Functionalism

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How do Functionalists define deviance?
"Actions and behaviours which differ from the accepted standards of society"
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What was Robert Merton's theory called?
Strain Theory
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How did it relate to the American Dream?
The American Dream is a goal that all people want to achieve. However, working-class people have fewer opportunities to achieve that goal, due to material deprivation. This frustrates them, and this results in pressure to resort to crime & deviance.
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What is Merton's term for being pressured to resort to crime and deviance?
Strain to Anomie
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What are the 5 responses to the strain to anomie?
Conformity, Innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism, Rebellion
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What is a positive evaluation point of this theory?
1) the majority of crime is utilitarian crime, so statistics support the theory. 2) lower-class crime is more common than middle-class crime, so statistics support this theory.
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What is a negative evaluation point of this theory?
1) Not all Americans have the same goal in life. 2) Official statistics are collected by biased organisations, therefore working-class crime is over-represented. The statistics that support Merton's theory are not valid.
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Who thought of the Status Frustration Theory?
Albert Cohen
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Who got status frustration, and why?
Working-class children were less likely to have the skills needed for a middle-class world. Therefore they were at the bottom of the social hierarchy, & suffered status frustration.
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What did they do once they got status frustration?
They formed subcultures with people in a similar situation.
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What was the purpose of forming the subculture?
It offered them an alternative status hierarchy, which they are more likely to be able to achieve. Their morals are the opposite of society's, and they reject middle-class values.
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What is a positive evaluation point of this theory?
It helps to explain working-class, non-utilitarian crime
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What is a negative evaluation point of this theory?
Cohen assumes that working-class people start off by sharing the same goals as middle-class people. The theory ignores the possibility of w-class people never having the American Dream, therefore never seeing themselves as failures.
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What was Hirshi's theory? (hint: control)
Social Control Theory
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What were the 4 social bonds? (hint: all crime is bad)
Attachment, Commitment, Involvement, Belief
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Hirshi also thinks primary socialisation is important. What are the 4 ways of control, that the family provide?
Direct, Internal, Indirect, Control through needs satisfaction
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What is direct control?
Threatening punishment if children behave badly, giving rewards if children behave well.
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What is internal control?
Children's conscience and superego stopping them from deviating, as their parents have taught them right from wrong.
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What is indirect control?
Children's parents are their role models, therefore children might not deviate because they don't want to disappoint their parents.
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What is control through needs satisfaction?
If all the individual's needs are met (for example: security, food, emotional needs) then they are less likely to deviate.
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What is some evidence that supports this theory?
Farrington & West did a longitudinal study on 411 w-class workers. 24 of the workers (6%) accounted for 50% of the overall crime committed by the sample. Those 6% had dysfunctional families.
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Card 2

Front

What was Robert Merton's theory called?

Back

Strain Theory

Card 3

Front

How did it relate to the American Dream?

Back

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Card 4

Front

What is Merton's term for being pressured to resort to crime and deviance?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What are the 5 responses to the strain to anomie?

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Preview of the front of card 5
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