Functionalist theory of crime (consensus.) (Durkheim's seven key…
Functionalist theory of crime (consensus.)
Durkheim's seven key functions of crime.
1)developing morality for the future-
all soc change start with deviance.for change to occur,- if shared vals were too strong then there would be no crime = little change.examples- Rosa Parks invigorated the struggle for racial equality when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man or Nelson Mandella who was arrested for trying to over throw the government.
2) Reinforcing norms & vals
- boundaries of behavior that acceptable need to be made know.eg- when someone is arrested for murder it is then made known that the behavior was unacceptable.
3) public function-
drama & publicity is generated to make the boundaries clear to soci of acceptable behavior.
5) Bonds strengthens-
a small amount of deviance has a reinforcing func in bounding soci together against the common enemy eg- the Shannon Matthews case.
4) Legitimize soc change-
each time a crimes committed attentions brought to the at. Sometimes people feel sympathy- legal reformat needed when the law out steps feelings & vals. eg- Abortion was made legal in the 1960s due to many women being unhappy with the way they were treat in society.
6) Deviance = safety valve-
Cohen says prostitution = safety valve as its a function which doesnt threaten the family. If men didn't use prostitutes then other crimes they may commit like rape.
7) indicator a part society is malfunctioning-
eg- riots or truency eg-- MC parents go abroad to buy sick children with cancers etc cannabis oil as it is illegal in the UK.
" Crime is a normal and integral part of all healthy societies"- quotation from Durkheim.
Merton's Strain theory-
socis unequal op structure.
emp on success & less emp on legit means to achieve them.
responses to mismatching goals for means-
using the same socially approved means to achieve less elusive goals (more modest and humble).
to reject both the cultural goals and the means to obtain it, then find a way to escape it. (become drop outs.)
using socially unapproved or unconventional means to obtain culturally approved goals. Example: dealing drugs or stealing to achieve financial security.
to reject the cultural goals and means, then work to replace them. eg- hippies or new age travelers.
- individuals accept goals + achieve them. likely among MC who have good ops- he sees this a typical response from most americans.
Merton developed the concept of 'anomie' to describe this imbalance between cultural goals and institutionalised means. He argued that such an imbalanced society produces anomie
S & W-
+ explains patterns of official crime stats. most crime = pov crime as as a result of american vals.- oficial crime stats took at face val. over rep of wc crime they dont all deviate. - marxists say it ignores power of ruling class.
Sub cultural theory-(Cohen)
Cohen argued that working class boys strove to emulate middle-class values and aspirations, but lacked the means to achieve success. This led to status frustration: a sense of personal failure and inadequacy.( unlike Mertons suggestion of innovating)
solution's to the common problem of wc adolescents. many boys react to this by rejecting socially acceptable values and patterns of acceptable behavior. Because there are several boys going through the same experiences, they end up banding together and forming delinquent subcultures.--delinquent subculture reverses the norms and values of mainstream culture, offering positive rewards (status) to those who are the most deviant. Status may be gained by being malicious, intimidating others, breaking school rules or the law and generally causing trouble.
criticisms of cohens work-
ignores the possibility they didnt share goals in the first place so never saw them as a faulier.
Cloward & Ohin (delinquency & opportunity. developed Cohen's theory.)
Criminal subcultures tend to emerge in areas where there is a lot of organised
adult crime, here there are criminal role models for young people, and they learn how to commit criminal acts.
In these subcultures the young people can climb up the professional criminal ladder by committing more crimes
. These subcultures are normally concerned with utilitarian crimes, which yield financial reward.
Conflict subcultures tend to emerge
in areas where there is little organised adult crime, so instead of
learning how to commit serious monetary crimes the young people instead focus on gaining respect through gang violence.
Retreatist subcultures are for young
people who have even failed in the criminal subcultures, these people are
‘double failures’. They tend to retreat to drugs and alcohol abuse to deal
with the fact that they have been rejected from other subcultures.