could cause mistrust between E.M and White police officers

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Crime and Deviance 12

agree women just as likely to commit crime as men (12)

Agree: Ladette culture,girl gangs, no longer chivalry effect, more feminism= more freedom + oppurtunity, forced to commit crime bc part time work (glass ceiling)

Disagree: different socialisation, restricted to home= less oppurtunity, law abiding, more sympathetic

agree that deviant + criminal behaviour results from poor socialsation

Agree: inadequate socialsation, maternal deprivation= seek attention elsewhere,subcultures,instant gratification, N.R/Functionalisats = London Riots

Disagree: Oppurtunity to commit crime, location= less employment, more w/c= crime, poverty trap, labelling=sfp, murrays underclass theory, marxits critisize system

conc- depends on sociologist

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Crime and Deviance 13

explain what sociologists mean by white collar crime

1- crime comited by middle class or u/c

2- e.g proffesional/co-operative/computer/occupational/ complex qualified

3- e.g fraud,tax evasion, embezzlement

4- "victimless" crimes, covered up due to bad rep, judges feel sympathy, harder to detect, can afford legal treatment

one police action may lead to E.M stereotyped + why it happens

1- stop and search

2- stop and search suspicious looking people for criminal behaviour

3- a/c over represented in crime stats

4- instituional racism after Mcpherson report

5- media amplification

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Crime and Deviance 14

Crime comitted mostly by young men (12)

Agree: socialised to take risks, have more oppurtunities than women who are confined to stay home, involved in sub cultuers, labelled, statistics show, women mature earlier

Disagree: Ladette Culture, attention seeking kids, female prison population increasing, chivalry effect, binge drinking involve all teens

define conformity when studying deviance (4)

1- following the norms,values beliefs of society

2- natural due to socialisation

3- e.g give up seat for pregnant woman

4- go against conformity in subcultures = deviance

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one way govt collect stats of crime + explain why it's not fully accurate

1- victim surveys

2- you anonymously say what crimes have been comitted against you

3- not all will admit to crimes that are sensitive 

4- not all people know they're victims

5- still not a fuller picture of the dark figure

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