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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.

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  1. Social construction of childhood

    The separation that we arose in the 19th century, where factory legislation removed children from the workplace. And later on compulsory education was introduced, further separating children and adults. Today this separation keeps on increasing through age restrictions, the increase of compulsory education and services buying into this view, like playgroups. Aries suggests that evidence for childhood being a social construction exists in the artwork of of the medieval times. He concluded that childhood did not exist in those times, and that children were seen as mini adults.

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  2. Examine the main trends in the birth and death rates in the UK since 1900

    In the early 1900's the birth rate was 28.7 births per 1000. Since the start of the 20th century the birth rate has been in long term decline; in 2007 the birthrate was only 10.7. The fall in birth rate can be explained by many reasons, one is that due to woman's rights, the position of women has greatly increased, meaning that the old stereotype stating that woman must look after the house and children ect is shunned; as some women may not want children due to increased educational opportunities and the fact that if they go on maternity leave they are at risk of losing their job - or having a large deduction of wages.

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  3. Free essay

    Assess the extent to which we can uncover the true figure of crime.

    Not only is this but it is open to mistakes due to relying on the memories of its participants, which may mean the results are wrong. Also there is a problem in that victims are categorising the crimes themselves, and so it may exaggerate some forms of crime, making them out to be more or less serious. Studies found too that types of corporate crime tended to be ignored; due to there it is seen as 'minor' compared to assault for example.

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  4. Outline and assess that most crimes are committed by young urban males.

    Evidence shows that men are much more likely to commit crime than women. In 2002 over 80% if crimes committed were by men (Home office, 2003). This shows that most crimes are committed by men. The Chicago school research by Shaw and McKay (1942) shows that most crimes were committed by people from Zone 1 location e.g. 9.1% of males from Zone 1 were charged with criminal offences. Zone 1 was where new comers began their urban life and this was a zone of transition (A zone with shifting population of people coming in and people going out).

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  5. Outline the view that white-collar and corporate crime are under-represented in criminal statistics.

    White collar crimes are divided into two parts. Firstly occupational (crimes committed at the expense of the organisations) and corporate crime (crimes committed on behalf on the organisations e.g. non payment of VAT). Fraud only accounts for 6% of recorded crime but its monetary value is far greater than suggests e.g. WorldCom, the second largest long-distance telephone company in the USA, was forced to admit a $4 million hole in its account. These crimes do not enter police records because they are dealt with administratively by organisations such as the Inland Revenue.

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  6. what can social science tell us about the formation of identities

    Woodward (2004, p 151) identified that multiple identities can lead to diversity. This essay will examine what factors contribute to shaping identity: discussing how much control is exercised by social structure, and how much control an individual or society have constructing identity. The link between the personal and social. Furthermore, this essay will answer, what can social science can tell us about the formation of identities? There are three key concepts in social science regarding the formation of identity. According to Woodward (2004, p 13)

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  7. Free essay

    Assess the usefulness of Marxist approaches in explaining the causes and the extent of ethnic-minority offending in society.

    As a reaction to this, more police were put on the streets to control this young ethnic group. Hall's analysis can be credited in the sense that it acknowledges that fact that the media can generate panic in society whereby we are made to think something is worse than it actually is. In the case of ethnic minority groups and offending, therefore, we are made to believe that young black groups, for example, are heavily responsible for crime in Britain, when in actual fact, the situation is far more complex than that.

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  8. Assess the usefulness of interpretive approaches to the study of suicide.

    Jacobs studied 112 suicide notes written by both young and old people in Los Angeles. By reading the suicide notes of people who had either attempted suicide or actually committed suicide, he found that very often the note-writers put forward sensible and rational arguments for wanting to commit suicide. Jacobs' study therefore shows that suicide notes can provide a means of finding out peoples' motives for wanting to commit suicide. When ones' motives are found out, it is then possible to categorise different types of suicide (which is what he did). Whilst Durkheim, too, categorized types of suicide, he failed to prove that people actually commit suicide for the reasons he gave after not using qualitative data like Jacobs did.

