• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and Evaluate two or more sociological theories of the usefulness of crime statistics in giving us an accurate picture of crime and deviance in Britain today.

Extracts from this document...


Outline and Evaluate two or more sociological theories of the usefulness of crime statistics in giving us an accurate picture of crime and deviance in Britain today. Crime can be defined as law breaking and as actions which are seen as disruptive and disturbing. Some crimes are considered to be more serious than others. Deviance can be defined as behaviour which completely goes against the conventional norms and values of society. If members of the public don't play the roles that are expected to play by society, they are considered deviant. I am going to use two sociological theories to assess the usefulness and accuracy of crime statistics in giving us a picture of crime and deviance in Britain today. Crime statistics are used to measure and identify criminal groups in two ways. The first is from police recorded crime i.e. records of crimes that are kept by the police. And secondly from the British Crime Survey (BCS), this is a victim study that asks a sample of British adults if they have ever been a victim of particular crimes. ...read more.


person is labelled as a deviant people in society look at them differently this person then continues to live life as a deviant. In evaluation of the interactionalist approach, the use of the labelling theory has drawn attention to the importance of labelling and societal reaction to the generation of deviant and criminal behaviour, it helps to explain why some people do go on to commit crimes. The labelling theory has shown that certain types of people are singled out, which supports the idea that the official criminal statistics do not give an accurate picture of crime because if the police are focusing on the ' typical deviant' then they are perhaps overlooking other types of criminals such a middle class. Critics however have pointed out weaknesses of the labelling theory. Firstly the origins of deviance are unclear, the idea that people commit crimes because they are labelled as a criminal are suggested to be fruit less. A woman doesn't tend to become prostitutes just because society has labelled her as being a provocative woman. The labelling theory also fails to explain why certain groups of people are labelled as deviant. ...read more.


Therefore statistics only really represent a selective number and type of crimes. However critics claim that the Marxist approach does fail to mention that most victims of working class crimes are working class themselves and so the idea that working class commit crime out of frustration at the middle class is undermined. Many Sociologists refuse to accept that there is any conflict between the working and middle classes and so according to them why would there need to be any biased in laws. This essay has explained two sociological theories and their arguments for the idea that statistics give us an inaccurate picture of crime in Britain today. This essay has also evaluated each argument and has concluded that even though both sides have very valid points it is inevitable that crime statistics will never be an accurate way of measuring crime, as people in today's society will always have their preconceived views of what a criminal is and they will judge and report crimes accordingly. And unfortunately crimes such as domestic violence and sexual assault still happen alot and the majority of times remain unreported. The real picture of crime is what's outside our front door's not necessarily what the statistics from an annual study tells us. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    Figures supplied by The 1998 British Crime Survey England and Wales, Government Statistical Service page 366 Haralambos and Holborn [2000] The survey also found that even though a crime had been reported, the police did not always record the offence in the same category as the British Crime Survey or

  2. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    This term refers not to an individual state of mind, but to social conditions. The controlling influences of society are no longer effective, and people exist in a state of relative normlessness. Anomie is reflected in how individuals feel, but its origins are in society.

  1. Assess The Contribution Of Control Theory To Our Understanding Of Crime And Criminality

    Gottfredson and Hirschi developed these earlier theories and assessed other social and psychological theories to conclude with their general theory of crime, which evolves around self control. The theory is tautological in its explanation of criminality and self control and suggests that self control is criminality and vice versa.

  2. Assess Marxist theories of crime and deviance.

    Slavery benefits capitalists as then they do not have to pay them and so maximise their profits. In modernity, after the invention of machinery, slavery was no longer needed as machines are faster, do not require sleep or feeding and make more money.

  1. Free essay

    Assess the view that crime and deviance is the result of labelling, the media ...

    Most people do this via legitimate (legal) means by achieving success through skills and qualifications. People who cant achieve the dream legitimately will do it illegitimately (illegally). He calls this the 'strain to anomie'. This strain produces frustration which creates a pressure to deviate, and Merton thought of ways to adapt or respond to the strain.

  2. Critically compare the three main theories of deviance and assess their strengths & weaknesses

    * Chambliss (1976) suggests that much of what takes place I the creation of rules is 'non decision making'. Many issues - such as the way wealth is distributed - never reach the point of decision. Marxists argue that crime is widespread in all parts of society.

  1. How Accurate are Official Crime Statistics?

    Is there an accurate way of measuring crime levels? There are two other methods that may be used as an alternative to official crime statistics; firstly self-report studies, these are like a questionnaire, which are given to individuals, who tick next to the crimes they have committed.

  2. describe four studies relating to crime and deviance - each from a different perspective. ...

    (Haralambos, 2000, page 391) Left realism's main advocate Jock Young (1993) points out that there has been an alarming increase in crime since the Second World War. Having acknowledged this as a real problem he insists that being tough on crime does not necessarily mean being tough on the criminal.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work