Functionalist Explanations - Crime & Deviance

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1. What is an extra positive function of crime in society?

  • Allows changing values to appear and influence the law
  • It provides employment in society - lawyers, police, etc
  • It re-affirms the boundaries of what's acceptable in society
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2. What are the criticisms of Durkheim?

  • Assumes shared values, fails to explain role of subcultures in crime, Fails to acknowledge victims of crime, accepts official stastics as valid, fails to explore moivations of deviant acts
  • Assumes shared values, sometimes social bonds lead to crime, fails to explain motivation behind criminal acts
  • Assumes official stastics arent valid, fails to explain role of subcultures in crime, Fails to acknowledge victims of crime,

3. What is re-affirming the boundaries?

  • The media that crime atttracts publicly re-affirms the values of society
  • Any sympathy that crime attracts can prove social change in values and lead to changes in the law
  • When horrible crimes have taken place, the community strengthens and feels a sense of belonging

4. What is safety valve?

  • Any sympathy that crime attracts can prove social change in values and lead to changes in the law
  • Deviant acts can release pressure (eg prostitution releases men's pressure without threatneing the family as an insitution)
  • The media that crime atttracts publicly re-affirms the values of society

5. Which Functionalist is prominent in relation to crime and deviance?

  • Durkheim
  • Parsons
  • Hirschi

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