Crime and Deviance Quiz

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Flashcards by harry.vinall, updated more than 1 year ago
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GCSE Sociology (P2- Crime and Deviance) Flashcards on Crime and Deviance Quiz, created by harry.vinall on 04/22/2014.

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Question Answer
What is the difference between crime and deviance? A crime is an illegal act punishable by law, such as shoplifting, whereas deviance is behaviour that does not conform to society's norms, such as talking loudly at the library. Not all illegal acts are deviant, for example speeding is seen as socially acceptable but is still illegal. The difference is that whether something is illegal depends on written laws whereas whether something is deviant depends on unwritten social rules.
Why is deviance socially defined? What is seen as deviant depends on how people react to it. This means deviance varies depending on where it takes place. Historical evidence suggests that what is deviant changes over time. In addition things seen as deviant vary between societies.
What is formal social control and what are the agencies of it? Formal social control is based on written rules that are set out in laws or in codes of conduct, for example school rules. Agencies of UK law include Parliament, the police, courts and prisons.
Define informal social control. Based on unwritten rules and is enforced through social pressure from groups such as families, friends or peers. Positive and negative sanctions may be used to enforce this. For example parents may stop pocket money as a negative sanction.
What explanation would the New Right provide for crime and deviance? New Right sociologists think that individuals whose families fail to socialise them correctly (i.e. teach them societies norms and values) are more likely to commit crime. The New Right argue that single mothers are unable to socialise their children properly due to a lack of time and because of an absence of a male role model.
How does subcultural theory explain crime and deviance? Explains crime and deviance in terms of the values of a particular peer group. Young males learn such deviant behaviour be joining a peer group or gang in which deviance is seen as normal. Vandalism and joyriding may, for example be carried out.
What did Cohen argue? That working-class boys joined delinquent subcultures to gain status. He therefore linked delinquency among working class boys to status frustration at school and argued they attempted to remove themselves from societies values and create their own.
How could relative deprivation provide an explanation for C&D? People feel relatively deprived when they see themselves as badly-off compared to those around them. This may provide a motive for criminal behaviour. This explanation was used to explain the London Riots.
How do Marxist sociologists explain crime? By linking crime to social inequalities built into the capitalist system, which means not everyone can access wealth and status so people commit crime to gain the goods that others have and the media promote. Marxists would also argue that the legal system favours the rich. For example those who commit tax evasion are less likely to be convicted than working class people who commit benefit fraud.
How could labelling theory explain crime? (what did Cicourel argue?) According to labelling theory some people become labelled as deviant or criminal. Cicourel argued that a delinquent is someone who has been labelled as such. Being labelled a deviant or criminal may mean the reaction of other people- such as the police- may not be entirely due to a individual's actions or behaviour. Labelling someone as deviant can create a self-fulfilling prophecy by pushing someone further towards deviance.
Give the two main ways of measuring crime levels in Britain? Official statistics and surveys of the public (e.g. Victim surveys and self-report surveys)
Why are police statistics not 100% accurate? They exclude the hidden or dark figure of crime that may arise because: some crimes not witnessed or discovered (e.g. white collar crimes such as fraud may never be discovered). Some crimes not reported to the police because they are not seen as serious or are private. In addition crimes such as sexual assault may not be reported as the victim may feel the police will handle it insensitively. Employers may not record crimes their employee commits in order to avoid negative publicity. The police may not record a crime as they see it as trivial, believe the person reporting the crime is lying or they could not have enough evidence a crime has been committed.
Why are crime statistics a social construct? They are the outcome of decisions made by people.
What are victim surveys? When people are asked about their experiences of crime, for example the British Crime Survey. These surveys indicate that many victims don't report crimes to the police.
What are self-report surveys? Give an example. These ask people to reveal offences they have committed without fear of conviction. For example the Offending Crime and Justice Survey (OCJS) is a longitudinal study that interviews about 5000 10-25 year olds about their involvement in various offences during the previous year. Each interview lasts about an hour and interviewees enter answers to more serious questions on a laptop. These can provide a more accurate picture of crime levels.
