Functionalist, strain and subcultural theories flashcards

Flashcards covering on the functionalist views on crime and deviance. 

Includes: Durkheim, Merton, Parsons, Cohen and Cloward and Ohlin 

According to Durkheim, what two mechanisms are there to bind individuals together into a harmonious unit?
1. Socialisation, instils a shared culture to ensure they feel right to act in the ways that society requires 2. Social control, positive sanctions and negative sanctions
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Why does Durkheim believe that crime is inevitable and universal?
Crime is healthy for all societies. 1.Individuals are prone to deviate 2. Individuals and groups become different from eachother and shared rules and behaviour become less clear, Durkehim calls this ANOMIE. (Normlessness)
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What does Durkheim mean by Boundary Maintenance performing a positive function?
Crime produces reaction from society, uniting its members against the wrongdoer and reinforcing value consensus. 2. Reinforces solidarity, reminds the boundary between right and wrong.
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What does Durkheim mean by Adaptation and Change performing a positive function?
For change to occur, new ideas must be challenge existing norms, and will appear as deviance. If surpressed, society will be unable to make necessary adaptive changes and will be dormant.
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What does Davis argue about deviance being a positive function?
Prostitution acts to release men's sexual frustrations without threatening the nuclear family.
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What does Cohen argue about deviance being a positive function of deviance?
Deviance shows that institutions such as school is malfunctioning. e.g. high truancy rates correlates problems with the education system.
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Why does society requiring a certain amount of deviance to function a criticism?
It offers no way of knowing how much is the right amount of deviance?
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Why is Durkheim and other functionalist explaining crime of it's functions a criticism?
Just because it strengthens social solidarity it does not explain why crime exist in the first place.
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Even though crime and deviance promotes solidarity, how does it affect individuals?
Crime isn't functional for its victims.
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What is Merton's Strain theory argue?
People engage in deviant behaviour when they cannot achieve socially approved goals by legitimate means.
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How does Merton combine his explanation of his strain theory?
1. Structural factors: Society's unequal opportunity structure 2. Cultural factors: Success goals and weaker emphasis on using legitimate means to achieve them.
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What does Merton state about deviance being the result of?
Deviance is the result of strain between the goals a culture encourages individuals to aim for and the structure of society actually allows them to achieve legitimately.
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Give an example of how the 'American Dream' emphasises on 'money success'
Americans are expected to pursue goals by legitimate means e.g. education and hard work.
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How does Merton's explanation of the American Dream claim the ideology that America's society is meritocratic but block opportunities?
In reality, poverty and discrimination block opportunities to achieve goals or success by legitimate means.
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What does the strain between cultural goals and lack of legitimate opportunities produce and what does it resort to?
Produces frustration and pressure to resort to legitimate means
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How does the pressure of American culture put pressure on emphasising on achieving success?
'Winning the game is more important than playing by the rules' meaning achieving success at any price than doing by legitimate means
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How does Merton see American Society as tending towards anomie?
Norms are too weak to restrain some people from using deviant means to achieve the materialistic goals that American culture sets them.
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What does Merton mean by 'Deviant adaptations to strain'?
He argues that an individual's position in social structures affect how they adapt to the strain to anomie.
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What does anomie mean?
Lack of ethical standards in individuals or groups
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How many adaptations to strain does Merton identity?
5.
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Name the five adaptations to strain that Merton identifies. (CIRRR)
1. Conformity 2. Innovation 3. Ritualism 4. Retreatism 5. Rebellion
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What does Merton mean the adaptation to strain of conformity mean? and which class is most likely to be a part of this?
Individuals accept the culturally approved goals and strive to achieve them legitimately. The middle class is most likely to be a part of this.
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What does Merton mean the adaptation to strain of innovation mean? Give example and which class is most likely to be a part of this?
Individuals accept the money success goal but use illegitimate means to achieve it. E.g. theft. The working class is most likely to adapt to this.
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What does Merton mean the adaptation to strain of Ritualism mean? and which class is most likely to adapt to this?
Individuals give up on the goal, but have internalised the legitimate means and follow the rules for their own sake. The lower class is most likely to adapt to this.
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What does Merton mean the adaptation to strain of retreatism mean? And which group is most likely to adapt to this?
Individuals reject both goals and legitimate means and drop out of society. Addicts and vagrants are most likely to adapt to this.
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What does Merton mean the adaptation to strain of rebellion mean? Which class is most likely to adapt to this?
Individuals replace existing goals and means with new ones with the aim of bringing about social change. Political radials are most likely to adapt to this.
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Match the 5 adaptations to crime with groups who are most likely to use them
1. Conformity - MC 2. Innovation - WC 3. Ritualism - The lower MC 4. Retreatism - Addicts or vagrants 5. Rebellion - Political radicals
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How does Merton's approach oh how both normal and deviant behaviour can arise from the same mainstream goals a strength?
He explains the patterns shown in official statistics: Most crime is property crime because American society values material wealth so highly and WC crime rates are higher because they have least opportunity to obtain wealth legitimately.
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How has Merton's theory been criticised for being too deterministic?
