Exaplanation of Crime and Deviance Studies

revsion cards for crime and deviance studies

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Theories of Crime and Deviance


Hirchi: Bonds of Attachment - Flipped sociologists original questions to 'Why do people not commit crime?'. There are 4 crucial bonds:

  • Attachment
  • Commitment
  • Involvement
  • Belief

The greater the persons attached to society the lower the level of crime.

New Right

Murray (1994) argues crime is a response to generosity of the welfare state which dominates people's lives and denied them the ability to develop (e.g. benefits

Wilson (1975) criminal is encouraged to engage in crime because punishments and alternatives to crime are too limited argues that sentences for some crimes are too lax

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Theories of Crime and Deviance Cont.


Hebdige (1988) argues that crime and deviance amongst working class can be seen as a sign of resistance and rebellion

Miliband (1969) argued the judiciary are from same background as ruling class and are likely to side with them, laws are essentially for the benefit of the ruling class, criminal law therefore operates to protect rich and powerful

Left Realism

Lea and Young (1984) argue the post war rise in crime was due to three processes

  • Relative Deprivation - group feels deprived if they can't achieve it's expectation
  • Subculture - a group that feels deprived will develop subculture, not always criminal
  • Marginalisation - marginal groups who have no commitments to other groups will develop resentment.
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Theories of Crime and Deviance Cont.



Steffensmeier and Allan (1991) maintain that a women are socialised into different set of moral values than men.


Heidensohn (1986) claim that women's lower crime rates can be explained in terms of patriarchy, both in public and private spheres men exert power and social control over women.


Becker's (1963) idea that social distribution of crime and deviance is dependant on processes of social interaction between the deviant and powerful agencies of social control

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