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Functionalist theory on crime and deviance

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functionalist main theory
believe social order benefits everyone,
crime is bad as the weak suffer,
social progress would be limited by disorder and all would suffer,
thus crime must be limited,
some crime can be positive
ways crime can be positive
can act a warning device,
can help society progress,
provides employment,
acts as a safety valve, helps social cohesion,
reinforces the boundaries of society
Durkheim
believed in consensus and the need for social order,
basis of society was a set of shared values which guide our actions called the collective conscience,
tells us what is acceptable and what is not,
re-affirming boundries,
anomie
re-affirming boundries
changing values,
social cohesion,
safety valve
changing values
when the majority of the public disagrees with police and court action it can cause a change in values
social cohesion
when particularly horrific crimes have been committed
safety valve
releasing the stress of the inequalities in society
anomie (sense of nomlessness)
according to Durkheim in periods of great social change or stress people start to look after their own selfish needs,
where a collapse of the collective conscience has occurred an anomie exists
Merton
crime is caused by a conflict between cultural goals and the means,
western societies goal is material wealth,
to reach this goal societies have a set of norms, values and institutions (the means),
ideally everyone will have access to the means that will be able to deliver the goals but this is not the case
why people don't have access to the means
not everyone has equal access to institutions,
not everyone is born into the same social background,
such inequality creates tension (a strain) in the social system
responses to the strain
conformity,
innovation,
ritualism,
retreatism,
rebellion
conformity
accepting both the goals and the means
innovation
accepting the goals but rejecting the means
ritualism
rejecting the goals but accepting the means
retreatism
rejecting both the goals and the means
rebellion
replacing both the cultural goals and the means
functionalist subculture theory
Cohen,
they resolve their status frustration by rejecting the success goals of mainstream culture,
norms and values are based on a subversion of mainstream ones
Cohen
deviants develop a sense of anomie, they form a subculture of criminality with its own values,
provides an explanation for crimes that provide no gain,
delinquency is a collective response to status frustration,
criminals develop status frustration,
the dissatisfaction is caused by a lack of achievement and causes low self esteem
opportunity structures
Box,
Cloward and Ohlin,
there are 3 different structures you can enter
Box
not all vandals reject main stream values
Cloward and Ohlin
focused on how peoples opportunities to be deviant are also different,
some have better opportunities to enter into a criminal career,
working class commit crime because they have limited access to a legitimate opportunity structure
3 structures of the opportunity structure
criminal,
conflict,
retreatist
criminal
these subcultures are established and organised criminal networks
conflict
these subcultures develop in areas of limited access to legitimate opportunity structures
retreatist
these subcultures develop in areas of limited access to legitimate and illegitimate opportunity structures
Criticisms of the functionalist theory
the idea of the criminal subculture is based on the gangs of Chicago in the 1920's and 30's,
the idea of the retreatist is simplistic drug abuse and is common amongst all classes of people
Hirschi
reflected on what causes people not to deviate
reasons for not deviating
attachment,
commitment,
involvement,
belief
attachment
the extent to which a person is attached to others
commitment
fear of law breaking
involvement
conventional activities would keep people too occupied
belief
a common value system within society whose norms are being violated and reinforced