Functionalist theories of crime Flashcards Preview

Crime and Deviance > Functionalist theories of crime > Flashcards

Flashcards in Functionalist theories of crime Deck (23):

Who says....... People frequently unsure what constitutes deviance, what is defined as deviant depends how others react to it

Downes and Rock


Who defines .... Societal deviance as deviance most members of society define as deviant because they share similar ideas about approved and unapproved behaviour, and, situational deviance as acts that are only defined as deviant in particular context



Who says.......Crime is a label attached to certain behaviour that is prohibited by the state, an act only becomes a crime when the label is attached to it. Criminal law varies from country to country and in different time periods so is socially constructed



Who says ..... Powerful groups and individuals redefine behaviour as unacceptable, for example, the U.S. federal bureau outlawed marijuana use acting a moral entrepreneurs - leading a moral crusade to change the law, creating a group of outsiders and expands social control



Who says ..... Criminals have abnormal physical features associated with humans from an earlier stage of evolution like large jaws and cheekbones



What is phrenology?

Theory claiming personalities could be explained by the shape of people's skulls and so criminals could be identified this way


Who says ..... Crime is healthy, present in all societies because not everyone effectively socialised into shared norms and values and diversity of modern society means subcultures develop - what members may see as normal, mainstream society regard as deviant and anomie means rules become less clear and individuals become increasingly different so collective conscience is weakened



Who says... Crime has positive functions - strengthens collective values by uniting members in condemnation of the wrongdoer and reasserts boundaries of acceptable behaviour by punishing criminals



Who says .... Pornography safely channels sexual desires away from alternatives such as adultery which poses a greater threat to the family



Who says ..... If crime performs social functions it could be society's institutions are organised to sustain a certain level of crime rather than rid society of it



Who says..... Deviance is a result of strain between the goals a culture encourages and what the institutional structure of society allows them to achieve legitimately. American culture and ideology puts more emphasis on success at any price than upon doing so legitimately so the disadvantaged, whose opportunities are blocked resort to illegitimate opportunities. 5 types of adaption which are?

Conformity - accept goals and strive to achieve legitimately
Innovation - accept goals but use illegitimate means
Ritualism - give up on goals but internalise legitimate means so follow rules
Retreatism - reject goals and means but become drop outs
Rebellion - reject existing goals and means and replace


Who says... Deviance results from inability of lower class to achieve mainstream success goals by legitimate means. He criticises Merton for seeing deviance as an individual response for strain ignoring that much is committed in groups and he only looks and utilitarian crime
Lower class boys face anomie in middle class school system, they suffer cultural deprivation and lack of skills so can't achieve goals legitimately and suffer status frustration. Resolve how?

By rejecting mainstream goals and forming a delinquent subculture which gives them opportunity to achieve some status in the peer groups which they are denied in wider society and achieve revenge on society through non-utilitarian crime


Who says ... Deviance is a warning that an institution isn't working properly



Who says..... Deviance is a response for working class youths who are denied legitimate opportunities, people have different responses as unequal access to legitimate and illegitimate opportunities and neighbourhoods provide different illegitimate opportunities which are?

Cloward and Ohlin
Criminal subcultures - provide apprenticeships in utilitarian crime by association with adult criminals due to longstanding stable criminal culture. Adult criminals exercise social control to stop non-utilitarian crime which may attract police
Conflict subcultures - high population turn over and social disorganisation prevents stable criminal network from developing and only illegitimate opportunities available are loose knit gangs where violence provides release for frustration at blocked opportunities and alternative source of status
Retreatist subcultures - emerge among those who are double failures - failed in both opportunity structures, retreat into drug addiction/alcoholism payed for by petty theft, drug dealing, shoplifting and prostitution


Who says ... The drug trade is a mixture of organised crime like the conflict subculture and disorganised as some retreating so may become professional drug dealers



Who says working class youths aren't frustrated by failure as they never accepted mainstream goals?



Who said .... Cities in Chicago had different zones with different characteristics including zones of transition which had the highest level of crime, high populations turnover and were where the poorest lived. In these areas social disorganisation prevented development of stable communities and informal controls - delinquent values develop and criminal traditions become accepted and differential association (who said?) meant living in situation where it seems everyone is committing crime means people are more likely to themselves.

Shaw and McKay
Sutherland's definition


Who said .... The ideology of the American Dream obsessed with individual success so exerts pressure towards crime with an 'anything goes' mentality in the pursuit of wealth. In societies based on capitalism that don't protect the poor, high crime rate is inevitable.

Messner and Rosenfield


Who criticised functionalist explanations of from for assuming people always committed to mainstream goals and gave the example that some religious sects reject the struggle for material success



Who says that criminal subcultures ascribe to mainstream goals? He says there are ghettos in the USA where there is a full immersion of the American Dream, a culture hooked on BMW, Gucci and Nike.



What group says only 25% of physical assaults are reported to the police and only 20% of rapes?

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


Who said that most working class youths don't engage in crime and those that do give it up in early adulthood?



Who criticises subcultural for making the delinquent out to be different to other people and stresses the similarities in values like feelings of outrage about crime in generals and their expressing of remorse and shame when caught using techniques of what show commitment to mainstream values

Techniques of neutralisation