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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. examine ways in which the media stimulate moral panics and create folk devils

    A folk devil is the group/issue at the heart of the panic, which are condemned, feared, labelled and/or blamed. An example of a folk devil would be youths, in relation to knife crime, terrorist, or 'mods and rockers 'established in the 1960s. These moral panics and folk devils are created and exacerbated by 'moral crusaders ', the media is most likely the biggest agency that does this. Media reports often greatly exaggerate certain and specific areas of crime or deviance that are aimed to be a moral panic, and to victimize certain groups as folk devils. It reports on, for example, the alleged rising number of knife related crimes, and how a high percentage of youths in a neighbourhood near you are carrying a knife, even if this is a fallacy.

    • Word count: 604
  2. Assess sociological explanations of social class differences in crime rates

    One of the main problems when discussing official statistics on crime is the fact that traditionally middle class crime is often unreported, unpunished (or treated leniently) or ignored. These kinds of 'white collar' crimes could be things like bank fraud, environmental offences, and health and safety violations when it comes to employees. These kinds of crime are often more damaging to society on a bigger scale and cause a lot more expense then 'blue collar 'crime. Despite this, corporate crime is largely ignored or treated softly by the authorities and public.

    • Word count: 925
  3. Sociological View On Suicide

    Durkheim believed after his research that suicide rates were determined not by a persons psychological state but by their relationship to society. From his research, Durkheim was able to identify two social facts which he felt determined the rate of suicide; these were integration and social control. Integration meant how a person was connected, involved and bonded to society and social control meant how much freedom a person felt they had and the regulations and controls that were placed upon them.

    • Word count: 982
  4. PILES

    Their brain's develop by their senses, touch, sight, hear, taste and smell. As the baby grows into a young child they start to explore their understanding through their senses. At this age children who have not been tought properly by their parent's would also not know how to share thing's but it's important to know it because if they don't know how

    • Word count: 200
  5. Differences in ethnic experiences of criminal justice system

    prison and at each stage it appears that blacks, and more recently Asians, are much more likely to face injustice, abuse or negativity within the criminal justice system. Phillips and Bowling note that since the 1970s many allegations of oppressive policing towards ethnic minorities have been put forward with "mass stop and search operations... excessive surveillance, armed raids, police violence". With policies such as the Stop and Search and the Terrorism Act (2000), police officers may stop at any time or place, any vehicle or person and search them for any or no reasons, but the patterns of how these

    • Word count: 781
  6. Sociology is not, cannot be, and should not be a science

    Durkheim was a positivist and conducted a study on suicide. Durkheim thought sociology should study society and generate laws or social fact to explain how things operate. He believed that behaviour is socially determined rather than internal urges. We know that he was a positivist by the way he gathered his data and the way in which he got his results. Durkheim used suicide statistics, correlation, causation and multivariate analysis to gather and record his data.

    • Word count: 526
  7. Evaluate subcultural explanations for crime and deviance

    Others criticise it for being too deterministic. Albert Cohen focused more attention on culture. He placed more emphasis on the initial internalisation of mainstream norms and values through socialisation, and stated that working class youths as a whole suffer from status frustration as, for example, they may be regarded less worthwhile by their teachers and are thus may be blocked in terms of the denial of access to educational resources. These youths are then said to reject mainstream norms and values and replaced with alternative delinquent norms and values such as joy riding, arson and vandalism.

    • Word count: 1331
  8. Examine the similarities and differences between subcultural theory and strain theory as explanations of deviant behaviour

    Merton also created a typology of the different options individuals have when deciding whether or not deviance from norms is an option which describes characteristics of the five different categories: Conformists, Ritualists, Innovators, Retreatists and Rebels Conformists are the group which chooses to both accept the goals of society and accept the standard means by which to attain their goals. For example, in order to have a happy life by social standards, they gain a college education, work in a 9 to 5 job, and eventually complete their goal.

