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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. Outline and assess none sociological theories of crime and deviance?

    Biological theories believe there is a physical difference between people who commit crime and deviance. They believe they are different to normal people in some measurable way. One biological theory is the evolutionary theory by Lombroso. He discovered physical characteristics that most prisoners had, these were large jaws and acute eyesight. He found this out by comparing and measuring prisoners in Italian jails. Lombroso referred that criminals were a lesser developed human being and that were more like monkeys and apes.

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  2. Assess the usefulness of functionalist approaches to our sociological understanding of crime and deviance

    Another disadvantage of his study was that not all people who commit crimes go to jail, such as those who commit white collar crimes and those who are not caught. One of the main advantages of his study was that it lead to a whole list of other studies which explained crime and deviance. Durkheim argued that crime is inevitable, meaning that it is meant to happen. He argued that it is an important part of society as it helps social change to take place.

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  3. Assess the usefulness of realist explanations of crime and deviance

    Wilson furthers this statement and claims that affluence and poverty may go hand in hand with the increasing amount of crime being committed. A lot of emphasis is put on the fact that there are a lot of fatherless families and the fact that it has an effect on young men who do not have an older male role model to look up to. Wilson and Hernstine argued that the way young men are socialised within the family, education and the wider community has an important effect on their behaviour.

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  4. 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.

    This study has been conducted every year since 2000. However statistics from these sources are not a valid measure of crime because a large number of acts are omitted, either they aren't reported to the police or people refuse to admit it in the BCS e.g. victims of domestic violence. 80% of recorded crime is the result of public reporting. Statistics don't give an accurate picture of crime in Britain today, as a large number of cases are not reported by the public for many reasons e.g.

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  5. Explore the different attitudes towards women in Othello

    Othello eventually strips Cassio of his title and gives the honour of the lieutenancy position to Iago. Othello eventually kills Desdemona because of her (alleged) unfaithfulness. It is ironic that this happens as she loves Othello enough to betray her own Father and can not understand why he believes these lies about her. In her last words she says "A guiltless death I die" (Act 5, Scene2, 121) Desdemona is blameless, yet as she dies tragically she is still so devoted to Othello that she denies that he will killed her.

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  6. Assess the usefullness of statistical data in the study of crime and deviance

    An example would be that vast changes in moral values in society now means that homosexuality and abortion have now both become legal and accepted in today's world. Attitudes and interpretations of the law by the judiciary have changed over the years, such as r**e being almost seen as an 8th sin, criminals found guilty of this crime will receive much harsher punishments, and from this r**e within marriage is no longer acceptable as it was not so long ago.

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  7. Assess the usefulness of Marxist approaches to an understanding of crime and deviance in contemporary society

    She claimed that corporate crimes do more harm than street crimes such as robbery and murder. Many Marxists also argue that a capitalist economic system generates crime, as economic self-interest and personal gain rather than collective well-being is encouraged. Chambliss (1976) argued; "the greed, self-interest and hostility generated by the capitalist system motivate many crimes at all levels within society." The Marxist view that the laws made by the state represent the interests of the ruling class is perhaps a little narrow as the vast majority of laws actually protect the lives of all members of society, not just the ruling classes.

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  8. Compare and evaluate Subcultural theory and labelling theory

    This makes the young working class males seen as failures by society, thus making them feel and experience status frustration, meaning that they are frustrated with their low status and see them selves as 'losers' also they receive low or none self respect within society. As there are many young working class males in the same situation, they share the situation by making their own subculture, this is seen as a deviant solution, they adopt their own norms and values, and these do not fit into mainstream society.

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  9. Crime Data

    Murder (or homicide) accounts for roughly 1% of all police recorded crime; the actual number may be closer to 0.5%. 2. r**e? r**e hardly makes up 1% of all crimes recorded by the police; it may actually be around 0.3% but is often rounded up to 1%. 3. Theft? Theft makes up 21 or 22% of all crimes recorded by the police. 4. Car theft? Car theft accounts for 14% of all police recorded crimes. Sources: Crime in England and Wales 2006/2007, Home Office Statistical Bulletin, www.homeoffice.gov.uk 3.

