A2 SOCIOLOGY ~ FUNCTIONALIST THEORY ~ CRIME AND DEVIANCE

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  • Created by: AJ
  • Created on: 06-03-13 13:15

FUNCTIONALIST THEORY ON CRIME & DEVIANCE

Functionalists see crime as inevitable and universal. 

For DURKHEIM, 'crime is normal...an integral part of all healthy societies'.

There are at least two reasons why crime and deviance are found in all societies:

  • Not everyone is equally effectively socialised into the shared norms and values, so some individuals will be prone to deviate.
  • Particularly in complex modern societies, there is a diversity of lifestyles and values. Different groups develop their own subcultures with distinctive values, and what the members of the subculture regard as normal, mainstream culture may see as deviant.

DURKHEIM believed that crime and deviance occured as a result of anomie (which means normlessness). This could occur during periods of rapid social change, when people are unsure of what societies norms and values are.

THE POSITIVE FUNCTIONS OF CRIME

BOUNDARY MAINTENANCE-

Crime produces a reaction from society, uniting its members in condemnation of the wrongdoer and reinforcing their commitment to the shared norms and values. For DURKHEIM, this explains the function of punishment. This is not to make the wrongdoer suffer or mend his ways, nor is it to remove…

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