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Evaluate the Holistic (macro) Approaches to the Study of Crime & Deviance

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Evaluate the Holistic (macro) Approaches to the Study of Crime & Deviance There are three main macro approaches towards crime and deviance I will introduce in this essay. I will also be discussing one micro approach to criticise their theories. Holistic approaches tend to look at society as a whole, rather than biological and psychological explanations. The functionalist perspective is a very holistic view. Deviance to them is explained by society and its institutions; they believe that the police, courts and other ways of maintaining social order are important. But they also agree that some deviance is functional. Durkheim was a functionalist, he argued that deviance is inevitable, and even a normal aspect of social life although it could become dysfunctional if it became out of hand. Crime and deviance is present in all societies and as societies develops crime increases. This cane been seen by the arrival if the industrial revolution, Durkheim felt that collective conscious would be weakened and society would become more anonymous. The different roles of people and increased division of labour had brought about separation of society and divided to population into different classes of wealth. ...read more.


This is why traditional Marxists say that the statistics on crime and deviance are distorted as they only record the crime that they are looking for. Middle class crime or white collar crime like tax fraud and fiddling tends to be over looked. It is a fact that street crime is more likely to be pursued and even when white collar crime is exposed it is less likely to be reported. Durkheim said that that law reflects the will of the people but Marxist says that it reflects the will of the powerful. The middle class are also more beneficial by the law as they are the ones creating the law and the ones enforcing it. Marxists also see crime as a good thing; they state that it leads society to change. This is linked to historical materialism - when society changed from traditional to fudal to ancient and to today's communist society. Crime is seen as good as it helps society to change from one stage to the next. ...read more.


The interactionist (micro) approach views deviance from a different theoretical perspective, its more concerned with understanding the motives and the meanings of crime and deviance. Micro approaches tend to look at the groups themselves and want to find the root or the cause. Howard S. suggested that there is no such thing as a deviant act and it only becomes deviant when others define it as deviant. Becker finds Deviance to be a product of a label. For example if people see an individual to being deviant an a misfit they may respond to the label an live up to it as that's what is expected of them. Therefore Becker argues that "deviance is not a quality that lies in behaviour itself, nut in the interaction between the person who commits the act and those who respond to it." Becker is more concerned with how labels influence crime and deviance and its responses, not with the whole of society. So from the interactionist perspective deviance is produced by a process of interaction between the potential deviant and the agents of social control. The macro holistic approaches just look at the social control. ?? ?? ?? ?? Meera Makwana Mr Woodburn - Sociology ...read more.

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