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  10. law and order

    The British people disliked seeing red coats because it was the colour of the army. The Government used the army to keep order and suppress popular demonstrations; as a result it was distrusted. On the other the hand the navy was given 'hero status' as the defenders of Britain. Therefore a blue uniform was introduced for the Metropolitan Police Force with a tail coat, a top hat and as few badges and decorations and possible. The new 'bobbies' would only be armed with a truncheon, which had often been carried by the watchmen. Fire-arms were not used at first but constables were issued with cutlasses, if there were any danger.

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  11. Two biological explantions of criminality

    Twin studies have been investigated to establish whether the influence of heredity (nature) or environment (nurture) cause criminality. This was thought to be an accurate experiment for a criminal gene as it would not be possible to manipulate the subjects as genetics are fixed and a part of an individuals' makeup, therefore influences were not possible unlike in most experiments. Theorists thought that if you could hold one of these variables constant, (the twin with the criminal gene) then similarities in criminality may suggest crime was related to the constant, (twin 1 being related to twin 2 in gene)

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  12. Methods we can use to study and understand crime and criminal beaviour

    The normative aspect is proving to be the most unreliable. Searching for some kind of laws governing criminal behavior for now seems to be unpromising. The discovered laws turn out to be merely trends and though study of trends may prove useful they are not laws and so far the normative aspect of criminology shows little hope of evolving into something helpful in understanding crime. Statistics often serve as the first step of any research and there are researchers that consider it as the only reliable source.

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  13. The social and economic impact of crime in the Caribbean and the measures advocated for dealing with this problem.

    It will serve to educate individuals and myself on the severity of the issue plaguing the region. EDUCATIONAL VALUE The educational value of this research is that it would be able to assist people to understand why crimes are committed and what can be done to curb this problem. It will also show how it is affecting us economically. This study could be useful to further research on the topic on these factors diversifying the value of this project. DATA COLLECTION SOURCES Data for this study was obtained from primary and secondary sources. Data from secondary sources were gathered from newspaper articles and books.

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  14. Clearly there is a link between alcohol and crime and the government are keen to address this, how affective are their proposals?

    The proposals within the plan include three main objectives, they are:- a) To reduce under age drinking by i) stringent raids on random licensed premises ii) a strict proof of age scheme iii) educating young people about the dangers of excess drinking b) To reduce public drunkenness by i) new legislation to replace outdated by-laws on public drinking ii) good working practices in preventing trouble on licensed premises, excluding troublemakers and refusing to sell to those already intoxicated iii) new powers to close premises if they fail to maintain a trouble-free zone and also to close to segregate violence from spreading to outside areas iv)

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  15. Any account of the development of criminology should begin by looking back to Europe in the late 18th century

    In a way this idea can be seem as a precursor to some psychological theories, for example those that discuss reinforcement and conditioning. Since then, there have been many different theorists and theories. These can be broadly categorised into individual theories and social (or environmental) theories. These categories can each be broken down further into many other theories. One of the first individual theories proposed was a biological theory put forward by Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909), an Italian doctor who worked with (amongst others)

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  16. Workplace crime, white-collar crime, crime against business all fall under the same category, no matter what term you use to describe it, this type of crime costs South African Businesses roughly R40 billion per year

    putting the actual financial cost of workplace crime well above R40 billion a year. This is a figure that an emerging economy such as South Africa's cannot afford to lose. Workplace crime generally comprises offences that cause identifiable losses to a business, these immediate losses are obvious but what about other associated and indirect losses (Challinger, 1995). These include reduced profits, that may mean layoffs in companies that cannot afford to absorb the losses, increased insurance premiums, higher costs of internal controls and security, such as CCTV or external audits, lowered morale, knowing someone you work with on a daily basis is a thief, and damage to company image.

