20 cards on Crime & Deviance - Sociology A2 Cards

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  • Functionalist Explanation of C&D
  • Crime is positive & negative - need right amount

Positive aspects of crime - CRESS

  • Changing values (change laws)
  • Re-affirming boundaries (deters)
  • Employment
  • Social cohesion (strengthen community)
  • Safety valve (release pressure)

Negative  -

  • Anomie (Normlessness)

Collective conscious weakened by change - anomie - more crime

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  • Functionalist explanation of C&D
  • Why people don't commit crime?
  • Stronger the attachment (four bonds) to society, lower level of crime

Four bonds - CABI

  • Commitment (What will lose)
  • Attachment (Other's opinions)
  • Involvement (Time)
  • Belief (In rules of society)
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  • Functionalist explanation of C&D
  • Acceptable goals of society (Economic/material) - strain - acceptable means (Educational/work)
  • Strain leds to deviance
  • Lower down have restricted goals
  • Works if majority people achieve goals
  • If majority cant then use alternative behaviour (eg deviant) - Anomie

Five ways to respond to strain -

  • Conformity (Accept goals & means, limited chance of succcess)
  • Innovation (Accepts goals, use own means, criminals)
  • Ritualism (Use means, lose goals)
  • Retreatism (Reject goals & means, drugs/alcoholic)
  • Rebellion (Use own goals & means, political activist)
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Traditional Marxism

Marxist explanation of C&D - 5 key elements of the Marxist stance on crime -

  • The law benefits the ruling class - infrastructure, superstructure (insitutions - economic, State), false class conciousness (FCC), Mannheim - laws on property, not people, Chambliss - Land before as wealth then, Snider - Soft laws to keep companies
  • The ruling class impose their values - Hegemony (dominant values forced on pop) - FCC
  • Law enforcement favours the powerful - Police/courts tools of ruling class, only punish street crime by w/c, not corporate
  • Crime is a rational response to living in an unequal & unfair capitalist society - Crime natural in capitalism - economic importance, money individualism, competitive - Gordon - 'dog eat dog', esp US no welfare, Chambliss - everyone commits crime but diff ways - whatever means avaliable
  • Selective enforcement of the law takes away form the unfair nature of society - Occasionally punshing ruling class crime makes law look fair, Gordon - Blame individuals not system, Imprisoning systems' enemies legitimately (Black people over-represented), Criminal labelled and hid away in prison not helped, hide system failures 
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Cohen -

  • Mods & Rockers 1960's
  • Moral panic created by Media

Brake -

  • Each Gen express differently - clothes, etc
  • Resistance is illusion
  •  All w/c youth is trapped in capitalist exploitment

Scraton -

  • Ethnic minorities worse socio-economic position
  • Cultures of resistance - anti-colonial
  • Crime is political
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Hall et al - Neo Marxism

Policing the crisis - Fully social theory of deviance

  • Mugging moral panic

Context -

  • Due to economic problems & social unrest
  • Hegemony of ruling class under threat

Actions -

  • Ruling class scapegoat black youth
  • Gov use justified force to supress challenging groups
  • Labelled as deviants - rising figures - more police
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White collar crime

  • Occupational crime - On your behalf - Steal from company/public while working, eg expenses, gets less attention, little punishment
  • Corporate crime - On company's behalf - Big impact on public/employess/buyers, physical & economic, from increasing profits, more important, gets less attention, little punishment

The problem of law & white collar crime -

  • Often activities not illegal, still harmful eg H&S, no one charged
  • Nelkin - About being morally wrong & breaking law
  • Is selling tabaco/alcohol corporate crime same as trans-national companies using poor countries with lax safety laws to manufacture cheaply (law evasion) - breaking human rights laws - its legal there. Debate goes beyond conventional limits of criminology.

