Crime And Deviance Essay

2697 words - 11 pages

FELONY, MISDEMEANOR OR NONCONFORMITY
THAT IS THE QUESTION?

In modern day society we often speak of crime and deviance but what are they? Crime could be defined as being an act, by a person or persons of a specific society, which breaks the law of that society. This could be anything from not paying a Television Licence to committing an act of murder. Deviance however is when a person or persons do not conform to the social rules of their society by failing to adhere to the social “Norms and Values”. This could be some thing as minor as wearing the wrong type of clothing to a deviant act of murder and from this, we can conclude that crime is always deviant but not all deviancy is ...view middle of the document...

Functionalism looks at society as a Macro system that seeks to explain the existence of social structures by the role they perform in society. Members of society are bound together by the dominant normative system where factors such as reliability and respect lead to social stability. These factors are learned through the socialisation process which is key to functionalism. The functionalist theory sees consensus as being more prevalent than conflict, which is one of the main foundations for functionalism.
The Functionalist looks for the source of deviance in the nature of society and believes that crime and deviance are an internal part of all healthy societies. They believe that crime can be functional and for societies to be able to change, some form of deviance has to occur. Yesterday’s deviance must be tomorrow’s normality. Functionalists however, agree that social control mechanisms are needed in order to maintain social order this could be the implementation of the police who would oversee public order. Also the socialisation process and legal system comes into the fore regards control mechanisms, no socialisation no legal system.
According to Durkheim, value consensus is prevalent in society, people agree on what is right and wrong, however this must be defined by criminal law. If there is a limited amount of crime this is good for society but too much crime means that society is in danger of disintegrating. In society punishment shows people that certain crimes will not be tolerated are unacceptable and sets out the boundaries for the behaviour of individuals.
Erikson (1966) made it clear that the drama of a courtroom, such as the language used the appearance of the barristers and judge and where a certain type of ritual is used in the condemnation of criminal behaviour.
Durkheim goes on to tell us in true Functionalist belief that society is based on a set of shared values which he called “collective conscience”. However not everyone follows this and prefers to look after their own interest even to the cost of others in society. This Durkheim called “anomie which also returns people to their natural state of greed and self interest which goes towards the collapse of order and concurrence in society.
Durkheim conducted a study on suicide, which was once a criminal act in Britain but is now regarded as deviant, Haralambos pg 196 Durkheim’s “Le Suicide”, related suicide to social integration and was not just a product of the individual’s psychology. He compared countries, married and unmarried people and religious groups and discovered that the more a person was with other people the less likely they were to commit suicide. From this study he asserted that there were four types of suicide, which he stated were, Egoistic, Altruistic, Anomie and Fatalistic.
Egoistic suicide was most common among groups of individuals who had few connections to social grouping of any kind. An example of this could be Liberal Protestants...

Other Essays Like Crime and Deviance

Assess the Value of the Right Realist Approach to Crime and Deviance. (21 Marks)

684 words - 3 pages Assess the value of the right realist approach to crime and deviance. (21 marks) Right realists argue that crime today is a very real and growing problem. Right Realists argue that crime threatens society’s work ethic, social cohesion and destroys communities in society. Unlike other theories, Right realism focuses on the solutions for crime alongside the explanation of what causes crime in society, this approach also criticise labelling and

Labeling Theory Essay

1346 words - 6 pages because it takes the pressure off them. By doing so it puts fear into the eyes of the society concerning the label group, which makes them feel as if they know who they can and can not trust due to the label. Becker, H. (1973) Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance. New York: Free press. Bernburg, Jon G., and Marvin D. Krohn, comps. Labeling, Life Chances, and Adult Crime: The Direct and Indirect effects of Official Intervention

Biological and Social Deviance

2286 words - 10 pages such as Sheldon’s body type theory, and contrast between the theories mentioned. Finally this essay will examine the differences between the theories and whether the biological explanation or the social constructionist explanation can be better used to explain deviance. Looking at social control can help clarify definitions of what crime and deviance are. Social control refers to both the formal and informal means by which society

Essay Title: Deviance Is Defined Within A Cultural Context. Discuss

917 words - 4 pages problem, also concluding that crime has a social pattern and structure.One notes how in the sub- cultural theories of deviance people who are members of deviant groups conform to the norms of that particular group and these sub- cultural groups are socialised in such a way that is considered deviant to others. Some groups even tend to regard deviant behaviour as a requirement for acceptance. These theories bring out the way in which society and

