Topic 1 - Functionalists, Strain and Subcultural theories

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  • Created by: 09eatonb
  • Created on: 28-12-15 14:22


  • Value Consensus
    • Shared norms
    • Shared values
    • Shared beliefs
    • Shared goals
  • Social Solidarity (binding individuals together)
  • Socialisation (instils shared culture into memebers e.g through education)
  • Social Control (rewards for conformity/ punishments for deviance)

DURKHEIM (functionalist) - Inevitability of Crime -

  • Crime is inevitable
  • Crime is Universal
  • 'Crime is integral part of all healthy societies'
  • In every society, some individuals are inadequately socialised into the norms and are therefore prone to deviance
  • Modern societies =
    • highly specialised division of labour
    • diversity of subcultures
      • Individuals/ groups are increasingly different 
        • Anomie is created = shared rules of behaviours become less clear
  • Positive functions of crime
    • Boundary Maintenance (reaction from society against the wrongdoer reinforcing comitment to value consensus)
    • Adaption and Change (individuals with new ideas must challenge existing rules in order to create a change - these will be seen as deviant at first but soon can be made into a new culture)
      • DAVIS = safty valve = prostitution acts to release mens sexual frustrations without threatening the nuclear family
      • A.K COHEN = warning light = deviance indicates if there are problms occuring in an institution e.g high truency rate may mean problems with the education system
  • Critisisms = 
    • does not explain exactly how much deviance society needs to function
    • Explains crime in terms of its function but not why it exists in the first place

MERTON (functionalist) - Strain Theory -

  • People engage in deviant behaviour because they cannot achive socially approved goals
    • Structural Factors ( Societys uneual opportunity structure)
    • Cultural Factors (strong emphasis on success goals but little emphasis on using legitimate means to achieve them)
  • The American Dream-
    • Emphasises 'money success' through education, hard work (legitimate means).
    • Ideology claims that Ameican…


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