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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.

  • Marked by Teachers essays 4
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  1. anti-social behaviour

    2.4 The structure of this report is as follows: Section 1: Abstract- This is a statement that briefly conveys the essential information of the report the objectives, method used, results, conclusion and recommendations. Section 2: Terms of reference- To explain the context, a brief history of ASBO's has been provided. Their stated aims and the criticisms have been examined. These include how local authorities have gone about tackling anti-social behaviour and why their effectiveness has been questioned. Section 3: Procedures- This incorporates the aims and objectives, design and techniques used in this study.

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  2. Does the media heighten fear of crime?

    Research suggests that this is direct and instant upon the viewer. (Howitt, 1998). However, the progression of this view became replaced by a dominant view that 'the media are quintessentially integral aspects of modern society and that social factors attenuate any direct influence of the media.' And as such, influences of the media are more likely to be of a long-term and cumulative nature. (Howitt, 1998:45). The view that the media causes a fear of crime originates in several masses of content analysis by Gerbner, 1972; Gerbner et al., 1977; Signorielli and Gerbner, 1988.

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  3. Outline and Assess Subcultural Theories of Crime and Deviance

    He identified this as 'strain' between the individual and society, and discovered that the greater the strain, the greater the chance of the individual being either deviant or criminal in their behaviour. Merton argued that all societies, whether in Britain or in the jungles of Africa, set their members certain goals and provided them with socially approved ways to achieve this goal. Merton considered the fact that not all the individuals in a society share the same goals; he pointed out that in a stratified society the goals were linked to a person's position in the social structure.

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  4. Outline and Assess Sociological Approaches to Social Control Within Crime and Deviance

    Sociologists agree that all societies need to impose control on their members, in order to ensure predictability of behaviour and stability. Beyond this, however, there is considerable dispute as to who benefits from this control and about how to explain the form that state control takes. Functionalist writers see the criminal justice system as operating to look after the interests of society as a whole. Without control and punishment, society would collapse into Durkheims state of anomie. At the other extreme, Marxist writers argue that the criminal justice system operates for the benefit of the ruling class.

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  5. Postmordanist's esay

    in their developments which seems a bit confusing because there are more single parent families and, in those single parent families, there are more women with children than men and if fathers cared so much about their children then why would they want to leave their children and marry some one else and have children with them . How can fathers play an emotional role in their children's lives when they don't even live them? Postmodernists don't just reject the existence of mass culture but also argue that the class domination that produced it has also disappeared.

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  6. Criminal Investigation Procedures

    * Style- This will describe what their style of approach to the crime was for example if a person has pretended to have a trade in order to gain access to that particular place. * Tale- What were the reasons for being in that area at that time? * Pal- This will try to identify if the person had any accomplices which will also identify a network of criminals which have also been involved. * Transport- Identifies if a mode of transport was used to. This can determine if skid marks, tread or even the use of CCTV are found.

    • Word count: 3731
  7. Crime: Social construction or reality?

    Tannenabum (1938:211) produced the idea of the labelling theory of crime: he believes that when youths become teenagers they want to engage in more exciting and dangerous activities. These activities produce conflicts between the youths and adults in the neighbourhood. The adult's label the youths as "bad", and the youths then conform to the part. The youths see themselves as bad, so begin to act in that manner. The labelling idea is that once deviants are labelled criminal, the more likely they are to conform to becoming a criminal.

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  8. What explanations have been suggested for occupational crime? Is it different from conventional crime?

    The theory believes that anyone will steal if given the chance, (Lipman 1973, McCullough, 1981:66)". Opportunity is a prone deviancy factor. For example, O'Brien, 1977:58-Discusses garage scams. Customers can't judge service or repairs needed. Garages can perform incomplete service or charge for bogus repairs. Install used or inferior parts but charge for premium ones. Replace parts unnecessarily. Cars break down more frequently than they otherwise would, result in further costs. Garages that perform this way are more likely to be successful. Garage owners have a clear open opportunity to commit occupational crime. The rewards would be more money.

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  9. The following essay will explore the question; What is the relationship between policing governance and accountability?

    Police forces, while chief constables were required to exercise direction and control over the force. Visit It is profusely obvious that the most powerful person under the terms of the Police Act 1964 was the Home Secretary, who was empowered to make regulations governing, for example, the size of police forces, police discipline, pay and conditions of service and police equipment[2]. Recent legislative changes affecting the role of the police are as follows; * Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 - This Act outlined police powers in relation to i) stop and search, ii) entry, search and seizure, iii)

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  10. describe four studies relating to crime and deviance - each from a different perspective. The Functionalist, Marxist, Symbolic Interactionist and New left realism perspective on crime and deviance

    Situational deviance is the departure from the norms of a particular group. Deviance within a particular group can be any act that does not conform to the norms generated by the group itself. (Haralambos, 2000, page 349) The functionalist perspective, popular from the 1930's - 50's, views crime and deviance as inevitable within society and regards the social control mechanisms (police, courts) as a necessary component to maintain social order. Functionalists also regard a moderate amount of crime and deviance as a contribution to the maintenance of society. Durkheim (1938) viewed some crime as "an anticipation of the morality of the future".

