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Crime and Deviance

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Ross McKenzie

on 8 March 2013

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Transcript of Crime and Deviance

Crime and Deviance Usually, a list of offenses is submitted to the respondent - usually a young person - and they are asked to indicate whether they have committed the act, how often they have done so, and whether they have come to the attention of the police. The results have usually shown that the great majority of young people have undertaken delinquent acts of some kind. West & Farrington (2006) took a sample of boys from inner London :

- 90% traveling without a ticket or paying the wrong fare
- 82% breaking windows of empty houses
- 65% receiving stolen goods
- Belson found that 70% of his respondents had stolen from a shop, and 35% from family or relations. Self-report Studies The self-report study is an attempt to discover what kinds of people commit offences - in this case, a sample - or a sub-sample more often - of the population is asked to report any crimes or any anti-social behaviour that they may have committed themselves in the course of a given period of time.

Willcock found that only 2.6% of his respondents refused to admit to a single offence, and that the mean number of offence types per person was 5.6, with 40% admitting to between 4 & 6 types of offence. How reliable are these surveys? Functionalism Merton Durkheim Hirschi Key concepts
-Crime as inevitable
-normal & functional
-social control mechanisms
-collective sentiments
-society of saints
Value consensus
Cultural goals
Institutionalised means
Rebellion Influenced by Durkheim and the concept of anomie. (Lack of the usual social or ethical standards in an individual or group.)

To answer this, he argues, we need to understand what forces maintain conformity for most people in society.
He asks the question: "why don't more people commit more crime than they do?" as opposed to what drives a minority into deviant behavior. Key Concepts Crime and deviance only cause dysfunction when it is either too high or too low. As a functionalist, he recognised the importance of shared goals and values of society – in the USA particularly the ‘American Dream’. Four bonds of attachment! Attachment!
the extent to which we care about other peoples opinions and desires. He recognised that not everyone has the same opportunity to share these goals and values. Commitment!
The personal investment we put into our lives.
what is there to lose if we turn to crime and get caught. Durkheim saw crime as a negative aspect of society as it caused disruption and uncertainty. Durkheim did however believe that crime could be viewed positively as it helped promote change and promote common values. Theory is structural:
He locates the cause of
crime in US society.
Supports american dream Envelopment!
How integrated we are, so that we neither have the time or interest to behave criminal/deviant way. Belief!
How committed are individuals to upholding society's rules and laws. Not all crime is functional – victim support groups would find it very difficult to subscribe to the idea that violent crime against the person was a way of strengthening collective sentiments. Durkheim was the first sociologist who studied crime and was an advocate of the functionalist theory that later followed.
He also realized that crime was a big problem of modernity, which is the transformation of the industrial society.
Durkheim believed that understanding crime and deviance was incredibly important to understand how society functioned Not everyone has a shared value consensus! Durkheim classed crime into three sections: Normal, Universal and Functional Being blocked from success
can lead to deviance. People
use illegitimate means to
achieve goals. Emile Durkheim developed the term anomie to explain why some people became dysfunctional and turned to crime. Anomie means being insufficiently integrated into society’s norms and values. Durkheim argued that "crime is inevitable" and it is a normal and necessary aspect of social life. Crime is inevitable as not everyone is dedicated to shared morals and values . As our upbringing differs from others we will all believe different things and subsequently what one person might see as illegal others may see as the norm. Were they caught? West & Farrington found that

- only 8.3% of young people who admitted to shoplifting had been prosecuted.
- However, 38.3% of those who had 'borrowed' motor cars had been convicted and
- 61.9% of those who admitted to breaking and entering - burglary - were convicted

However, none of these results can control for the possibility that boys who commit delinquent acts extremely discretely, and are never brought to the notice of the police or of others, may remain discrete when questioned in a self-report study. Found the social dimension of crime (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr There are institutionalised ways of
achieving these goals. Namely education. One may suspect that the respondents may not be willing to admit to activities that could lead to their being convicted of a criminal offence. This might be dangerous, or at the least might lead to their being negatively perceived by the questioners.
Also, it is conceivable that some people may over-report, so as to give themselves a rakish image.
small-scale studies which are difficult to generalize
tend not to ask about the more serious crimes

They miss completely:

- large-scale drug dealing
- corporate crimes of any nature
- political corruption
- tax-evasion
- willful pollution of the environment or Durkheim argued that deviance helped society to evolve American society has a great importance on material wealth. They have little care for were it came from. If everyone had really high standards of morality then even the smallest act of deviance would stick out like a sore thumb. Merton developed ‘strain theory’ to reflect
the strain between goals and means with
a five-fold 'anomic paradigm‘ He cannot explain why some people are more deviant than others. Innovation - accepting the goals but
rejecting the institutionalised means. Conformity- Accepting the goals and the
means of achieving them. Deviance is a source of innovation and change "an anticipation of the morality of the future." Durkheim believed that deviance helped society learn from its mistakes and become a more congruent society. A functionalist believes that too high a crime rate is a warning sign that society is not working well.
When there are very low rates of crime it can leads inactivity in society and high rates lead to social disorganisation and chaos The five ways society can
respond to success goals. Ritualism - rejecting the goals but going along with the institutionalised means (work and school). This deviant behaviour results from being strongly socialized to conform to expected behaviours. Retreatism- Rejecting society,
associated with ladish culture. Rebellion- Rejecting societies values
and trying to replace them with that
of another culture. Evaluation of Merton-
He assumes Value Consensus
Ignores White Collar & Corporate crime
He neglects the question of "who makes laws in society?"
and instead he assumes there is an overarching consensus. Right Realism Highlight the key phrases and terms in the Right Realist handout

Watch the Coppers episode 'Saturday Night' and apply the theory from Right Realism to it.

Also, try and think of some solutions to the problems that you see. Feminism Crime and Deviance What are the two contrasting perspectives of what being 'feminine' are in this video?

Which interpretation is more likely to involve criminal behavior and why? Subculturalism Crime and Deviance Skinhead Movement Watch the below video:
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