    • Word count: 1268
  9. Examine the effectiveness of situational crime prevention as a means of reducing the impact of crime on society (12 marks)

    One of the main crime in society today is shop lifting, situational crime prevention as a means of reducing the impact on society today use blue inked tagged on clothes stores, this tags are put on clothes and when some one is trying to come out the shop without paying normally it will make a noise that way the shop assistants will know that the person hasn't paid, or if the do try to come out of the shop there is a tag that is difficult to take off, even the person does manage to take of the tag it will leave a blue stain on the piece of clothing.

    • Word count: 695
  10. Stratification of crime. Most crime is committed by teenagers. Men are convicted of more crime than women. Urban areas have much more crime than rural ones.

    Young people may actually commit more crime, or it may be that they get caught more than older people. Crime committed by the young is typically more visible, e.g. vandalism, so it's Likely to be witnessed, and the perpetrator Is more likely to be caught. White-collar crimes such as fraud are more likely to be committed by older people but these offences are more hidden and don't take place in the public arena. Social stereotypes that young people commit crime lead to police suspecting and monitoring young people more than older social groups - increasing their chance, of being caught.

    • Word count: 1120
  11. Free essay

    Assess the strengths and limitations of quantitative methods as a means of investigating crime and deviance

    He concluded that the stability of the suicide rates suggested that suicide was determined by structurally determined social factors. Interpretivists critises the statistics which positivists base their theories of suicide on. The validity and reliability of official statistics is questions, as interpretist claim that suicide statistics are the product of complex process of interpretation, negotiation and desicion making by various social factors, for example family members can influence suicide verdicts by revealing or withholding certain evidence of information about the deceased.

    • Word count: 806
  12. Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose to use official statistics when conducting their research.

    Sociologists may use official statistics when conduction their research because official statistics offer several practical advantages. * They area free source of huge amounts of quantitative data. Only the state can afford to conduct large-scale surveys costing millions of pounds, such as the ten-yearly Census covering every house within the UK. * Sociologists can make use of this data, saving them both time and money. * Statistics allow comparisons between groups. For example, we can compare statistics on educational achievement, crime rates, or life expectancy between class, gender or ethnic groups.

    • Word count: 1010
  13. Assess the sociological explanations for why boys underachieve at school

    There has been a rapid decline in semi-skilled and unskilled jobs due to the increasing automation of production. Manual jobs fitted in with the masculine identity of a traditional working class man and therefore the deterioration of jobs in the manual sector has left these identities threatened. This deprecation of masculinity could questionably make boys feel uncertain and confused regarding their future, and therefore instead of working towards a manual job, amidst the uncertainty, wouldn't try as they would believe there isn't a chance of getting one. However, this view is subjective, as there isn't a significant correlation between the de-masculinization of jobs and educational achievement.

    • Word count: 607
  14. Free essay

    Outline/provide sociologist explains to why does people join a sect or cult.

    He argues that, as people seek to make sense of both the world and their social position within it, religion provides a "ready made" ideological structured for interpretation. The attraction of sects to marginal social groups was that they provide both an explanation of a person's position in society and, most importantly, they provide a source of prestige or status - the members of a sect feel as if they are an elite (whether this involves a privileged position in the eyes of God, access to knowledge denied to the "non-elite" or whatever).

    • Word count: 837
  15. Assess the view that sociology can and should be seen as a science

    When studying something in science, a scientific method is used. The processes involved with scientific methods are, something is observed, an explanation for the event is given (hypothesis), and an experiment/research is conducted. For many this is what sociology does, it tries to explain the understanding of the world and the social groups within it. Positivist's theory is based on the belief that explanations and knowledge should be based on empirical scientific method. They think that sociology should be scientific, and analyse social facts. Social facts can be directly observed and measured.

    • Word count: 1022
  16. Who benefits from aid?

