Functionalist view of crime Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Functionalist view of crime Deck (15):

What is the functionalist view of crime?

Crime is caused by society rather than the individual.


What does deviance mean?

Behaviour that goes against social norms within a social group, it attracts social disapproval.


What does crime mean?

A deviant behaviour that breaks laws.


What is mechanical solidarity?

Strong social controls that include powerful agencies and punishment to those who strayed beyond the consensus.


What are the 5 functions of crime?

1- Boundary maintenance.
2- Functional rebellion.
3- Social cohesion.
4- Early warning system.
5- Safety valve.


What is boundary maintenance?

-Punishment by courts for breaking laws and reaffirming value consensus. -Boundary between acceptable and deviant behaviour.


What is functional rebellion?

Some form of deviance that may enable much needed change within society.


What is social cohesion?

Horrific crimes EG- terrorism, that create public outrage and draw diverse communities together.


What is an early warning system?

Deviance may act as an early warning system that indicates that a social institution is not working properly.


What is a safety valve?

Minor crimes may act as safety valves as they prevent more serious crimes.


What is social control?

Examining the process of persuading and enforcing conformity to cultural values, norms and laws.


Who proposed organic solidarity?



What is organic solidarity?

Agencies (family and religion) as less influential and members of society are exposed to ideas that challenge norms and tradition.
No longer clear boundaries between right or wrong and so punishment grow weaker and no longer deter.


Give evaluation of the functionalist approach to crime.

+ concept of anomie has lead to other theories by Merton and Cohen.
- Marxists argue that crime is caused by inequality and conflict, natural thinking of capitalists.
- Durkheim neglects effects of crime on victims.
- Marxists argue that Durkheim neglects the role of the capitalist classes.


What does Durkheim mean by the term anomie?

Some societies no longer have the power to deter or control individuals from committing criminal acts due the the undermining of consensus.