A2 Sociology Crime and Deviance: Key Studies

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Durkheim (1893)

Crime is normal , integral part of society although too much is dysfunctional – crime is not inevitable

Parsons (1955)

Men take the breadwinner role

Women take performance/expressive home role

Davis (1937, 1961)

Prostitution is a safety valve for men’s sexual frustration – sexual frustration can and will lead to crime.

Polsky (1967)

*********** channels sexual desires away from adultery.

Merton (1938)

Strain Theory – Structural and cultural factors

Subcultural Strain

A. Cohen (1955)

Crime is due to the lower class not being able to achieve by legitimate means, resorting to crime.

Cloward and Ohlin (1960)

Working class youths are denied legitimate opportunities to achieve ‘money success’ and creates deviance.

Labelling Theory

Becker (1963)

A deviant is someone who has been labelled successfully an deviant behaviour is due to this label.

Piliavin & Briar (1964)

Police decisions to arrest youths were all based on physical causes (manner and dress)

Cicourel (1968)

Police have criminal typifications and are more likely to arrest them giving them a label.

Lemert (1951)

Distinguishes between primary (deviant acts without a label) and secondary deviance (result of societal reaction - labelling)

Young (1971)

Hippy Marijuana users in Notting Hill. Turned a primary deviant act into a deviant subculture with a self-fulfilling prophecy

S. Cohen (1972)

Folk Devils and Moral Panics (Mods and Rockers) at Clacton on sea 1964, press exaggerated the story, causing a moral panic and a heightened affect

Marxism - Traditional

Chambliss (1975)

Laws are there to benefit Ruling Class e.g. protect property and the Capitalist economy

Slapper & Tombs (1999)

Corporate crime is purposely under-policed with minor prosecutions if caught

Hall et al. (1979)

Moral Panics over black Muggers that served the interest of capitalism. 


Taylor, Walton & Young (1973)

Capitalist society is based on exploitation and class conflict by inequalities of wealth and power. The state makes and enforces laws in the interests of the capitalist class and criminalises the working class. Capitalism should be replaced by a classless society.

Realism – Right

Wilson & Herrnstein (1985)

Cause of crime is a combo of biological (some are innate e.g. aggression) and social factors (labelling, lifestyle)

Murray (1990)

Underclass is ever growing, which increases crime due to welfare dependency

Clarke (1980)

Rational calculation of outcomes and risks

Wilson & Kelling (1982)

Broken Windows theory, once a possible crime is shown as available/people don’t care the crime is committed.

Realism – Left

Lea & Young (1984)

Three related causes of crime: 1. Relative deprivation 2. Subculture 3. Marginalisation

Runciman (1966)

How deprived someone feels in relation to others if someone is not happy with their…




This is a nice summary. I'm sure that it is South, not Carrabine et al who identified the two types of green crime though. 

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