Impact of corporate crime -

  • Left Realist - Normal crime very damaging to people's life & society
  • Conklin - White collar/corporate more costly - $40bn vs $4bn
  • Carson - Oil rigs deaths - bad H&S - later exploded
  • Box - Big companies exploit LEDC's - take bribes, cant stop them 
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Cicourel - Negotiation of justice, social class &

  • Interactionism - Stats may be from stereotyping - Labelling theory

Defining Delinquincy -

  • Long process, can be negotiated throughout
  • Stopped - based on area, Arrest - fitting stereotype, Probation officer charges - fitting stereotype - Ethnic, bad at schoo, poor, rude, etc 
  • Link between social class & delinquincy, most youth offenders had manual worker father, 1/3rd from class 7 
  • M/c dont fit stereotype, parents can negotiate well, apologetic, nice area etc - seen as ill, not criminal, chance of reform - 'justice' is negotiable
  • Evidence - 2 US cities, similiar socio-economic, structuralist predict same rates, big diff in delinquint rates, must be police organisation differences
  • Higher one kept better records, more officers 
  • Lower one changed quickly, police response based on public/authority pressure
  • Delinquints produced by agents of social control through labelling, negotiation, org, pressure
  • Challenges structural & subcultural theories
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Becker - Deviant career

Deviant behaviour is what people label as deviant

Process -

  • Primary deviance (act)
  • Secondary deviance (caught)

Moral entrepreneurs apply label...sucessfully!

  • Master status & self-fufilling prophecy


  • Negotiate identity
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Primary & Secondary deviance

Lemert -

  • Primary - Commiting act
  • Secondary - Consequences of response from others
  • Self-fufilling prophecy

Canada Inuits - Speech making

  • Initial speech issues (PD) - Parents reaction (ME) - Chronic stuttering (SD)

Malinowski - Incest

  • Incest (PD) - Labelled by community (ME) - Suicide (SD)

Phillips & Bowling - Black youths

  • Fitting stereotype (PD) - Labelled by police (ME) - Crime (SD)
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Becker - Cannabis

Becker - USA 1937

  • Cannabis use legal (PD) - Federal Bureau of Narcotics campaign with politicians & media support (ME) - Cannabis illegal (SD)

Worked as plugged in to common American values -

  • Belief poeple should control actions
  • Pleasure is wrong
  • Drugs seen as addicitive & enslave people

Campaign was a moral crusade

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Police Stereotypes

  • Interpretivists think official stats reflect nature of policing, not crime
  • W/c youth & African-Carribbeans fit police stereotypes

Smith & Grey, Cicourel -

  • Police on patrol use stereotypes when deciding arrests

Holdaway, Bowling & Phillips, McPherson Report -

  • Use racial profilling when stopping black people (X7 more more than white people)
  • Canteen culture - Institutional racism
  • Holdaway - Older officers use racist language near young officers
  • Bowling & Phillips - Black while driving 
  • Lea & Young -  Military style polcing in ethnic minority areas - more agro - stats rise
  • Holdaway - W/c youth fit police stereotype - more police in urban areas

Feminist Criminologists -

  • Paternalist officers - less femal arrests - Chivalry factor (Heidensohn) - masculine police culture
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Police Discreation

Reiner - Four Police Discreation types -

  • Individualistic (eg racism)
  • Canteen/Occupational culture (Older teach young, private community, most white males)
  • Suspiciousness (Normal to stereotype as police property, categorise as good and bad)
  • Internal solidarity & social isolation (Police like family, isolated from public)

Conservativism - Police officers not radical, most white - Uphold trad values & state

Masculinity -

  • Most w/c males - Police culture refelcts trad w/c values (drinking, strength, heterosexuality)
  • Racial stereotyping part of officer role

Structural approach - Marxist

  • Law favours rich, police uphold law, personally hold values of powerful
  • Tarling - 65% resources on patrolling poor & urban areas - crime stats reflect
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  • Evidence that jurries & judges use stereotyping - nicer to m/c & women
  • Hood - Black youths 17% more likely to be jailed for same offence as white youth 
  • Stats more about judges attitudes than crime

