G673 - Crime and Deviance

Crime and Deviance- Power and control

  • Created by: lukecox13
  • Created on: 13-02-15 13:58

Functionalist explanations


Anomie - the loss of norms and collective conscience

Positive aspects of crime

  • Re-affirming the boundries 
  • Changing values
  • Social cohesion
  • Safety Valve


  • Bonds of attachment - Commitment, Attachment, Belief, Involvement


  • Innovation - different ways to get goals        .Rebellion - different means and goals to the norm
  • Retreatism - rejects means and goals          .Ritualism - means without any real goal
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Marxist explanations

Snider - State is reluctant to enforce the law on corporations due to the finacial benefit to the goverment. Corporate tax is often reduced in order to get investments into the state.

Chambliss - Saints and Roughnecks. Roughnecks fitted police typical delinquant so were often arrested more despite the Saints doing more serious crimes.

Gordon - In a competitve society crime is rational to survive in a 'dog eat dog society'

Evaluation of Marxists

  • Feminist - Ignore how patriarchy effects criminology
  • Jones - Capitalism doesn't always produce high crime rates (Switzerland)
  • Left Realists - Street crime is crime that people are victim to and scared of
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Neo-Marxist explanations

CCCS - Skinhead styles are used as a challenge to class inequality within a capitalist society

Cohen - Skinheads were a symbolic reaction to the decline of working class community, exaggerating working class dress and attitudes

Scratton - Ethnic minorities form cultures of resistance, doing crime in a political act.

Hall - Black muggers are scapegoated and seen as a moral panic, blame immigrants and defending use of force against this group

Evaluation of Neo-Marxists

  • Brake - Resistance is magical, form of illusion that it actually helps the situation but in reality does nothing
  • Left Realists - It cannot be seen as a rebellion if crime has victims that suffer due to this
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Social Class and Crime

  • Reiner - 74% of prison population unemployed or employed at lowest level
  • Hagell and Newburn - 8% of persistant offenders middle class

White Collar Crime

  • Conkin - $40billion loss on corperate crimes/ White collar crimes
  • Carson - Oil workers are not given looked after safely. 168 died when Piper Alpha rig exploded
  • Box - Multinationals dump illegal products on undeveloped countries due to the lack of policy


  • Left Realists - makes sense for police to focus on street crime as this makes the biggest impact on peoples lives
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Interactionalist/Labelling explanations

Cicourel - Typical delinquant of middle class and working class identity. Middle Class parents could help negotiate the label and get their children out of trouble

Becker - Deviant Career

  • Primary Deviance - Commiting the act
  • Secondary Deviance - label applied by moral entrepreneurs
  • Master Status and Self Fulfilling Prophecy
  • Negotiation

Lemert - Inuits who stuttered (primary) were labelled (secondary) and this made the issue worse due to a SFP

Malinowski - Youth killed himself due to the label of incest. Once given this master status it was difficult to negotiate


Reiss - Male prostitutes they negotiated thier image and saw themselves as straight

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Role of Police and Courts in social construction


  • Dobash and Dobash - Police see domestic violence as a private issue
  • Cicourel - Middle class parents negotiate with police
  • Phillips and Bowling - Black stop and search 7x more
  • Pollack - Chivarly factor
  • Chambliss - Saints and Roughnecks, police assume working class commit more
  • Tarling - 65% of police in working class areas
  • Holdaway - Police stereotype youth to commiting more crime
  • MacPhearson Report - Institutional racism
  • Snider - Let off corperate crimes


  • Cicourel - Middle class parents
  • Hood - Social identity, black people 17% more likely to be charged
  • Farrington and Morris - Women doubly deviant as not conforming to social norms
  • 34% of female first time offenders sent to prison rather than 10% of male
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Role of the Mass Media in the social construction

  • Reiner - Media tend to focus on violent and sexual crimes
  • Carrabine - focus on dramatic events to intrest the audience
  • Chibnall - Drama, surprise, freshness are 'good stories'
  • Hall - mugging moral panic reflects view of powerful

S.Cohen - Mods and Rockers, deviance amplification, spriralled to make it worse. Seen as folk devils who were blamed for poor behaviour that threatend social order

Fawbert - Hoodies became a symbol of mischeif and a moral panic was created surrounding anyone wearing one. Bluewater banned hoodies dispite selling them. Newspapers reffered to young offenders by 'hoodie'

Evaluation of Moral Panics

  • Young - Implies crime is constructed by the media, it may make it worse but doesn't create it
  • McRobbie and Thornton - Happen so often they are loosing their impact. Also worried that moral panics could rebound e.g John Major's 'Back to basics'
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Subcultural explanations


  • Cohen - Lower class boys strove for middle class values but lacked means to do so. Status frustration. In attempt to gain status they behave poorly, inverting middle class values to gain status off peers.
  • Cloward and Ohlin - Illegitimate oppotunity structure. Having a career in crime through connections and qualities. Criminal (hierarchy) Conflict (gang warfare) Retreatist (Individually go into drugs etc.)


