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Flashcards in Functionalism Deck (19):

How does Durkheim see crimes as functional, other than being a warning device?

1. Boundary Maintenance; it reminds us of our limits through punishment - by formal and informal social controls
2. Social control - resulted from shared norms and values, allows societies to change and progress EG.the poll tax riots
3. Safety Valve - to release tension and stress
Davis; prostitution releases sexual frustration without affecting the family
Polsky; pornography removes frustration without adultery


Who says if crime has positive functions society may be organised to promote deviance?


😑 true function of social control is to sustain crime

Eg allowing festivals which are prone to criminal acts


How is Durkheim useful?

✔️ generated lots if research & influenced many sociologists EG other control theories anomie
❌ not clear of when crime becomes dysfunctional
❌ crime is not beneficial for victims
❌ does not explain why some people commit crime and others don't
❌ Marxist - does not consider a powerful group


what does Merton believe about society?

"American dream" is present, to meet certain shared goals

There is approved means to achieve eg hard work


Explains Mertons Strain Theory

strain to anomie between the material goals and legitimate means of achieving them, when there is a lack of means = CRIME and Response


Evaluations of Mertons Strain Theory

❌ how can anomie be operationalised how can it be measured??
❌ merton does not explain where the goals and the means have come from and the purpose they are supposed to follow it


What does Durkheim say?

💕Crime and deviance can be a threat to society, as norms and values that unite society are being challenged.
👿Threatening social order and stability
💔Crime and deviance is occurred from anomie - during rapid social change people become unsure what the norms and values are


Who talks about the anything goes attitude?

Contemporary Strain Theories

Messner and Rosenfeld
An obsession of money in society makes an anomie culture.

= anything goes attitudes for wealth, so more crime to gain wealth and little welfare support in US makes crime inevitable


What does Nightingale say?

Contemporary strain theories

Young black American youths embrace the American materialistic culture,
Materials compensates for the feeling of marginalisation
But have blocked opportunities for these materials = crimes!


What does Bourgois say?

Contemporary strain theories

Strong materialistic culture and economic exclusion created the alternative market to gain material desires


What does Cohen say on Subcultural theories?

🎷 agrees with merton that crime is a response to the working class not being able to achieve the mainstream values
🎷 working-class especially feel anomie and middle-class dominated schools
🎿 this cultural deprivation leads to status frustration
1. Turn to alternative status hierarchy
2. Boys gain status through peers and their Subcultural values and norms
= delinquency for example vandalism


Evaluation of Cohens Subcultural theory?

✔️ explains non-utilitarian crime
❌ interactionist - may have gained a master status of being a failure which leads to crime
❌ Willis - working class may just do it for a laugh
❌ collision - crime is due to masculinity


Merton and Cohen do not explain why subcultures have different forms - Cloward and Ohlin

Dufferent illegitmate opportunities = different subculyural responses
Eg different neighbourhood means different criminal skills
1. Criminal Subculturals - established organised adult crime 🎷 learning environment for utilitarian crimes
2. Conflict Subculturals - high population turnover, with legitimate and illegitimate opportunities are blocked = loosely organised crime


Evaluation of Subcultural theories

✔️ morrison - underclass are faces with blocked opportunities because of their position in the social structure. This leads to group feelings = crime
❌ winlow - ignores Subcultural overlaps
❌ functionalist depend on official statistics = they fail to explain white collar crime


What did Chicago Schopl find by Shaw and McKay??

inner city is a zone of transition and residents are recent immigrants

Despite rapid change in populstions high crime rates are maintained, different offenders from different cultures
Suggests that there is a link between are and criminal behaviour


What does Miller say?

Focal concerns

Working-class delinquent behaviour is part of macho class culture
They have focal concerns which they are socialised into for example toughness excitement autonomy
❌Box - focal concerns are distributed through society
❌ deterministic- suggests working class in inevitable


Who gives major criticisms of the Subcultural theories



What does matza say?

1. Young People drift into deviants, it is part of growing up
➡️lower class drify through fatalism
2. Subterranean values, when sexuality greed emerge
3. We use techniques of neutralisation to deny responsibility

❌ Katz - males get a thrill of crime, they enjoy irrational pleasures


What are two examples of mertons strain to anomie responces?

1. Conformity, success of goals and means (middle class)
2. Innovating, new means to achieve goals (working class) - CRIME?