Crime And Deviance - Theories Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Crime And Deviance - Theories Deck (49):

Name the 3 functionalist theorists of crime

Parsons, Durkheim and Hirschi


Explain Parsons theory

Society is a system that has to meet and fulfil certain needs( functional pre-requisites)
The sick role can de-stabilise society and you should just accept when you are ill.
He sees the medical profession as important because it stops illegitimate illness and stabilises society.


What are society’s 4 functional pre-requisites?(AGIL)

Goal achievement


Explain Durkheim’s theory

Crime can benefit society.
Anomie occurs when too much deviance occurs, leading to society shutting down.


Name the 5 ways crime benefits society

Being a warning device
Social cohesion
Reaffirming boundaries
Role allocation


Explain Hirschi’s theory

He argues people commit crimes when attachments society is weakened.


What are Hirschi’s 4 crucial bonds



Evaluate Durkheim’s theory

+ Looks at both dimensions of crime, both the good and bad of society.
+ Scientific approach
- Too deterministic
- Difficult to measure anomie


Evaluate Parsons theory

+ Macro and scientific approach
+ Recognises society works well most the time
- Deterministic and simplistic


Evaluate Hirschi’s theory

+ Looks at why people don’t commit crime
+ Scientific approach
- Too deterministic —> not everyone not bound to society will commit crime
- Too subjective to measure


Name the 4 functionalist subculture theorists

Ak Cohen
Cloward and Ohlin


Explain Merton’s strain theory

Merton argued people suffer from anomie. This is a strain between the goals set by society and the legitimate means of achieving them


What are the 5 responses to anomie

Retreatism - give up on goals of society
Ritualism - give up on goals, but confirms to means of achieving them
Rebel - makes new goals
Innovator - illegitimate shortcut to achieve goals
Conformist - continue trying to achieve goals of society


Explain Ak Cohen’s theory

Crime is from status frustration when an individual is denied status in society.
This leads to them rejecting mainstream norms and goals and they create their own criminal goals to gain respect from other WC males


Explain Cloward and Ohlin’s theory

They look at the different subcultural forms in the illegitimate opportunity structure


Explain the 3 stages of the illegitimate opportunity structure

Criminal - The top of the ladder, they will often run the gang by working their way up
Conflict - Usually go round in gangs and often turn to violence to defend their part of land
Retreatist - An individual response that usually leads to alcohol or drugs.


Explain Miller’s theory

Miller argues that they never accepted the norms and goals of society to begin with, but instead they are socialised into working class goals. These are focal concerns


Outline the 5 focal concerns

Fatalism - The belief that nothing can be done with their lives and they can’t change this.
Toughness - Concern for masculinity to maintain respect from other WC males.
Excitement - Seeking for cheap thrills
Smartness - Having street smarts to outwit others
Trouble - Looking for violence with other WC males


Evaluate Merton’s theory

+ Explains deviance arising in society
- Too reliant on statistics (argued by interpretivists)
- Too deterministic


Evaluate Ak Cohen’s theory

+Helps explain WC delinquency
+Links to Nike identity
- Only Looks at WC boys
- Miller would say its inevitable they wouldn’t achieve working class values


Evaluate Cloward and Ohlin’s theory

+ Recognises the lower in the legitimate world the more likely to go into illegitimate world
- Doesn’t recognise people can drift in between these structures


Evaluate Miller’s theory

+ Looks at new values being cultural and not structural
+ Sugarman’s research backs this up
- Stereotypical in representing WC
- Ethnocentric as it looks from white middle class perspective
Symbolically violent as its looking down on working class


Define primary deviance

The act of being deviant


Define secondary deviance

The reaction to the deviant behaviour


Define Master status

A label that overwrites any other label you have


Define Self concept

How you see yourself


Define Self-fulfilling prophecy

When you are a label and you act the way of the label


Define Deviant career

When people who have been labelled can’t achieve conventional goals and continue commuting deviant acts