  • Scratton - Cultures of resistance. Political act rather than criminal
  • Hebdidge - Punks had a direct resistance to capitilism through clothing
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Subcultural Evaluations

  • Brake (Marxist) - Working class youth were in a position to show resistance to capitalism
  • Katz - Crime is seductive and young males get drawn into is as it is thrilling
  • Lyng - Young males like living life on the edge and flirting with danger
  • Lea and Young (Left Realists) - Members still part of wider society but are marginalised from success
  • Matza - We all have subterranean values and people drift in and out of crime
  • Feminists - All focused on male suncultures (Jacksons ladettes)
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Left Realist explanations

Lea and Young

  • Relative Deprevation - Differences to those in a better position
  • Marginalisation - Economic (money) , social (social life) and political (no political voice) 
  • Subcultures - People have the same values as wider society but their means are marginalised

Military Style Policing - No relationship with police. Mobilisation of bystanders (protest against police). Police should improve relationships with community

Evaluation of Left Realists

  • Marxists - Left Realists reject corperate crime as an issue
  • Carlen - Left Realists don't see what crime has done for women
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Left Realist solutions

Dealing with deeper structural causes

  • Educational programmes - Improve success of inner city youths
  • Minimum pay legislations - paid a fair wage so are not welfare dependant
  • Economic investments - creating jobs and oppotunities

Improving policing

  • Go from military style policing to a more community based system. Regaining trust

Restorative Justice

  • Apologising for their actions and giving something back to the community
  • Also helping the criminal to change and develop skills
  • Braithwaite - Reintegrative shaming, labelling the act rather than the person
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Right Realist explanations

Wilson - Broken Windows

  • Incivilities lead to social breakdown and larger crimes follow

Clarke - Rational Choice theory

  • Cost benefit analysis. Costs are currently too low and therefore people feel it is worth commiting

Hirschi - Control

  • Bonds of attachments. People without have little to loose so will have greater benefit

Murry - Underclass

  • Lack of father figures in underclass leads to crime. People have criminal values rather than mainstream
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Right Realist Solutions

Situational Crime Prevention (SCP)

  • People make themselves harder targets through security and surveillance
  • EVALUATION - Marxists, would make society more inequal

Wilson - Broken Windows

  • 0 tolerance policing
  • Informal social control
  • Crack down on incivilities

Retributive justice

  • Excluding criminals from society
  • Making the cost extremely high
  • Long tough prison sentences
  • EVALUATION - Garland - 60% of prison servers reoffend
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Feminist approaches to crime and deviance

Heidensohn - Malestream criminology:

  • Male dominance of offenders
  • Male domination of sociology
  • Vicarious indentification (intrests of males)
  • Sociological theorising (gender blind)

Types of Feminism

  • Liberal - Bring women into the agenda and cover both male and female
  • Radical (Dworkin) - All hetreosexual sex is **** due to the unknown hate of men, **** exploits women and encourages men to commit sexual violence
  • Postmodern  (Smart) - Transgression theory
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Gender crime patterns - Female

Low female crime rates

  • Differential socialisation (Oakley) - Expressive socialising different to males
  • Differential controls (Heidensohn) - Patriarchy controls women at home, public, and work.
  • Bedroom culture (McRobbie) - socialising with friends at home rather than in public.
  • Hey - Peer groups have informal social control


  • Campbell- Self report study is 1.5:1 rather than 7:1
  • ******* - Chivalry factor

Rising crime rate in young women

  • Carlen - Criminal women lack qualifications, found themselves in care or abuse
  • Adler - Liberation theory gives women oppotunities
  • Denscombe - Female roles changed so they take on risky behaviour like males
  • Croall (postmodern) - Motivated to commit crime due to drugs, thrill or consumer culture
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Gender crime patterns - Male


