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Flashcards in Crime And Deviance Deck (30):

Positive aspects of crime: What did Durkheim say about social cohesion?

According to Durkheim (1895), crime or at least a certain, limited amount of crime - was necessary for society. The collective conscience provides a framework of society with boundaries, and crime helped clarify these boundaries.


Negative aspects of crime: When does anomie occur?

Anomie occurs when there are periods of great social change or stress. During a revolution or rapid economic and social change, old norms and values may be challenged with new ones


What is strain theory? (Robert Merton)

A strain between the socially accepted goals of society and the socially approved means of obtaining them. The strain leads to crime and deviance.


What five forms of behaviour did Merton identify which are a response to the strain between goals and means?



Mertons writing had a large impact on Cloward and Ohlin (1960). Why did they partially disagree with him?

They agreed with Merton that lack of opportunity in the legitimate opportunity structure was a cause of crime. However, they argued that Merton had failed to appreciate that there was a parallel opportunity structure to the legal one called the illegitimate opportunity structure.


According to Cloward and Ohlin, the illegal opportunity structure had what three possible adaptations of subcultures?

1. Criminal - There is a thriving local criminal subculture, with successful role models. Young offenders could ‘work their way up the ladder’ in the criminal hierarchy.
2. Conflict - There is no local criminal subculture to provide career opportunities but territorial gangs exist which recruit young people into their service.
3. Retreatist - Occurs when individuals have no opportunity or ability to engage in either of the other two subcultures. Retreat to drugs/alcohol


What did Albert Cohen believe did not fit with Mertons theory?

Not all crime is economically motivated.


What is non-utilitarian crime?

Crime committed without any obvious benefit to the offender.


Cohen noted that a lot of delinquent behaviour was a group activity, why does this not fit with Mertons theory?

Mertons theory covered why some individuals may be motivated to commit crime, but not why groups or gangs may commit crime.


What did Matza argue?

Matza argued that there were no distinctive subcultural values, but that all groups in society shared a set of subterranean values which exist on the fringes of society, they value spontaneity, rebellion and self expression which sometimes leads to people straying from social norms.


What is labelling theory?

Most people commit criminal and deviant acts, but only some are caught and stigmatised for it.


When does labelling occur?

Labelling occurs when particular characteristics are ascribed to individuals on the basis of descriptions, names or labels. These labels are simplified stereotypes.


What points does Howard Becker argue about labelling?

1. Just because someone breaks a rule, it does not necessarily follow that others will define it as deviant.
2. Someone must enforce/draw attention to the rules, these people usually have a vested interest in the issue.
3. If the person is successfully labelled, then consequences follow.


What ethnic group is most likely to be targeted by stop and search procedures?

Young black males.


What is the difference between primary and secondary deviance?

Primary deviance is rule breaking, which is of little importance in itself, while secondary deviance is the consequence of the responses of others, which is significant.


What does Beckers term ‘master status’ mean?

Once a label has been successfully been applied to a person, then all other qualities become unimportant - they are responded to solely in terms of this master status.


What does Stanley Cohen mean by ‘moral panic’?

Lables are applied by the authorities to the group in question with the result that they become more deviant. For example the media covering knife crime.


How does labelling lead to self-fulfilling prophecies?

Self fulfilling prophecies in regards to deviance occur because individuals or groups act up to negative labels that have been applied to them.


What did Jock Young study?

Marijuana smokers in Notting Hill


What is white collar crime?

Crimes committed by professionals and managers in the course of their occupations. May include fraud, overcharging customers, bribery and corruption to obtain contracts and stealing from employers.


What is the difference between corporate crime and white collar crime?

Corporate crimes are not committed by individuals but by large companies (or corporations) in the pursuit of profit.


William Chambliss (1975) argued that capitalism is based upon competition, selfishness and greed. Why do they say crime is a perfectly normal outcome of this?

It stresses looking after oneself at the expense of others, which is essentially the premise of capitalism.


How does David Gordon (1976) see capitalism?

As criminogenic - inherently likely to produce crime because it produces a competitive dog-eat-dog society.


What did Taylor, Walton and Young argue about new criminology?

In order to understand why a particular crime took place, you had to not only look at the offenders motivation, but take a neo-marxist perspective by looking at the wider societal causes.


Who were the founders of left realism?

John Lea and Jock Young


What is meant by broken window theory?

If a single broken window is left unrepaired, the whole area will begin to deteriorate, eg if one act of deviance is not enforced, others will begin to act in the same way.


What did Cohen and Felson say were the 3 conditions for crime to take place?

1. Motivation
2. Opportunity and targets
3. Lack of capable guardians


What did Charles Murray say about the underclass?

The underclass is a group that has developed below the main system distinguished not by economic position, but by its attitudes and values.


What are police recorded statistics?

Statistics drawn from records kept by the police


What are victim studies?

Surveys asking a sample of people whether they have been victims of crime.