Women and courts -

  • Commit less crime, but when caught likely to go to jail - 34% jailed for first offence vs 10% men
  • Women with similiar backgrounds were charged with similiar crimes to men, recieved more leninet sentences
  • Heidensohn - Women get shorter sentences than men, process of chivalry - women led astray
  • Farrington & Morris - Doubly deviant get harsher sentences - no family, marriage & crime
  • Walklate - Female victim not male suspect on trial in **** cases, show respectability to be believed
  • Dobash & Dobash - Officers unlikely to arrest in domestic violence cases, changed now
  • Heidensohn - Promiscuous girls more likely to be taken into care than similiar boys, courts relunctant to imprison mothers with young children, reflects society's attitudes to gender, harsher when deviant from norms of female sexuality
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Crime in the media

Reiner - Media focus on violent and sexual crime, esp in TV & tabloid coverage

Carrabine -

  • Crime news focus on dramatic event, not causes (except Guardian)
  • Recent reality TV programs on CCTV footage show crime as regular part of life, threatened viewer should take responsibility
  • Portray the criminal justice system in positive light, few bad officers, changed recently - insitutional racism

Explaining media representations of crime - Jornalists internalise news values - good stories

Chibnall - 4 factors - Surprise, Drama, Titilliation, Personalities

Hall et al -  Courts/police main news source - reflect concerns of powerful

Effect of media representations on public perceptions of crime - CSEW shows public think crime is rising, but falling, tabloid readers fear serious crime though minority of crime

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Stan Cohen - Folk Devils & Moral Panics

  • Mods VS Rockers 1960's

Deviancy Amplification -

  • Media exaggerated violence & vandalism - actually very little
  • Most young poeple there not in each subculture

Deviancy Amplification Spiral -

  • Media led to public outrage
  • Police arrest more - media report more deviance - more young people identify with one
  • More fights - repeat cycle
  • Doesnt just exaggerate, creates more deviance

Moral Panics - Outrage created by media about groups/issue

  • Media created moral panic
  • Challenged norms - threat to society
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Fawbert- Hoodies

  • Hoodies in newspapers
  • 2004 - describes thug in one article
  • Bluewater shopping centre bans hoodies & caps
  • Prime Minister - Need to clam down on hoodie anti-social behaviour
  • 2005-2007 Media use term alot - even if young criminal not wearing one
  • Symbol of deviance - sales rise - youths want to offend authority
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Albert Cohen - The delinquent subculture

  • Functionalist subcultural theory
  • Much crime non-utilitarian, for thrills
  • Lower class boys emaluate m/c values & aspirations - lack means to achieve success
  • Status frustration - personal failure - often in schools
  • Reject values & means
  • Invert trad m/c values - Anti-social behaviour - gain status
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Cloward and Ohlin - Illegitimate oppurtunity struc

  • Functionalist subcultural theory
  • Illegal means to achieve soicety goals, illegal career avaliable

3 subcultures -

  • Criminal - Thriving system, good role models, mobility in hierachy, could be both utilitarian & non-utilitarian
  • Conflict - No criminal career, violence, gangs, non-utilitarian
  • Retreatist - Can't do either of above, double failure, alcohol/drugs, non-utilitarian
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Marxist Subcultural Theory

Ehtnic subcultures -

  • Scraton, Gordon - Police, media, politics see race as issue, ethnic minorities always discriminated against, worse socio-economic position 
  • Cultures of reisistance - anti-colonial - crime is political

Youth Subcultures -

  • W/c deviant subcultures (Mods/Rockers, etc) - ideologiacl resistance to dominant adult values by m/c capitalist values
  • CCCS - Youth SC styles challenges class inequality
  • Phil Cohen - 70's Skinheads symbolic reation to w/c community decline, dress exaggerates w/c masculinity/aggression, anti-immigrate from less white w/c neighbourhoods
  • Hebdige - 70's Punk Rockers want to shock society with normal objects & deviant symbols (Swastika) to reisitance dominant values - Capitalism commercialises aspects - lose ideological significance - Ends youth subculture
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