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  11. This paper attempts to analyse Bacceria's (1764) "On Crimes and Punishment" article. In order to do so, the paper firstly summarises the article, highlighting the key issues raised. This is followed by a brief commentary

    If judges were not constrained, or if they desired to frame even a single additional syllogism, uncertainty would occur. Beccaria has stressed the importance of publishing laws and legislations so that the public is aware of what they are and in turn may support their intents and purposes. "Without written laws no society will ever acquire a fixed form of government in which the power is vested in the whole and not in any part of the society (Beccaria 1764:4)".

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  12. A critique of policy or a piece of research - The British Crime Survey.

    Other aims include providing background information on fear of crime among the public and on public contact with the police. Respondents are asked a series of screening questions to establish whether they or their households had been victims of relevant crimes during the one-year reference period. They are then asked a series of very detailed questions about the incidents they reported. Basic descriptive background information on respondents and their household(s) is collected to allow analysis of the sorts of people who do and do not become victims.

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  13. REVISION - CRIME, PUNISHMENT AND PROTEST INTRODUCTION Crime, Punishment and Protest covers a period of more than 2500 years. Although you will not need to remember

    If they did not, various sanctions could be taken to ensure conformity - if serious enough, those who broke rules were expelled from the group. However, as groups were small and the number of rules were few, all members were soon able to learn what they were - even if writing had been invented, there would have been no need to write them down. As societies became larger and more complex, the rules became more formal and set out what were regarded as crimes.

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  14. My hypothesis is 'peoples fears of crime is not justified' I plan to find out if people are more afraid of crime than they should be and whether they are correctly informed about the rates of crime. I will also try

    There is not much that can go wrong with this method of research apart from some newspapers have a habit of giving a biased or prejudiced opinion and you have to be careful with how much of it is true. Books are usually accurate but I will have to make sure it is a fairly recent book so the facts and figures are up to date. * I might try to do an interview, another form of quantitative methodology. I am not sure if I can find any one to inter view but if I can it would be a good method of research because they would be informed on this subject.

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  15. 'Examine developments in biological research into criminality and discuss whether our scientific understanding is sufficiently advanced to permit the safe use of these ideas in society today.'

    According to Havelock Ellis there is a law in medieval England which stated 'if two persons fell under suspicion for a crime, the uglier or more deformed was to be regarded as more probably guilty than the other one. This is unfair. Who can help it for the way they look? Its not there fault they look that way. This is not a safe scientific understanding because people can be mistaken as criminals. Lombroso viewed criminals as suffering from a depravity, to conclude this he experimented with brains of the dead.

    • Word count: 3030
  16. What institutional problems and social concerns were associated with the establishment and rise of the "new police"?

    associated with the establishment of the "new Police", therefore large part of this essay will be about the social concerns, it will show what happened, and why it was a social concern in other words the reasons why, the new police formed and also large part will be about the institutional problems that the new police faced. Also this essay will largely focus on London and the Metropolitan police, this is because it is seen the history of policing began in London by the Metropolitan police.

    • Word count: 3746
  17. My hypothesis I expect to find that the official crime statistics in my area do not reflect the actual crime rate. I expect this because it is obvious that not all crime is reported to the police. Many people do not report crime

    This then supports my hypothesis as this would mean that most crime in my area is not reported. I predict that: . Most crime in my area goes unreported . Most people in my area are victims of petty crime rather than serious crime . Crime statistics in my area will be lower than the national average . Most people will feel that the police could do more to help increase reported crime. Background reading When a crime is reported to the police they may record it.

    • Word count: 3745
  18. Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century

    Charles Booth's analysis of Whitechapel found that 2% of the East End was homeless; 4% were street urchins and the very poor; 12% were poverty stricken, and a disturbing 55% of children died before the age of five. There were also foreigners such as Jews who had fled the Pogroms in Russia and Poles expelled from Prussia. The general law enforcement of the 18th century differed from that of the 19th century. During the 18th century, the law and order was upheld in each parish by means of a parish constable who was not paid for one year and worked in conjunction with the local Justice of Peace.

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  19. Inequalities within the 'Criminal JUSTICE System/Process'

    * The innocent must be acquitted even if this means acquitting some guilty people in the process. A type of criminal justice ideal..as is based on formal objective judgements based upon known rules...Ideal that inequality should not exist. In the next three perspectives we see that subjective judgements can come into play: Crime control: Associated with attitudes if the police * The aim of the criminal court is first and foremost to repress criminal conduct, and is thus a guardian of law and order rather than of impartial justice.

    • Word count: 3538
  20. public law

    One more question was added in 1870. "No great amount of time was spent on the compilation of the statistics of criminals for these three censuses, and the published facts were so brief that even the whereabouts of those for 1850 and 1860 seem not to be generally known," Louis Newton Robinson, an assistant professor of economics at Swarthmore College wrote. (Robinson, 1969, p. 17). In 1880 there was a shift. The census became more in depth, but still little attention was paid to compilation and analysis of judicial criminal statistics.