Not all WC people deviate. It ignores the power of the ruling class to make and enforce the laws.
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How has subcultural theorist criticised Merton's theory?
They see deviance as the product of delinquent subcultures. Subcultures offer their lower-class menbers a solution to the problem of how to gain the status they cannot achieve by legitimate means.
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How does Cohen explain status frustration?
The inability to achieve mainstream success goals by legitimate means such as education.
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Give two reasons of how Cohen criticise Merton's explanation?
1. Merton sees deviance as an individual response to strain which ignores the group deviance of delinquent subcultures. 2. Merton focuses onutilitatiran crime for material gain e.g. theft. He ignores utilitarian crime which may have no economic motiv
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Examples of utilitarian crime?
Assult, vandalism.
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How does Cohen state that working class boys face anomie in the middle class education system?
1. They are culturally deprived leaving them at the bottom of the official status hierarchy 2. They resolve it by rejecting mainstream MC values and turn to others in the same situation thus forming a subculture.
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What does Cohen mean by an alternative status heirarchy?
The subculture offers an illegitimate opportunity structure for boys who have failed to achieve legitimately.
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According to Cohen, how does the subculture provide an alternative status hierarchy?
Win status through delinquent actions
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How does the subculture invert mainstream values?
What society praises, it condemns. For example, society respects property, whereas the boys gain status from vandalising it.
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How does Cohen ignore the possibility that WC boys never shared the same goals?
He assumes that WC boys start of sharing the same goals as the MC only to reject them when they fail.
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How does Cloward and Ohlin agree with Merton?
WC youts are denied legitimate opportunities to achieve that and their deviance stems from this response.
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What does Cloward and Ohlin say about people turning to 'innovation'?
Not everyone adapts to a lack of legitimate opportunities. Some subcultures resort to violence, some resort to drugs.
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What Cloward and Ohlin say is reason for the key differences?
Unequal access to legitimate opportunity structures. For example,, not everyone who fails are school can become a successful safecracker.
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State the 3 types subcultures that Cloward and Ohlin identify?
1. Criminal subcultures 2. Conflict Subcultures 3. Retreatist subcultures
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What does Cloward and Ohlin mean by Criminal Subcultures?
Providing youth with an apprenticeship in utilitarian crime.
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How do criminal subcultures provide youth with an apprenticeship in crime?
Adult criminals can select and train youth with the right abilities and provide them with opportunities on the criminal career ladder
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What does Cloward and Ohlin mean by conflict subcultures? How does a conflict subculture arise?
These arise in areas of high population turnover that prevent a stable professional criminal network developing. The only illegitimate opportunities are within organised gangs.
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According to Cloward and Ohlin's confluct subculture, how does violence provide a release of frustration?
Violence provides an alternative source of status earned by winning 'turf' from rival gangs.
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What does Cloward and Ohlin mean by a retreatist subculture?
Those who fail in both legitimate and illegitimate opportunity structures and often turn to a 'dropout' subculture based on illegal drug use.
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Evaluation: How are Cloward and Ohlin similar to Merton and Cohen?
They ignore crimes of the wealthy and the wider power structure. They over-predict the amount of WC crimes.
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Evaluation: How are Cloward and Ohlin different to Cohen?
They try to explain different types of WC deviance in terms of subcultures
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Evaluation: How does Cloward and Ohlin draw the boundaries between the different types of subcultures?
Actual subcultures show characteristics of more than one 'type'
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How is Cohen's theory similar to Cloward and Ohlin's? and why?
They assume that everyone starts if sharing the same goals. They explain deviant subcultures as forming in reaction to the failure to achieve mainstream success goals.
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Recap: Key words for Durkheim's functionalist theory on crime
Crime is inevitable and universal.
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Recap: Durkheim's two positive functions of crime
1. Boundary maintenance 2. Adaptation and change
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Recap: What is Merton's theory called?
The strain theory
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Recap: What are to factors that Merton focuses on?
Structural and cultural
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Recap: What does Merton emphasis on gaining success?
The American Dream
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Recap: What are the 5 adaptations that Merton identifies?
Conformity, Innovation, Retreatism, Rebellion and Ritualism
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Recap: Match Merton's 5 adaptations to groups.
1. Conformity - MC 2. Innocation - WC 3. Ritualism - The lower MC 4. Retreatism - Alcholics and vagrants 5. Rebellion - Political radicals
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Recap: What is Cohen's theory called? Which group is most likely to fall into this theory?
Status Frustration and working class boys
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Recap: What does Cohen mean by alternative status heirarchy?
Winning status through delinquent actions
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Recap: What are Cloward and Ohlin's 3 subcultures?
Conflict, Criminal and Retreatism
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Why does Durkheim believe that crime is inevitable and universal?

Back

Crime is healthy for all societies. 1.Individuals are prone to deviate 2. Individuals and groups become different from eachother and shared rules and behaviour become less clear, Durkehim calls this ANOMIE. (Normlessness)

Card 3

Front

What does Durkheim mean by Boundary Maintenance performing a positive function?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What does Durkheim mean by Adaptation and Change performing a positive function?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What does Davis argue about deviance being a positive function?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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