Give one disadvantage for each of the following: self report surveys, victim surveys. Victim surveys: people may not report crimes they feel are trivial or private. Self-report surveys: people may be reluctant to admit involvement in serious crime, also interview effect (interviewee may want to give answers that are socially acceptable) and interviewer effect (interviewer's personal or social characteristics may influence the interviewees' response).
What impact does age have on an individuals likelihood to be involved in crime? Official statistics indicate younger people are more likely to engage in crime. Explanations for this include peer group pressure and subcultural influences on young people.
What impact does gender have on an individuals likelihood to be involved in crime? What explanations are there for this? How has this trend changed? In general men are more likely to commit crimes than women. Explanations for this include gender socialisation, gender differences in opportunities to become involved in crime and the chivalry effect which means women are treated more leniently by the police and courts. The number of female offenders is increasing. Explanations for this include changes in the social position of women who now have similar opportunities to act illegally as men, another explanation is that changing attitudes to gender mean women no longer receive more lenient treatment.
How does your ethnicity affect your likelihood to be involved in crime? Why do some sociologists challenge the official statistics? Some ethnic groups over represented in prisons and black people are 5 times more likely to be in prison than white people. Many sociologists argue crime statistics exaggerate crime among some ethnic groups. This manifests itself in the way policing is carried out, for example black people were 7 times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people in 2010/11. In addition bias within the criminal justice system means black people are more likely to be prosecuted and convicted than white people.
How does social class affect the likelihood of you being involved in crime according to official statistics? What reasons are given for this? Working class people are over represented in prisons. One reason given for this is that working class people have fewer opportunities to succeed through legal routs such as education, meaning they are more likely to resort to crime. Another view suggests working class subcultures promote criminal activities as a way of achieving status. Some sociologists argue that social class bias means the law is more strictly enforced against working class people committing robbery and benefit fraud than middle-class people engaging in expense account fraud or tax evasion.
Generally in which areas is crime highest? Suggest why this is? Urban deprived areas. One reason for this could be that urban areas have higher levels of poverty which can lead people to commit crimes such as theft. Another view is that there are more opportunities to commit crimes in urban settings than rural areas. Alternatively there may appear to be more crime in urban areas because there are far more police in these areas.
What three types of research are used to study the impact of crime on victims? Measurement research (examines the type and number of people who commit crimes e.g. British Crime Survey), studies of the impact of crime (shows crime can impact victims physically, financially, socially or psychologically) and studies of the role of the victim (look at victims role in reporting crime, providing evidence and acting as witnesses in court).
What impact does crime and deviance have on society? Fear of crime means people can feel unsafe walking in their own communities and worrying about antisocial behaviour in their own community. It can also cause tensions within communities.
What are the negative impacts of white collar and corporate crime? Financial costs, e.g. tax evasion; physical harm, e.g. due to environmental pollution or the sale of unfit foods; social costs, e.g. mistrust between employers and employees.
What impacts can media coverage of youth crime have? Fear of young people, exaggeration makes young people a folk devil, for example by making trivial acts of vandalism seem typical of young people and as a threat to law and order. This can lead to a moral panic (public outcry) about youth crime. Young people are often scapegoated for societies problems.
How has the government tried to reduce youth crime? Fining parents for children's misbehaviour, curfews and Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) however some argue ASBOs have not been entirely successful as they can be a status symbol for young people.
Define anomie. An individual or group who dosen't conform to the norms and values of society, either because they have rejected them or because they have never been socialised into them in the first place.
Define corporate crime Refers to crime committed by major corporations often in pursuit of greater profits
Define indictable offence A crime considered so serious it should be tried by jury at a Crown Court.
What are the different levels of the judiciary. Magistrates preside over crimes such as shoplifting, burglary etc. More serious crimes will be trialled by jury at a Crown Court. Finally the supreme court can decide whether a government is acting within the law.
Define master status The main characteristic a person is known for. For example a paedophile is unlikely to be known for anything other than their previous conviction.
Define socially defined behaviour in terms of crime and deviance People's definitions of criminal deviant behaviour varies from society to society, it is therefore a social construct.
Why do sociologists believe we have social order? Because we all share the same norms and values and because there are agents of social control.
Define white collar crime Refers to crimes committed by people in professional middle class jobs. For example an accountant stealing money from his clients account. This type of crime is believed to be unreported because it is very difficult to discover.
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