Functionalist Views of Crime

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  • Functionalists see society as based on value consensus. It sees members of society as sharing a common culture. A common culture is a set of shared norms, values, beliefs and goals. Sharing the same culture produces social solidarity. It binds people together, gives them guidance for conduct although some don't conform. Society has 2 main mechanisms of achieving social solidarity; 1. socialisation= ensuring individuals internalise the same norms and values and behave in the way society wants them to. 2. social control= we keep this by offering rewards/ positive sanctions or punishment (negative sanctions) for deviance
  • DURKHEIM- believes crime is inevitable and universal. "Crime is normal... an integral part of all healthy societies". A diverse society is bound to have higher levels of criminality as we have all been brought up differently- we n olonger have a collective conscience. Crime has 2 positive functions of crime; 1. boundary maintenance- tells us where boundaries are and what happens


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