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    In today's generation television has a great influence on children. Unfortunately most of the programs watched by children have a negative impact and give the wrong impression of what really happens in everyday life. It also influences their development and their behaviours. "In fact childhood development experts say infants as young as 14 months old imitate behaviour they see on t.v and children up to the age of 5 lack the cognitive ability to distinguish fact from fantasy"(Internet; Children and television violence) Therefore what they see on t.v is what they are most likely to imitate.

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  10. Sociological explanations for patterns in ethnicity and crime

    However, Victim studies are gathered by asking victims of crime for their recollection of the ethnic identity of the offender. According to the British crime survey, the majority of crime is interracial, with 88 per cent of white victims stating that white offenders were involved, 3 per cent claiming the offenders were black, 1 per cent Asian and 5 percent mixed. Like official statistics, asking victims for a description of who committed the crimes is shot through with problems. For a start, only about 20 per cent of survey recorded crimes are personal crimes (such as theft from the person), where the victims might actually see the offender.

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  11. Sociological explanations for patterns of female crime

    Most theories that explain crime, implicitly accept that males are more likely than female to commit crime. However, the number of female offenders has risen faster than the number of male offenders since 1958. According to the social trends 2004. Marsh ("Sociology In Focus: Crime", 1986) concluded that in terms of the ratio of conviction between females and males, where women have similar opportunities for criminal behaviour in relation to males, their respective patterns of crimes appear to be broadly similar. For example, where female crime most-closely approximates to male crime is in relation to shoplifting and it's no coincidence that in this area of their social lives women have similar opportunities for crime to men.

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  12. Literature review on crime

    Much more attention has been given in recent years to ways of preventing crime. Many people vehemently believe that crime will be reduced when some of the social factors that seem to be closely linked with it are improved . These include a lack of education, peer influence, drugs and alcohol, lack of parental relations and proper role models in society,unemployment, the media since many of the youths are influence by the negative messages being sent by the new wave of artist who incessantly preach about " Being gangster" and "Get rich or die trying" .

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  13. Assess the view that crime is functional, invetiable and normal

    Another way in which they have linked their explanations of crime to families and households, si by suggesting that the growth of cohabitiation has undermined the belief that patnership is for life, as is supposed to occur in marriage. This is said to weaken the general moral fabric of society and demonstrates that values and commintments are not fixed and permanent, but flexible. This is said to weaken the idea of strong central values which form the basis of society, and strenghtens the view that morals are relarive and negotiable.

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  14. Usefulness Of Realist Explanations On Crime & Devience

    They completely ignore any economic and social inequalities and instead focus on blaming individuals and single parent families, headed by women, saying that they lack the proper socialisation and male role models to discipline them. 'Wilson and Hernstein' (1985) believed that crime is committed everywhere by young males. So they came up with the idea that men re partially social and biologically aggressive and this makes them more prone to crime. 'Charles Murray' suggested that the 'underclass is a breeding ground for criminals'.

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  15. Women in Crim

    The only problem is that the majority of them focus on men. According to the study they would even say that in most studies just "being male" is considered to be a determinate. Because of this women in the criminal precursor studies are almost never considered. This study suggested that although women and men's precursors may have links there are many differences. When planning the groups for the study they used looked at the female's family situation as the independent variable. The first sample consists of women who had to be put in an institutional care because of family breakdown (Messer 2004: p 87).

    • Word count: 921
  16. Free essay

    Essences of Politics

    do not agree with. If people do not participate then groups such as the BNP and (formerly) National Front will begin to become a majority and the actions that the government takes will no longer be the "will of the people." Voting even if it voting means voting for the lesser of evils is necessary to make sure that the will of the people is not completely distorted. The argument that "we have a right not to vote" is valid, however, if strategic voting means that people should vote for someone who has less extremist views, then the electorate should do it. Elections allow people to choose representatives, without this people's "will" would not be put through.

    • Word count: 951
  17. Free essay

    race in society

    The dogma has logical consequences that are profoundly important. If African Americans, for example, are equal to Whites in every way, what accounts for their poverty, criminality, and dissipation? Since any theory of racial differences has been outlawed, the only possible explanation for African American failure is White racism. And since African Americans are markedly poor, crime-prone, and dissipated, America must be racked with pervasive racism. Nothing else could be keeping them in such an abject state. This idea that African Americans are destined to failure applies to the concept of dysfunction.

