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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,
acts as a safety valve, helps social cohesion,
reinforces the boundaries of society
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,
when the majority of the public disagrees with police and court action it can cause a change in values
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
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
functionalist subculture theory
they resolve their status frustration by rejecting the success goals of mainstream culture,
norms and values are based on a subversion of mainstream ones
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
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
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
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