Functionalist explanations of Crime and Deviance

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What did Emile Durkheim say were the positives of crime and deviance?
Crime and deviance is functional as it generates social change and maintains the boundaries.
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What did Emile Durkheim say were the negatives of crime and deviance?
Crime can be dysfunctional as it can threaten social stability and social order.
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What did Emile Durkheim say was the cause of crime and deviance?
Anomie which occured during times of rapid social change.
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Strengths of Durkheim's theory
Has generated a great deal of research and influences other sociological theories
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Weaknesses of Durkheim's theory
He doesn't make clear what the right amount of crime is and the idea of crime being positive is questionable as it isn't positive for the victim. He also doesn't explain why some people commit certain crimes and assumes norms reflect interest of all.
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Explain the Strain theory and who talked about it.
Robert Merton- Individuals are socialised to meet certain goals (The American Dream) and they followed legitimate means to achieve them. When people didn't have the opportunity to follow them they would innovate and turn to illegitimate means (crime)
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Strengths of the stain theory
Offers an account of the nature and extent of deviance
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Weaknesses of the strain theory
Doesn't explain where the goals come from and their purpose. Also raises questions such as is deviance an individual choice and doesn't explain crime that doesn't have an economic gain.
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Marxist criticism of Functionalist explanations
For Marxists a value consensus is an illusion as it is manipulated by the ruling class. Laws also refelct the ruling class which functionalists don't take into account.
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Card 2

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What did Emile Durkheim say were the negatives of crime and deviance?

Back

Crime can be dysfunctional as it can threaten social stability and social order.

Card 3

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What did Emile Durkheim say was the cause of crime and deviance?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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Strengths of Durkheim's theory

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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Weaknesses of Durkheim's theory

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