AS Functionalism - Crime & Deviance

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Functionalists claim that in order for a society to run efficiently, we need both social order and socialisation maintained throughout. In relation to crime, in general Functionalists percieve crime and deviance as an inevitable outcome of inadequate socialisation through primary and secondary institutions, and a loss or decrease in social order. One particular sociologist associated with this view is Emile Durkheim, who claimed that criminal behaviour is healthy for society as it reasserts community boundaries and reminds society of the shared norms and values we should follow. It is when these norms are forgotten or 'lost' that Durkheim claimed was a stage of 'anomie' where society or members within society, become unsure of what behaviour is expected from. Other functionalists claim that when youths are experiencing the transition from childhood to adulthood, it is likely that some will deviate from this path.

Merton proposed a 'strain' theory to explain this occurence, in which he claimed youths offending was a result of a struggle they…


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