  • Middle class boys - Loss hegemonic masculinity through success at school so had to make up for this through acts outside of school such as drinking, thefts
  • Working class boys - didn't have success at school so tried to 'act hard' in order to gain power and status. They took on the idea of 'Lads' and physical violence
  • Lower working class and ethnic minorities - Didn't have success or supporting family so were forced to have the street life where crime and violence gave them masculinity

High crime rate in men

  • Katz - Crimes provide thrills
  • Matza - Youths drift in and out of crime as they find out what they want to be
  • Lyng - Edgework, living life on the edge and having the thrill of nearly getting caught
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Islington Crime Survey (Lea+Young)

  • Third of households had been victim to a serious crime in the past year
  • 25% of people avoided going out when it was dark
  • 28% felt unsafe in their own home

Victimisation of women

  • Smart - Transgression theory to start criminology with the victim (females)
  • Dobash and Dobash - 20% of women had experienced domestic violence
  • Walklate - Patriarchal society makes it tough for women to leave in domestic violence cases
  • Hanmer and Saunders - 20% of women on a street in Leeds have been sexually assulted
  • Graham - Questionnaries and structured interviews invalid. Use unstructured with women

Young People (CJS)

  • 33% had experienced crime in the last year
  • More likely to carry round valuables and less likely to be security conscious
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Victimisation evaluation

Islington Crime Survey

  • Local crime surveys usually have low representativeness or generalisability
  • Marxisit - Corperate or white collar crime is ignored
  • Victimless crimes are ignored

Feminist victim surveys

  • Feminist victim surveys ignore victimisation of men
  • New Right - Violence is expected in a relationship
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Official Crime Statistics


  • Cheap, easy and practical. Patterns and trends can be found
  • Representative and Generalisable
  • Functionalists and Left Realists base theories on it.


  • Only shows public attitudes towards certain crimes e.g. theft
  • Moral panics could be reflected and alter police statistics
  • Victimless crime is ignored

Aren't recorded if:

  • Too trivial
  • Private matter
  • Embarrassing
  • Don't want to create more police work
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Victim Surveys


  • 45000 Face to Face structured interviews. Selected from the postcode address file, so no representativeness of students or care homes.
  • 1 in 4 crimes reported to the police
  • 2% more violent crimes reported than in OCS
  • Majority of crime is intra-racial 42% of black crime on black people

Islington Crime Survey

  • 70% of older women had a visual curfew in inner city areas

Dobash and Dobash

  • 20% of women have experience domestic violence
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Self Report Studies


  • Gender crime patterns is 1.5:1 rather than the OCS 7:1
  • EVALUATION - Chivalry factor, validity, ethical issues, actually reporting serious crimes


  • Looks at secondary data of delinquency
  • Rejects working class youths are more likely than middle class youth
  • Can use Chambliss to back this up

Phillips and Bowling

  • Black and White have similar offending rates (44%). Asians (30%)
  • Stop and search rate 7x
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Evaluation of Measures


  • Feminists - Ignore dark figure of crime
  • Ignore victimless crime
  • Ignore corperate crime or white collar crime

Victim Survery

  • Issues surrounding objectivity, what gets included and what doesn't
  • Not representative
  • Feminists - Ethical issues, people get under-report
  • Interviewer effect

Self Report

  • Validity - Under or over report
  • Representativeness
  • Serious Crimes under report
  • Marxists - White collar crimes ignored
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Ethnicity and Crime

  • Official Statistics - Black people form 10% of prison population
  • Victimisation Survey - CSEW - 45% of crime is intra-racial
  • Self Report - Graham and Bowling - Crime rates the same for white and black

Police Racism

  • Lord Scarman - Bad apples that reflect society
  • Reiner - Canteen Culture
  • MacPherson Inquiry - Institutional racism, practises that are racist
  • Phillips and Bowling - Black people 7x over represented in stop and search, 2x asians

Neo Marxist

  • Scratton - Cultures of resistance


  • Alternative economy
  • Minorities creating illegal economy in order to create a living due to being marginalised
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Crime and Locality


  • Gemeinschaft - Small close knit community
  • Gesellschaft - Urban, large scale loose knit communities


  • Shaw and McKay - Concentric zones, Immigrants moved into the less desirable and worst crime affected zones until they were successful enough to move


  • Lea and Young (left) - Relative Deprivation, inner city areas see wealth of the city
  • Wilson (right)  - Broken Windows in housing estates. Bottoms' tipping theory

Brantingham - Cognitive maps, where is safe and where is unsafe or unknown

Hobbs and Lister - Nocturnal economy, Large number of youth come together with little control.

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