Theories of crime and deviance essay

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Theories of crime and deviance essay

Compare and contrast two main sociological theories of crime and deviance Compare and contrast two main sociological theories of crime and deviance 8 August Crime Compare and contrast the two main sociological theories of crime and deviance.

Deviance and crime are wide-ranging terms used by sociologists to refer to behavior that varies, in some way, from a social norm.

This essay will evaluate the sociological theories associated with crime and deviance and to compare and contrast these main theories. There are various Sociological deviance theories, including Structuralist: How did this person become processed labeled as a deviant?

Sociology asserts that deviance is problematic, yet essential and intrinsic to any conception of Social Order. It is problematic because it disrupts but is essential because it defines the confines of our shared reality.

According to sociologistWilliam Graham Sumner, deviance is a violation of established contextual, cultural, or social norms, whether folkways, mores, or codified law In fact, from a structural functionalist perspective, one of the positive contributions of Theories of crime and deviance essay is that it fosters social change.

For example, during the U. Crime as cited by Mustapha is any action that breaks the law of the land and is punishable by formal controls Taking the functionalist view in perspective, this approach based mainly on the work of Durkheim, argues that deviant and criminal behaviour plays an active, constructive role in society by ultimately helping to cohere different populations within a particular society.

Durkheim postulated that a certain amount of crime and deviance as normal and an integral part of all healthy societies. This is because the crime indicates that there is an aspect of society that is malfunctioning.


So the crime draws attention to the problem within society, which can then be fixed. However, he did say that too much crime was dangerous in a society. The functionalist continue to say that deviance and helps to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

This is an important function that affirms the cultural values and norms of a society for the members of that society. Finally, deviance and crime is actually seen as one means for society to change over time. With changing norms in response to deviance, the deviant behaviour can contribute to long-term social stability.

As traits become more mainstreamed, society will gradually adjust to incorporate the formerly stigmatized traits. In urban America 50 years ago, homosexual behaviour was considered deviant.

On the one hand, this fractured society into those marked as homosexuals and those unmarked as normative heterosexuals. Among younger people in particular, there is broad support for societal acceptance of homosexuality. Merton observed American culture.

Merton called this a strain to anomie, and it is this normless behaviour which he said caused crime in society.

Theories of crime and deviance essay

Merton said there are five ways in which members of American society could respond to this strain to anomie: Conformiity, Innovation, Ritvaiailism, Retreatism, Rebellion. For example freedom fighters who act criminally because of commitment rather than the effects of anomie. However, evidence shows that after communist countries moved to free market economies which stress the importance of individual material success crime rates have rocketed.

Similarly, as the UK moved to Thatcherism which again places more value on material success and hard work crime rates increased.

Theories of crime and deviance essay

However the Marxist perspective has a different view to this, they believe that the capitalist system is responsible for creating crime to protect their interest by reducing strains inherent in the capitalist mode of production, while the functionalist believe that crime and deviance establishes the moral boundaries of the community.

Marxist theory suggests that deviant behaviours result from social, political, or material inequalities of a social group. An example of conflict theory would be the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in the fall of Angered at the extreme inequalities in wealth distribution in the United States, protesters began to organize more communal ways of living in Zucotti Park—near Wall Street in New York City—in order to protest the lavish means of life of those at the top of the socioeconomic ladder.

Their actions and perspectives demonstrate the use of conflict theory to explain social deviance. So the ruling class as cited by Mustapha is keen on maintaining the status quo, that is the norms and values of capitalist society ideology.

The Marxist would view this as the ruling class way of enforcing their power over the lower class in relation to this planned curfew.All Structuralist theories of crime and deviance seem to suggest that crime is socially constructed rather than focused on the individual.

Albert Cohen, combining Structuralist and sub cultural theories drew on Merton’s idea of strain but criticized Merton’s ideas of crime being an individual response and believed that he ignored non-utilitarian crimes such as vandalism and joy-riding.

Social Deviance And Social Stratification - Introduction to Sociology Reflection Essay: Week Two I found this past chapters describing our groups and networks in society, social deviance, and social stratification to be very interesting.

Theories of Violence

Situational crime prevention (SCP) seeks to reduce the number of crime events by focusing on limiting the opportunities for crime to occur. The approach typically uses an action-research model and assumes that offenders make decisions that are broadly rational. It is generally designed so that.

Crime and Deviance from a Sociological and Psychological assessment: The sociology of deviance is the sociological study of deviant behavior, or the recognized violation of 3, Words | 13 Pages Analyse Sociological Contributions to Our Understanding of Relationships Between Crime, Deviance and one of the Following: Ethnicity, Social Class /5(1).

Crime occurs when a law is law is clear, has usually been set down in writing and is enforced by the police and the judiciary system. When someone breaks the law by, for example, by breaking into someone’s house or stealing a car, they may end up paying a fine or going to jail.

Crime and deviance constitute a classic pathology within societies which has led to a variety of responses at political and societal level. This essay will explore crime the cause of crime and deviance with two theories, the labelling theory and biological theory.

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