AS and A Level: Crime & Deviance

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Top five crime and deviance theoretical viewpoints

  1. 1 Functionalism – small amounts of crime are inevitable and in fact crime has some functions for society (Durkheim); higher amounts of crime and deviance may be the result of anomie (Durkheim) or strain (Merton).
  2. 2 Marxism – the working class DO NOT necessarily commit more crime than the ruling class; corporate crime and white collar crime are underrepresented in crime figures (Croall); the crimes the working class carry out can be justified as part of a political struggle against capitalism (Box).
  3. 3 Left Realism – crime in working class areas should be considered carefully as the working class are over represented as victims; crime occurs if people suffer relative deprivation, marginalization (social, political and economic) and live in areas with deviant subcultures (Lea and Young).
  4. 4 Right Realism – People carry out crimes when the benefits outweigh the costs (Clarke); Single parent families often produce criminal or deviant offspring (Murray); zero tolerance policing would improve crime rates (Wilson).
  5. 5 Feminism – women are often excluded and ignored in discussions about crime (Heidensohn); women are often victims of crime and that issue needs consideration (Smart); women are increasingly committing crime.

569 AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  • Marked by Teachers essays 4
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    The chivalry thesis claims that women will be treated more leniently for committing certain crimes, generally shoplifting is often associated more with females than males, but the statistics suggest that males commit many more acts of theft than women, an

    4 star(s)

    Overall this is a really strong essay. The content never drifts from the focus of the question, there is a good even debate on both sides of the discussion and…

    • Essay length: 1144 words
    • Submitted: 31/10/2010
    • Marked by teacher: (?) Matthew Wilkin 04/04/2013
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the Usefulness of Official Crime Statistics to a Sociological Understanding of Crime

    4 star(s)

    This essay gets nearly five stars. It is excellent in its breadth and depth. The full marks could be achieved by a closer tying of the information to the question…

    • Essay length: 2066 words
    • Submitted: 10/05/2006
    • Marked by teacher: (?) Lesley Clark 08/02/2012
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Asses the arguments and evidence which suggest women commit much less crime than men

    4 star(s)

    The content of this essay is strong and refers to all the main key sociologists within the topic of gender and crime. The introductions and conclusions however are a little…

    • Essay length: 2481 words
    • Submitted: 26/08/2005
    • Marked by teacher: (?) Matthew Wilkin 10/06/2013
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Evaluate the Functionalist explanations of Deviance.

    4 star(s)

    This essay shows excellent understanding of Durkheim and Merton, and the Functionalist perspective generally. The grade could be improved by using other theoretical perspectives to evaluate - such as Interpretivism…

    • Essay length: 1102 words
    • Submitted: 11/03/2004
    • Marked by teacher: (?) Lesley Clark 08/02/2012

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Assess the usefulness of consensus theories for an understanding of crime and deviance in contemporary society.

    "Also a lot of the research carried out on this topic was carried out in the early 19th century therefore research into this topic was very androcentric. As a result it ignores the fact that women also commit crimes which in contemporary society is higher than it was when Merton and Cohen were carrying out their research. Feminists would argue this point along with the point that they ignore the crimes commited by males such as domestic violence, such as sexual abuse, however, Davis' argument that the legalisation of prostitution could hinder domestic violence within the family. In conclusion, although consensus theories are outdated some of the points argued could help develop a more in depth understanding of crime and deviance within contemporary society."

  • Assess the view that ethnic differences in crime rates are the result of the ways in which the criminal justice system operates.

    "As we have seen, official statistics on the criminal justice process show differences between ethnic group. The question is therefore how we explain these patterns. There are two main explanations for ethnic differences in the statistics; Left realisms and the Neo-Marxism. The left realists see the statistics represent real differences in rates of offending. Whereas the Neo-Marxists see the statistics are a social construct resulting from racist labelling and discrimination in the criminal rates of offending. From a left realist perspective, the justice system does not necessarily act on the differences of ethnic minorities but demonstrates a true representation of the rates in offending. On the other hand from a Neo-Marxists view the statistics is just a myth of the social construct and they see that is what the justice system acts on. To an extent, the left realist perspective seems to be valid as it is inane to believe that the ethnic minority community could be the fault of most crimes simply as a result of their race. However, it is also conceivable that their race, religion and ethnicity has a significant contribution ."

  • 'The world today is as furiously religious as ever it was and in some cases more so' to what extent is this statement supported.

    "The statement 'the world today is as furiously religious as ever it was and in some places more so', could be perceived as being true in that some cultures and continents still have religion and religious beliefs high on their agenda, but it could be argued that in European cultures especially, there is a decline in religious values and beliefs, statistics back up both sides at the argument, so it could just fall down to personal beliefs and opinion about the subject matter in hand."

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