A Level>Notes>Debates in contemporary society>Crime and Deviance 2

Functionalist, strain and subcultural theories

Durkheim Durkheim sees crime as inevitable and universal, in every society some individuals are inadequately socialised and prone to deviate. Due to the increased diversity and specialised labour, the shared rules of behaviour become less clear (anomie) Functions of...

read more

Subcultural Strain Theories

Cohen and Status Frustration Cohen agrees that deviance results from lower class’ inability to achieve mainstream success goals by legitimate means such as education. However, he criticises Merton’s explanation Merton looks at the individual response to strain,...

read more

Interactionist and labelling theory

Social Construction of crime For labelling theorists no act is deviant in itself: deviance is simply a social construct. According to Becker, social groups create deviance by creating rules and applying them to particular people whom they label as outsiders. Thus an...

read more

Class, power and crime

Explaining class differences in crime Official statistics show that working classes are more likely than higher classes to offend, different perspectives offer different explanations for this. Functionalism sees crime as a product of inadequate socialisation into a...

read more

Realist theories of crime

Realist theories differ from labelling theory and critical criminology in that they see crime as a real fact, rather than socially constructed, and they propose different policies to reduce crime. Realists divide along political lines: Right realists are Conservative...

read more

Criticisms of other theories

LRs accuse others of not taking crime seriously Marxists concentrate on crime of the powerful but neglect working class crime and its Neo-Marxists romanticise working class crime where in reality they mostly victimise other working class people. For LRs taking crime...

read more

Late Modernity and crime

Young argues that in late modern society, the problem of working class crime is worse, due to: Harsher welfare policies, increased unemployment, job insecurity and poverty. Destabilisation of family and community life, weakening informal social controls. Young notes...

read more

Gender, crime and justice

Gender Patterns in crime Most crime appears to be committed by men, with 4 out 5 convicted criminals being men. Among the offenders, a higher proportion of women are more convicted for property offences (except burglary), whilst a higher proportion of men are...

read more

Ethnicity, crime and justice

Ethnicity and criminalisation There are three main sources of statistics on ethnicity and criminalisation: Official statistics Victim Surveys Self-report studies Official statistics These show the ethnic differences in the likelihood of being involved in the criminal...

read more

Explaining ethnic differences in offending

Official statistics on the criminal justice process show differences between ethnic groups, there are two explanations, left realism and Neo-Marxism Left realism Lea and Young argue that ethnic differences in the statistics reflect real differences In the levels of...

read more

Crime and the media

Sociologists look into three things when studying the relationship between media and crime: How the media represent, both in fiction and non-fiction. The media are a cause of crime and the fear of crime. Moral panics and media amplification of deviance Cybercrime...

read more

Fictional representation of crime

Fictional representations from the TV and novels are important sources of our knowledge of crime. Fictional representations follow Surettes ‘law of opposites;: they are the opposite of the official statistics – and strikingly similar to news coverage. Property crime...

read more

Globalisation, green crime, human rights and state crime

Crime and globalisation The global criminal economy Held et al suggests that there has been a globalisation of crime, and the increasing interconnectedness of crime across national borders, and the spread of transnational organised crime. Castells argues there is a...

read more

Control, punishment and victims

Crime Prevention and control Situational crime prevention Reducing opportunities for crime through target hardening. Can displace crime. May apply to rational crme such as petty theft Environmental crime prevention Wilson and Kelling argue ‘broken windows’ prompt a...

read more