Sociology GCSE Crime and Deviance


GCSE Sociology

Crime and Deviance

Key terms:

Agents/agencies of social control – These are institutions which influence and control the behaviour of people in mainstream society and enforce norms and values. These can be split into formal: police, government, court system, prisons; and informal: media, education, our families, religion etc.

Anomie – the theory that people in the lower working class turn to crime because of frustration with their social status, lack of opportunities, and inability to acquire material possessions legally.

Antisocial behaviour – behaviour/actions that is deemed to be below the norms and values of society, eg. Rowdiness, being drunk and disorderly; violence towards other people.

Chivalry thesis – the theory that women are less likely to be prosecuted than men, or will be treat by police/judges more leniently because women are believed to be less likely to commit crimes. This theory potentially explains why women are underrepresented in crime statistics.

Community service – a punishment given for less serious offences in which the offender does a fixed number of hours helping out in the local area, as a way of repaying the community.

Computer crime – this covers any crime which involves the use of a computer, for example, credit card fraud, which can be carried out online, or illegal downloads. Due to the difficulty in monitoring computers and network exchanges, this type of crime is not often shown in crime statistics.

Conformity – when an individual or group accepts and obeys the norms of mainstream society, ie is not deviant. Conformity is encouraged by peer groups and other social agents such as the media and education.

Corporate crime – crime which is committed by companies or individuals within companies. For example, a company might sell electrical products which haven’t fully undergone testing, which endangers the consumer. Or, individuals within a company might commit crimes such as claiming extra expenses or taking work supplies.

Crime rate – the statistical amount of crime in a community/local area, which can be measured and compared against other communities.

Dark figure – the crimes which are not recorded or included in official crime statistics, making them unreliable. These crimes may not be included because; the victim may not have identified it as a crime, the victim chose not to report it, the police chose not to record it or there was no real victim of the crime.

Data protection – The Data Protection Act in 1998:

-Data must only be used for the purpose that it was collected for.

-Data must not be given to other parties without the permission of the individual it was about.

-People have the right to access information which is about them.

Deviance – behaving in a way that rejects norms and values of mainstream society, according to the time, culture, place and role that the individual is in, for example being naked in public.

Formal and informal social control – formal social control involves institutions such as the police, government and courts system, and




Really good and helpful i say 10/10 

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Crime and deviance resources »