Crime and Deviance - Functionalism Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Crime and Deviance - Functionalism Deck (14):

What are the two functions of society according to functionalists?

Socialisation and social control


What do functionalists say about crime?

It is inevitable and universal.


What are two functions of crime according to Durkheim?

Boundary maintenance
Adaption and change


What is meant by boundary maintenance?

Crime produces a reaction from society at unites its members against the wrongdoer and reinforces their commitment to value consensus.

Punishment reaffirms shared rules and reinforces social solidarity which reminds everyone of the boundary between right and wrong.


What is meant by adaptation and change?

All change starts as deviance where individuals challenge existing norms. If this is suppressed then society will be unable to make necessary adaptive changes and will stagnate.


List two criticisms of Durkheim.

Durkheim claims that society requires a certain amount of crime to function but offers no way of knowing how much is the right amount.

Durkheim and other functionalists explain crime in terms of its function but it doesn't mean that it exists for these reasons in the first place.


What is another positive function of crime according to Davis?

Prostitution acts as a safety valve to release men's sexual frustrations without threatening the nuclear family.


What is another positive function of crime according to Cohen?

Crime acts as a warning light to policy makers that something is not working properly e.g. high truancy rates may indicate problems with the education system.


What did Merton say about deviant behaviour?

People engage in deviant behaviour when they cannot achieve society approved goals by legitimate means.

There are structural factors and cultural factors.


What did Merton say deviance was a result of?

The strain between the goals a society encourages individuals to aim for what the structure of society actually allows them to achieve legitimately.


What are the the five deviant adaptations to strain?

1) Conformity
2) Innovation
3) Ritualism
4) Retreatism
5) Rebellion


What are the strengths of Merton's approach?

Shows how both normal and deviant behaviour can arise from the same mainstream goals.


What are two criticisms of Merton?

Cohen argues that Merton sees deviance as an individual response to strain, ignoring the group of delinquent subcultures.

Merton focuses on utilitarian crime for material gain and ignores crimes which may have no economic motive.


What does Cohen say about subculture?

It offers an illegitimate opportunity structure for boys who have failed to achieve legitimately.