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  17. The media and its approach to the sensitive issue of law and order has come in for some criticism from crime experts recently

    He raised the concern about TV crime shows such as CSI (Crime Scene investigation). It can be said that such TV shows give wrong perceptions of policing by implying certain procedures and outcomes which may not be true in reality. Such TV shows imply the "CSI effect", referring to how "on TV, its all slam-dunk evidence and quick convictions," but in reality, criminal convictions based on forensic evidence alone are very rare (Roane 2005). The empirical evidence which is dug up by the detectives on the show is somewhat less compelling in real life.

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  18. This essay sets out to identify and analyse the argument that prison sentences are not as effective as CSO, especially for young offenders. Moreover, this argument will be base on analysis and evaluation of views of different authorities

    rules and prisoners are provided with the right help while in prison (Weale).3 It is in the interest of any reasonable government to seek for the best solution to reduce crimes. However, is it really necessary to lock young offenders up for committing petty crimes? We can argue this point by saying that to find a solution or to get tough on crime it is not necessary to send petty offenders to prison; one of the reasons for that is that the statistics have shown the number of re-offending adults has increased and is considerably higher at the moment, and

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    The crime exists in the system from the time it is built; after all there are two sides to a coin. The various types of crimes whether it is social or political exist in the society and cannot be denied of their presence. Even though due to strict laws and punishments the crimes cannot be eliminated completely. Today in US the crime rate has fallen but the crime still prevails. Despite the falling crime rate, America continues to be burdened by an appalling amount of crime and by the fear that it spawns.

    • Word count: 1623
  20. Discuss the theory of criminology and focus on good impact of crime in our society.

    On this Website Durkheim let us know that crime occur has natural day to day occurrences that helps us discover ourselves and think ahead on coming challenges to attain our oriented goal. The relation between the yearly number of crimes and the population, tended to decline, it might be believe that crime, while still normal, is tending to lose this character of normality. Statistics enable us to follow the course of criminality. It has everywhere increase. Crime consider to occur as a function of the way society is integrated and its has basis in social factors.

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  21. Is CCTV effective in tackling crime?

    Improved street lighting recorded better results in a parallel study. CCTV systems can be a valuable weapon in tackling crime in certain situations; but we need clearer controls in law so that the data they gather isn't misused to intrude on people's privacy or infringe their rights. Despite its vast financial commitments to CCTV, this Government has consistently failed to address this issue. There remains no remotely adequate regulation of CCTV systems in law. The danger of misuse of cameras and the pictures they take has been illustrated already both by research and by court cases.

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

    However every one does not share the same commitment to the collective sentiments of society. At this modern time people time people are more individualistic and not everyone is reluctant to conform. Toonies was not a functionalist but he was a supporter of Durkheim. He had the theories of Gemeinshaft (community) and Gesselleshaft (society). He believed that prior to industrialisation peoples were part of smaller communities and there were higher stronger sanctions against crime and deviance. Now there is just society as a whole and the sanctions are less strong.

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  23. Forensic investigation

    The primary tasks of the Crime Scene Examiner is to photograph or video record the area of the crime, search and recover any forensic evidence such as DNA, fibres or fingerprints. This information will again be presented in court. The scene preservation should be maintained by anyone entering the crime scene, as it will help to prevent the loss of evidence by contamination such as finger prints, the taking away of evidence for example fibres sticking to the bottom of a shoe, and the moving of evidence, this can be as simple as closing a window.

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  24. Adolescent Males and Juvenile Crime

    In particular, adolescent males from lower socioeconomic status families regularly commit more violence than males from higher socioeconomic status levels. Social isolation and economic stress are just two main products of poverty (in the lead up to juvenile crime) in adolescent males, which has long been associated with a number of issues such as disorganization, dilapidation, deterioration, and despair. The way police patrol poverty-stricken areas like an occupying army only reinforces the idea that society is the enemy whom they should hate.

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  25. Describe Law and Order In London In the Late Nineteenth Century

    Initially, the duties of the police were not the tasks that we would associate with the police of today as they had to carry out many other ordinary, tedious tasks such as lighting the night lamps, calling out the time, watching for fires, along with many other public services which they had taken over from the watchmen before them. The police forces of London were divided into different divisions, where there were four inspectors and sixteen sergeants, each division managed by a superintendent.

    • Word count: 1358

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