Crime and deviance


How does Functionalists, New right and Marxists explain crime and deviance?

Structural consensus theories?

Functionalists argue that crime in small amounts is needed

Value Consensus


Believed Crime is Inevitable and not everyone can follow the norms/values of society

This = Social solidarity- when someone commits crime= punished- reminder to others

Merton(Strain theory)

  • Crime is the result of a strain between an individual's goals and the means of achieving them.
  • Results in conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion.
  • Conformity-The individual agrees with the goals of becoming wealthy and achieves them through legitimate means.
  • Innovation-The individual agrees with the goals of becoming wealthy, but achieves them through illegitimate means.
  • Ritualism-The individual works hard but has forgotten why. Therefore, they do not achieve the means of becoming wealthy.
  • Retreatism-They reject the goals and means of retrieving them.
  • Rebellion-Rejects the goals and the means of achieving them. They instead create new goals and new mean 
  • Evaluation of Merton 

Assumes crime are individual and ignores that crime is often in groups 

Doesnt explain why some people commit crime more than others

Doesnt explain people who achieved goals of society commit crime

Functionalist subcultural theories 

Cohen- A new sociologist theory emerged in 1970s

Reflected social change of time - Youth subculture and liberal attitudes and behaviours

The Youth class felt angry= Lacked job oppurtunites to achieve societys goals.= Status frustration

^ Led to different set of values= 'Delinquent subculture'- opposed the values of society



No comments have yet been made