    • Word count: 3563
  21. How useful are Sociological Theories in explaining crime and the control of crime? Consider the implications for contemporary probation practice?

    The focus of Classicism was on the crime and not the social or physical chrematistics of the offender. It was also based on what Beccaria termed a 'social contract', a contractual relationship between the individual and the state to which individuals within society were bound. He believed that a social contract drawn up by rational people would create 'the greatest happiness for the greatest number' (Rosher 1989, p5) and would mean that, 'individuals would be willing to grant Governments the power to punish to the extent that was necessary to protect themselves from the crimes of others' (Cavadino & Dignan 2002, p46).

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  22. The British Penal System

    Our contradictory and controversial society needs safer and more determined rules to get the complete justice it deserves. There are a number of types of crimes however there are a couple of crimes, which particularly stand out. The first one is called 'White Collar Crime'. White-collar crime is a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his/her occupation, occupations include lawyers, entrepreneurs etc. The common crimes these people commit are corruption, fraud, and involvement in bribery. Crimes may also be committed by companies or governments with deceiving advertising, fraud and the marketing of ineffective or outdated products.

    • Word count: 4298
  23. Offender Profiling Handout

    It has been said that their analysis depended less on psychological insights, and more on base rates, investigative experience, common sense and intuition. Between 1984 and 1991, the FBI Academy ran an offender profiling fellowship for detectives from the USA and abroad. Consequently offender profiling in other countries is based to a greater or lesser extent on the FBI model. The FBI behavioural scientists interviewed s******y motivated murderers and serial rapists in order to determine what type of men committed these types of crime.

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  24. As a government advisor I have been asked by the Minister of Justice to prepare a report identifying policy solutions to crime in Scotland. In the following report I will focus on drugs and alcohol.

    When talking about links between crime and drugs there is generally two schools of thought, according Walters (1994) in the Oxford Handbook3, these are that crime leads to the use of drugs or dependence on drugs leads to criminal activities in order to fund drug taking. Research has shown that most crime related to drugs is non-violent4. This usually involves theft of some description, be it shoplifting or housebreaking. These drug related crimes are estimated to cost the Scottish economy over one billion pounds per year5.

    • Word count: 3250
  25. Critically discuss the practical and ethical difficulties involved when researching White Collar Crime. Give examples of research studies in this field in order to substantiate your arguments.

    HISTORY According to Croall (1997) it is only recently that the term white collar crime has been seriously acknowledged. O'Keefe (1996) claims that back in the days before globalisation those traders that were caught being deviant and not complying with trading standards would be banished from trading. In this day and age there are laws and legislations that attempt to restrict white collar criminal activities from occurring but with today's advanced technology there are many opportunities and legal loop holes that allow deviants to commit such crime, hence the expression "the invisible crime". The acknowledgement of white collar crime has put in to question the way in which crime has been defined in the past.

    • Word count: 3159

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Assess the usefulness of consensus theories for an understanding of crime and deviance in contemporary society.

    "Also a lot of the research carried out on this topic was carried out in the early 19th century therefore research into this topic was very androcentric. As a result it ignores the fact that women also commit crimes which in contemporary society is higher than it was when Merton and Cohen were carrying out their research. Feminists would argue this point along with the point that they ignore the crimes commited by males such as domestic violence, such as sexual abuse, however, Davis' argument that the legalisation of prostitution could hinder domestic violence within the family. In conclusion, although consensus theories are outdated some of the points argued could help develop a more in depth understanding of crime and deviance within contemporary society."

  • Assess the view that ethnic differences in crime rates are the result of the ways in which the criminal justice system operates.

    "As we have seen, official statistics on the criminal justice process show differences between ethnic group. The question is therefore how we explain these patterns. There are two main explanations for ethnic differences in the statistics; Left realisms and the Neo-Marxism. The left realists see the statistics represent real differences in rates of offending. Whereas the Neo-Marxists see the statistics are a social construct resulting from racist labelling and discrimination in the criminal rates of offending. From a left realist perspective, the justice system does not necessarily act on the differences of ethnic minorities but demonstrates a true representation of the rates in offending. On the other hand from a Neo-Marxists view the statistics is just a myth of the social construct and they see that is what the justice system acts on. To an extent, the left realist perspective seems to be valid as it is inane to believe that the ethnic minority community could be the fault of most crimes simply as a result of their race. However, it is also conceivable that their race, religion and ethnicity has a significant contribution ."

  • 'The world today is as furiously religious as ever it was and in some cases more so' to what extent is this statement supported.

    "The statement 'the world today is as furiously religious as ever it was and in some places more so', could be perceived as being true in that some cultures and continents still have religion and religious beliefs high on their agenda, but it could be argued that in European cultures especially, there is a decline in religious values and beliefs, statistics back up both sides at the argument, so it could just fall down to personal beliefs and opinion about the subject matter in hand."

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