Functionalism and Crime

Sarah Mather
Mind Map by Sarah Mather, updated more than 1 year ago
Sarah Mather
Created by Sarah Mather over 8 years ago
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Mind Map on Functionalism and Crime, created by Sarah Mather on 06/07/2013.

Resource summary

Functionalism and Crime
  1. Durkheim
    1. Anomie
      1. Normlessness/turmoil
      2. Criminal justice system reinforces integration to social laws/rules of condemning deviance
        1. Crime is inevitable and often functional.
          1. Sometimes crime can be beneficial for society like Martin Luther King's Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's
        2. What is the theory?
          1. Structural,macro, consensus
            1. Looks at the role/function of individuals in society
              1. Stability, harmony, integration, cohesion collective consciousness, conformity, cohesion.
                1. Parsons - Biological Analogy
                  1. Deterministic - Society exists above individuals and people are forces into crime my forces beyond their control.
                    1. Interpretivists criticise this for neglecting the subjective/free will people have to commit crime.
                  2. Critique of Durkheim
                    1. Why do some people in society commit more crime than others?
                      1. Outdated and emphasizes that the law is neutral
                        1. Traditional Marxists such as Chambliss (1994) argue that the law actually benefits the ruling class
                      2. Merton (1968) - "Strain Theory"
                        1. Developed Durkheim's concept of anomie to mean that crime is likely to occur in situations of anomie since individuals (i.e. black, w/c ethnic minorities) are uncertain of the law
                          1. Also uses the concept of the American Dream to explain how society strives for wealth/posessions/material goods that can either be achieved legitimately (i.e. qualifications) or illegitimately (crime)
                          2. There is strain in people's pursuit of societies goals/means which society provides to achieve such goals
                            1. There is pressure on the w/c (be them white/black) to innovate (turn to crime)
                              1. Links to the media and the emphasis on material possessions
                                1. The 4 strains = conformity, innovation, rebellion, retreatism, and ritualism
                              2. Strengths of Merton
                                1. Successfully linked the strains of soicety to crime
                                  1. Explains utitiarian crime (with financial gain/profit)
                                    1. Illegitimate means of success goals = innovation
                                    2. Critique of Merton
                                      1. Assumes that everyone is committed to society's success gloals, therefore faitls to explain non-utilitarian crimes like vandalism.
                                        1. Marxists argue it ignores crimes of the powerful
                                          1. Ignores gang crime
                                          2. Hirschi - Bonds of Attachment
                                            1. Questions WHY people choose to commit crime
                                              1. Certain forces i.e. integration into institutions such as the family/education/religion stabilize social behaviour
                                                1. Crime ocurs when these attachments become weaker
                                                2. There are 4 social boonds: attachment (others wishes), commitment (personal investements), belief (e.g. a Chrsitian would assert that crime is against the 10 commandments - moral code of conduct) and involvement (busy/time to commit crime)
                                                3. Messner and Rosenheld (1994)
                                                  1. The crime rate is so high in America because of the high value America places on materialism
                                                    1. If a country promotes civic values such as duty then crime would be lower - can apply to the UK
                                                      1. This can be seen in Japan where children are taught respect in school. May reinforce why there is a lower crime rate/anti-social behaviour.
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