Define deviant subculture

A group of people who do deviant acts more often


Summarise critical criminology

Subcultures are a product of seeing through the system.
They are a conscious act of deviance
Those in subcultures fight the system
They want to put in place counter-hegemony


Evaluate critical criminology

+ Paul Willis’ study shows evidence they go into subcultures to fight the system
- Romanticising criminality
- Victimise criminals by saying it’s the systems fault


Summarise left realism

Three causes of subcultures are:
• Relative deprivation - feel poor
• Marginalisation- feeling left out of society
• pull to subculture - to overcome first 2

They believe that if we tackle relative deprivation and marginalisation it will stop subcultures


Evaluate left-realism

+ Influential over new labour policies
+ Explains why ethnic minorities are in subcultures
- Hard to operationalise and measure
- Deterministic that if you feel these ways you will go into subculture


Summarise right realism

They go into subcultures because they think they can get away with it
There are 3 causes of subculture crime:
• Biological differences - not socialised right
• Socialisation and underclass - welfare state leads to cultural dependency
• Cost Benefit analysis - if they think they can get away with the crime they will
Should take zero tolerance approach on crime


Summarise right realism

+ Evidence zero tolerance approach works - worked in New York
- Controversial in suggesting biological differences lead to crime
- Zero tolerance approach could just move crime to somewhere else


Explain the classical Marxist theory

The criminal justice system punished the powerless more than the powerful
They believe:
• Capitalism is criminogenic
• There is selective law enforcement
• The working class is ideologically conditioned


What are classical Marxists thoughts on white collar crime

It may not be illegal but it will be immoral
It usually includes one of: negligence, exploitation, manipulation and diffuse victimisation
White collar crime costs the UK £14 billion a year


Explain the neo-Marxist theory

They believe crimes that are committed are a conscious act
They take a structuration approach
They believe we have free will and we determine if we commit crime


Evaluate the neo-Marxist theory

+ They are not Deterministic as they believe it’s the persons choice
- Feminists argue there is no coverage of the power of patriarchy
- Traditional Marxists would argue new criminology stayed too far from Marxist tradition


Explain Becker’s theory

He looks at moral entrepreneurs/ crusaders. These are people who have the power to enforce laws and label people.
He looks at master status, this is a label that overrides all other labels
Deviant careers come from a self fulfilling prophecy that leads to a career of criminality


Explain Stan Cohen’s theory

Looks at folk devils, these are people who are labelled and society take their anger out on
Moral panics are panics that are blown out of proportion


Explain Jock Young’s theory

Looks at primary and secondary deviance. And deviant subcultures, who are are group who go against society’s norms.
Looked at marijuana smokers in Notting Hill and the overreaction of police


Explain cicourel’s theory

Looks at typifications, especially by police and this leads to distorted statistics in crime. They will stereotype white middle class and Afro Carrabean boys.


Evaluate Becker’s theory

+ Looks at abuse of power, Marxists would use this for evidence
- Too deterministic
- Subjective research


Evaluate Stan Cohen’s theory

+ Evidence that moral panics are still here today
- McRobbie and Thornton says the term moral panic is outdated
- Concepts are subjective


Evaluate Young’s theory

+ Influential over left realist research
- Deterministic in the fact if you act a certain way it depend mean you have to behave a certain way
- Victimises criminal


Evaluate cicourel’s theory

+ Evidence shows that he’s correct police label (Rainer)
+ Shows crime statistics are skewed
- Subjective so cant be measured
- Outdated as police are more professional now


What are the 3 explanations of crime according to post-modernism

• Transgressive approach to explaining crime - Can’t explain why crime happens
• Individualisation of crime - each different person has different motives
• Crime as reaction against diversity - hate crime has increased as diversity increased


Evaluate post modernism

+ Recognises crime is not only structural
+ Explains non-utilitarian crime
- Doesnt look enough into structural reasons
- Underestimates issues such as class inequality