Devience Is Socially Defined

1789 words - 8 pages the before , what was done or needs to be done in order to reach wealth. When such actions occur the respect for traditionally accepted means of achieving goals crumble, norms has to weaken and society is no longer able to regulate the methods its members use to obtain success. Merton called this type of deviance innovation- using unconventional means such as street crime to achieve a culturally approved goal-wealth. This being the case it

Crime Is A Social Construct

1936 words - 8 pages crime deviance in society as a function, in that it serves to remind us, through public condemnation of those who have broken the rules, of our shared values and norms. Furthermore, they suggest that crime is a result of structural tensions and a lack of moral regulations within society. If the aspirations held by individuals and groups in society do not coincide with the available rewards, this disparity between desires and fulfilment will be felt

Chapter 7

2828 words - 12 pages believes that deviance is nothing abnormal, because deviance establishes cultural values and norms. As moral creatures, people must prefer some attitudes and behaviors to others. But any definition of virtue rests on an opposition idea of vice. This means that we can be good without experiencing the evil, just like there is no justice with crime. That is why the act of deviance is needed in order for morality to be developed. After deviance

What Is Functionalism?

1471 words - 6 pages , that everything in society must be functional and serving the functional pre-requisites or else it wouldn't exist. This is true of the apparently destructive appearance of crime and deviance and functionalists have tried to describe its role in terms of benefiting the whole of society.The orthodox functionalist approach focuses on Durkheim's attempts to explain the purpose of crime and deviance. He said that deviance is functional and only becomes

Essentialist Paradigm

1610 words - 7 pages Throughout the study of sociology, a reoccurring theme is that deviance seems to exist in the eye of the beholder, much like beauty. No act committed is automatically deviant, but must be defined as such. From as far back as medieval times to the present, it has always been the upper class dominating the lower class, those on the higher end of the social ladder that shapes the society people live in and define what deviant behaviour is and what

Outline and Explain the Meaning of the Term Deviancy

1069 words - 5 pages potential to increase deviant behaviour by glamourising it or making it seem common or acceptable. On the other hand, functionalists see deviance in a more positive light, suggesting that it can be necessary as it shows us where the boundaries should be. Emile Durkheim, a functionalist suggests that a certain amount of crime and deviance could be seen as positive for society. He also believes that deviancy helps to clarify the boundaries of

Examine How the Media Causes Crime -21 Marks

1195 words - 5 pages Examine how the media causes crime -21 Marks. We live today in a media- saturated society. The media are all around us and crime is the central theme of their output, both fiction and non-fiction. Crime and deviance make up a large percentage of news coverage. For example, Richard Ericson et al’s study of Toronto found that 45-71% of quality press and radio news was about various forms of deviance and its control, while Williams and Dickinson

Related Papers

Crime And Deviance Essay

1396 words - 6 pages importance of reaction to crime and other deviant behaviour. Deviance is said to be a result of rule-makers applying rules to others. Firstly, there is primary deviance, entailing labelling, whereby if using abortion as an example, a woman is devalued or shamed as a result of her decision. In addition, secondary deviance is a result of the labelling, through which a woman’s self-image is diminished by acceptance of this stigma. “In other words

Marxist Theories (Crime And Deviance) Essay

1753 words - 8 pages Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the strength and limitations of Marxist theories in explaining crime and deviance (21 marks) Marxist theories of crime are based on conflict, as opposed to the functionalist and subcultural explanations of crime, which are based on consensus. They claim that society is divided by capitalism and there is a conflict between the upper-classes and the working-classes. They suggest that social

Functionalist Explanations To Crime And Deviance

1339 words - 6 pages Assess functionalist theories of crime and deviance. Functionalism is a social structural and social control theory. It believes that it is society that causes the individual to commit crime. Social control theory looks at why people do not commit crime as it says that people are controlled by the primary and secondary agents of social control, such as the family or religion, and so should not commit crime. Functionalism is also a Right Wing

Crime And Deviance Are The Product Of The Labelling Process

1354 words - 6 pages Crime is simply an activity that breaks the criminal law and criminals are the people who behave in this way, whereas deviance is behaviour that does not conform to a society or a group and is defined or created by the social group. The labelling theory takes a very different approach to other theories as it focuses on how and why some people and their actions come to be labelled as criminal or deviant and what effects this has on those who are