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Sociology - Crime And Deviance > Functionalism > Flashcards

Flashcards in Functionalism Deck (36)
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What different theories of crime and deviance are there?

Functionalism, Strain, Control, Interactionism, subcultural, Marxism, Left/Right Realism.


Why is crime inevitable, according to Durkheim?

Because some people are inadequately socialised, therefore, they may commit crime.


According to Durkheim, what is the positive functions of crime?

- Reaffirming values.
- Changing values.
- Social cohesion.
- Safety valve.


How does crime reaffirm the values of society?

CJS and media publicly broadcast existing values that people shouldn't deviate.


What is an example of crime reaffirming values?

- Madeleine McCann = when she went missing, everyone was concerned and this reaffirmed the values of the collective conscience.


How does crime change values of society?

Crimes test the boundaries of the particular law, when the law is too far-fetched, legal reform is necessary.


What is an example of crime changing values?

- MLK = protested for equality, he managed to get the 'Voting Act 1965' in which society changed its values regarding equality.


How does crime provide society with a sense of social cohesion?

When horrific crimes are broadcasted, people collectively come together in horror.


What is an example of crime providing social cohesion?

- France terror attack = solidarity was spread through Western Europe, and the Eiffel Tower was lit up with their flag in respect.


How does crime provide a safety valve?

Deviance provides a harmless expression of discontent, keeping social order protected - doing a less serious crime can prevent a more serious crime from happening.


What is an example of crime being a safety valve?

- Cohen = when men have sex with prostitutes it provides a release from stress and pressure of the family life without undermining family stability.


According to Durkheim, what is a negative function of crime?

- Anomie = people of dissimilar backgrounds are less likely to agree on what is right and may not respect the law, therefore, people follow their own desires.

Rules governing behaviour become weak due to diversity.


What are the evaluations of Durkheim?

- Crime creates the need for employment.
- Anomie is criticised.
- Helps explain many incidents.
- Kingsley Davies (1961) = prostitution.
- Marxists challenge them.
- Durkheim fails to explain whys some people are more likely to to commit crime that others.


How does crime create the need for employment?

- CJS = crime has created employment for the agents of social control, without crime; many people would be unemployed.


How is anomie criticised?

Durkheim explains what it is, but he doesn't specify how much crime is too much or too little in order to have anomie.


How does the functionalist view help explain many incidents?

- e.g. Those who helped tidy up after the London riots showed the collective conscience.


What does Kingsley Davies say about safety valve?

- Provides economic support for unskilled women.
- Allowed men to have sexual variety without it interfering with the family.


How do Marxists challenge Durkheim's view?

Laws reflect capitalists and not the public, and they protect capitalist property, not the rights of the majority.


What does Durkheim ignore, which Hirschi, Cohen, Merton, etc explain?

He doesn't explain why some people are more likely to commit crime than others.


What theory did Hirschi develop?

Control theory = the public generally accept law and order, he explains why people conform (Causes of Delinquency, 1969).


How old were the people that Hirschi studied?



According to Hirschi, why do people conform to social norms and values?

1) Attachment = the more we care about other people, the more reluctant we are to disappoint them by deviating.

2) Commitment = those committed to education and a career have too much to lose by deviating.

3) Involvement = those busy working, studying or hobbies had little spare time to deviate.

4). Belief = those that believe the laws are right are more likely to follow them.


How are Hirschi's factors often found together?


If we are bored in school (low commitment) and dislike our teacher (low attachment), we are more likely to take risks rather than do homework (low involvement).


What are the evaluations of Hirschi?

Malestream = he only consulted police data on the boys in his sample, yet drew conclusions on young people in general.


What theory did Merton develop?

Strain =

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


What was Merton's aim?

He wanted to discover why some people are pressured by society to engage in non-conforming conduct.


What does Merton combine in his explanation?

1). Structural factors = society's unequal opportunity structure.

2). Cultural factors = society places strong emphasis on success, but weak emphasis on the legitimate means.


What causes deviance, according to Merton?

Strain between the goals a culture encourages individuals to aim for, and what the structure of society allows them to achieve legitimately.


How was this strain created in America?

- Culture = America strived for wealth and success (e.g. through education).

- Structure = Lack of legitimate means due to poverty and discrimination, and people gave up confidence that they could achieve legitimately.


According to Merton, what did this strain in America cause?