    This is how smaller countries tend to give aid. The World Bank is the most important aid institution. However because seats are allocated depending on how much the country contributes, America have constantly dominated. Despite the fact that most of America's aid is given bi-laterally, their aid budget still exceed the multi-lateral and other countries. Because of this America controls most of the World Aid's allocation. The final type of aid is Non-Government Organisations. Although this aid could be considered to be less important because it is small scale, it is the type of aid that has the most positive effect on the people.

    • Word count: 1533
  17. Examine the reasons for changes in the position of children in the family and in society

    Many people were for the abolishment of child labour including the sociologist, Karl Marx who called for "Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form" in his Communist Manifesto. After the First World War, the amount of children working in places such as factories was very low and nowadays is non-existent. So the position of children in society has changed from a strong working force to support the nation to being dependent people being looked after through their families.

    • Word count: 776
  18. Free essay

    Assess the view that crime is functional, inevitable and normal

    If, then, this society has the power to judge and punish, it will define these acts as criminal and will treat them as such.' His idea of crime being a positive aspect to society is based around the idea that people are unclear of the boundaries as they change over time. Durkeim discussed three elements of this positivist aspect. He believed that crime is a universal feature of all societies as it serves a vital social function. Through the punishment of offenders the moral boundaries of a community are clearly marked out, and attachment to them is reinforced.

    • Word count: 709
  19. how woman are seen to be oppressed controlled by men

    Ann Oakley argues that women carry a duel burden: they take on paid job and domestic labour. She argues that conjugal roles are unequal although most women have paid jobs. Men still don't do domestic tasks at home. She argues that woman take on emotional work: Woman are socialised to have the emotional roles of mother/carer. Men are socialised into rationality. Looking after a sick child means emotional and physical needs. The mother (barrier of the child) is distinguished to be responsible for this. Some women take on "part time" jobs, because they're primarily responsible for the nurturing the children.

    • Word count: 1265
  20. The effect of appearance on the percieved criminality of young individuals

    The question to be piloted is "How are young people's perceptions of the criminality of other young individuals affected by the appearance of the latter?". I am interested to discover whether young people from certain ethnic backgrounds are perceived as being more criminal than others, whether boys are perceived as being more criminal than girls or vice versa, and whether wearing certain styles of clothing affect how the potential criminality of young individuals is perceived by their peers. Due to practical constraints of time and resources, and because this is only a pilot study, I will only be comparing two different ethnic groups, and two different styles of clothing.

    • Word count: 2743
  21. The Birth (and Creation) of Demons and Despots

    Adolf Hitler (over 11 million people), Josef Stalin (tens of millions), Saddam Hussein (1.5 million people) and Idi Amin (300,000 people) are just some of the names of those who had the power to destroy entire nations and ethnicities. They differed amongst each other, to be sure. Some butchered on a grand and mechanized scale, in numbers too vast for the mind to comprehend. Others killed intimately, even salaciously, targeting each victim with acts of savagery both imaginative and unimaginable.

    • Word count: 1553
  22. A report on anti-social behaviour in the local area of Blackhill, Consett

    4.2 A second questionnaire were given to the 75 residents who completed the first questionnaire (see appendix 2) 4.3 Residents were then asked if there were any other comments they wished to make regarding the contents of the previously mentioned questionnaires. 4.4 Telephone calls were made to consett police station, about finding out statistics about anti social behaviour. 4.5 Links to specific statistics were received from pc Dave turner in regards to reported anti social behaviour in the local area. 4.6 Photographic evidence was taken (see appendix 3). 5 Findings 5.1 The findings of the first questionnaire carried out by the local residents were collated and represented in a graph (See figure 1.1).

    • Word count: 1003
  23. Marxism and Functionilism

    Functionalists on the other hand believe that these factors in our society are core values. They all depend on each other to function as a whole, instead of a principle value that dictates the others. For example education and the family are core values which integrate everyone into the same norms and values. Marxism is a conflict theory. This means that the main rules that govern social behaviour are based on conflict.

    • Word count: 552
  24. 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.

    • Word count: 883

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