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  18. Examine the reasons why female educational achievement has improved in recent years

    Therefore this may lead to learning better social skills than the males and learning more at a younger age. This may then indicate on later life why males struggle behind females. Something that has changed over the last 15 years are the attitudes of females, before this the priorities of women was to raise a family first before carrying out a career. As over the years more opportunities for women have become open, more women stay on for further education and want to start a career before thinking about a family.

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  19. gcse spanish courserk

    En general el profesor m�s popular es Mr Choudhury porque es divertido, simp�tico y muy interesante. Mi instituto es muy interesante porque hay alumnos de todo el mundo por ejemplo �frica, Paquistan�, Bangladesh, Polonia, el Caribe y Nor llevamos bien juntos. En mi instituto hay 46 aulas y tambi�n 8 laboratorios, hay una biblioteca, nueva el patio, un comedor, el gimnasio nuevo y un sal�n grande. Tambi�n hay una sala de profesores. Tenemos una piscina y un polideportivo �Que Suerte! Hay un campo de f�tbol, una recepci�n y un centr� medico. En las salas de idiomas hay televisi�n y video as� que podemos ver videos en franc�s, espa�ol, ourdou y bengali.

    • Word count: 767
  20. responding to emergencys 1

    Examples of emergencies in the UK include the oil depot fire in Hemel-Hempstead in 2005, the bombings in London in 2005, or the flooding in Boscastle in 2004. The police grading criteria The police receive an average of 350 emergency '999'calls every day. These are the highest priority and they aim to answer them within 10 seconds and get to an emergency incident, in an urban area, in ten minutes 20 minutes in a rural area. they also receive in the region of 2,700 non-emergency calls every day (one million every year).

    • Word count: 954
  21. Free essay

    Sex drugs rock and roll

    That compares with 64% of teens in the u.k who eat meals at home. Researchers believe that a decrease in interaction with adults has left British teens unsupervised and adrift. I think parents should make more effort to introduce discipline into their house holds. ASBOs It is in my considered opinion that although police in Britain are trying to control troublesome teens through an anti-social behaviour order, I feel that this punishment isn't much different to a warning and if punishment was a little harsher there would be fewer teenagers repeating their actions.

    • Word count: 479
  22. Roman Crime and Punishment

    Different types of harsh punishments include Crucifixion, being thrown off a cliff in a barrel of snakes and being burnt at the stake. Not all Romans were treated fairly for example if you were a nobleman and you were sentenced to death you could go into exile whereas you wouldn't be allowed if you were a normal person. This shows that the Romans had a very complex system of laws and punishments and would have been quite hard to follow if it wasn't written down and then simplified by Emperor Justinian in around 449 BC.

    • Word count: 919
  23. Free essay

    Describe law and order in the late nineteenth century England?

    Therefore many people turned to crime. The Peterloo Massacre highlighted the need for a preventative police. The Peterloo Massacre of August 16, 1819 was the result of a cavalry charge into the crowd at a public meeting at St Peter's Fields, Manchester. Eleven people were killed and over 500, including many women and children, were injured. Sir Robert Peel, the acting Home Secretary in 1829, founded the Metropolitan Police Force. The Metropolitan Police Force was the 3rd police force established in Britain and still exists today. Sir Robert Peel, set-up the Metropolitan Police Force to reduce the amount of criminal activity in London.

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  24. To make obvious to you all what a youth curfew is, our team has prepared a definition of the term youth curfew.

    This, to us just means that a curfew is a way to keep us young people off the streets. Having teenagers wandering the suburbs at dark, young people are given a chance to act in a criminal way. Therefore, a youth curfew is essential to a society of any sort. One of the main goals of a youth curfew law is to protect non-delinquent youths. It is stated by the Curfew Laws that a main purpose of a curfew is to protect youths from victimization. According to the Ruefle and Reynolds analysis, the curfew may be used as a "means to protect non-delinquent youth from crime and to deny delinquent youth the opportunity to engage in criminal behaviour."

    • Word count: 927

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