Sociology. Topic 1: Crime and Deviance

Topic 1: Crime and Deviance

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  • Created by: tiffany
  • Created on: 04-05-11 13:43

What is Crime and Deviance?

DEVIANCE:  behaviour that does not conform to that society’s norms and values Whether an act is deviant or not depends on the social situation. It depends on the time, the place, the culture and the social groups

CRIME: breaking laws made by rulers or governments

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Punishments for committing a Criminal act.

 Withdrawal of privileges

Disapproval ASBOs

Community Service Fines

Prison sentences

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How can we Measure Crime?


  • Tend to focus on teenagers People may not cooperate or tell the truth Another way of trying to get a more accurate figure is to ask people what crimes they have committed – called a self-report study HOWEVER: Unrecorded crimes are called the dark figure of crime and this figure is larger than the recorded crime figure British Crime Survey tries to get a more complete picture of crime by asking victims to report crimes

Official crime statistics don’t show all crimes reported or detected – only those recorded by the police

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What is Labelling? and Who is Labelled?

 What is Labelling?

  • Like stereotyping
  • Most people commit deviant acts at some time but only a few get caught and labelled as deviant
  • Lower classes and blacks more likely to be labelled as having an ‘attitude’ to authority whereas a white middle class teenager may be warned rather than charged for an offence Agencies of social control apply labels

Who is labelled?

  • Being labelled can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy Wealthier and more powerful members of society are more able to avoid labels ‘typical offender’ young, black, working class

Behaviour tolerated in one person may not be tolerated in another – this depends on gender, class, age and ethnicity

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White collar crime.

  • Middle and upper classes have more trustworthy positions and less scrutiny but can commit occupational crimes at work
  • These crimes are seen as somehow more acceptable
  • Companies also commit corporate crime in terms of health and safety, false advertising and poor quality goods and services but these crimes are much harder to prosecute
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Formal and Informal agencies of Social control.

  • Informal social control = persuasion to conform through socialisation by family, schools, peer groups, work, mass media and religion
  • Formal social control = laws and rules enforced by the government, police and the courts
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Gender and Crime.

- Men commit more crime than women – why?

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  • Police and law courts treat men and women differently for committing the same crimes – chivalry thesis Number of women committing crimes has risen due to changing socialisation and opportunities It may be that the types of crime women commit are less likely to be reported or women may conceal the evidence better than men

Socialised differently, more opportunity

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Age and Crime.

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  • Older people more likely to commit white collar crime that goes undetected Teenagers under closer social control and police see them as potential trouble makers and labelled by the media as delinquents

Although it looks like teenagers commit more crimes could be due to:

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Ethnic minority groups and Crime.

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  • Police may label black people as more likely to commit crimes Reaction against discrimination and racism Live in inner city areas that are deprived, do less well at school and have higher rates of unemployment

Afro-Caribbeans most likely to be in prison – why?

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Why dont Asians have such a high Crime rate?


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  • BUT young Asians have growing anger towards police indifference to racial harassment of them Strength of religious belief Distinct culture that gives a feeling of belonging and seeking achieved status Stronger family and community ties that provide effective social controls

Greater economic success

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Rees *Redacted*


Slide 7 - 10 goes n




Just saying. Apart from that. it's good.



really helpful m8

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