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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. Free essay

    Theory of Utility

    Any action, which conforms to the principle of utility, is that when "the tendency to augment the happiness of the community is greater than any it has to diminish it.2" At this point one may argue that happiness varies from person to person; it is a subjective quality. Although this is a valid criticism of utilitarianism as a whole we shall first examine how this consequentialist theory is applied to the criminal justice system. Jeremy Bentham proceeds to apply the utility principle to the legal system and provides a justification for punishment.

    • Word count: 2005
  2. Crime prevention in sittingbourne

    The approaches to prevent crimes are varied. There are methods that have been put in place before a crime is committed and an example of this is anti-graffiti paint which is applied to clean surfaces to prevent future marking, particularly by spray paint and crayon. I think, and I'm sure others would agree, that this paint is a great idea, as it does not affect anyone, due to it being just like normal paint. A recent campaign to prevent knife crime has been working well, with knife amnesty bins outside police stations, collecting knifes from people with no questions asked, which I think has been one of the best ideas the police have come up with.

    • Word count: 664
  3. jack the ripper - law and order

    The army supported the police in dealing with riots. However the Met weren't expected to solve crimes such as murder. Confusion over the role of the army and the police lead to efforts to distance the Met from the army. The British people weren't fond of the army because of the violent methods they dealing with riots. Met changed their uniform to blue because it was worn by the navy who were seen as national heroes. The police force dismissed the use of defence weaponary. The Met's reputation at the time was bad.

    • Word count: 839
  4. 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.

    • Word count: 1824
  5. 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)

    • Word count: 1957
  6. 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.

    • Word count: 1850
  7. 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)

    • Word count: 3432
  8. 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.

    • Word count: 1120
  9. 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".

    • Word count: 3290
  10. Using the seminar case study material consider to what extent train crashes such as Hatfield, Paddington and Potters Bar should be seen as examples of White Collar crime.

    White-collar crime; however, can have more of an impact than violent crimes. The victim of a violent crime can recover were as the victim of fraud for example can have endless impact. Bribery, computer crime, abuse of power, false statements, fraud, obstruction of justice, racketeering and tax crimes are all white collar crimes. There are a number of characteristics of white collar crimes. Only some of these characteristics make the defining of whether something is criminal or not difficult. White collar crime is often open to endless discussion and debate.

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    In the same way definitions of crime can change over time e.g. homosexuality used to be criminal offence in Britain and now is perfectly acceptable in society. Different theories have different perspectives on crime. Some say it can have positive effects on society and some say these effects are negative. I will be focusing on the functionalists ideas on crime. The main functionalist ideas are that all members of society share the same values and similar goals. They also believe in a value consensus which is that social institutions work together to create a harmonious society.

    • Word count: 817
  12. How had Policing and Crime Changed by the Middle of the 19th Century?

    At the beginning of the 19th century new methods of policing began to be tried out. In 1805 two magistrates made a breakthrough in policing. John Fielding and his brother Henry were based in Bow street and realised more men were needed to fight crime. Their new ideas included, a horse patrol of 54 men to stop highwaymen. A team of thief-takers who patrolled London called the Bow Street Runners. They also started a newspaper called the Hue and Cry which contained information about criminals and crimes so the public could help. The idea of a full time police force was still being met by strong opposition during the early 1800s, this was because of a

    • Word count: 678
  13. 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)

    • Word count: 1457
  14. 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)

    • Word count: 1222
  15. Why women commit more crime?

    So what has sparked this sudden upswing in crime by women? Sociologists and criminal justice experts say that women's disproportionately high rate of poverty, women's increased access to areas of crime formerly dominated by males, and the overall increase of violence and crime are some possible explanations for the surge. "Women still lag behind men significantly in terms of their numbers in prison," Dr. Chishom says. They are a small fraction of the nearly 1.9 million total adults incarcerated. "But the most significant thing is that crime accelerated at a greater percentage among women than for men in the same reporting period," Chishom adds.

    • Word count: 822
  16. An analysis of the methods used to effectively tackle crime

    and give participants a chance to use there time creatively rather than being up to no good. * Teenagers Education By tackling crime through an educational sense and as citizens between the age of 16-24 are more likely to be a victim of crime using and developing there 'young' minds gives a ******** * Primary school * Teenagers Security In this day and age local authorities and housing associations in more and more areas tend to be 'up dating' there properties e.g. offering CCTV, putting up more fences and introducing intercom systems etc and this is because by doing so acts as a deter to anybody considering committing a crime.

    • Word count: 852
  17. What arguments have been put forward to explain the relatively low crime rates of some societies?

    Switzerland's capital city Geneva is relatively small, compared with the cities of New York and London, both of which have comparatively high crime rates. There are no 'slums' in Switzerland, as typically associated with the 'inner city'. Clinard (1978) proposed that this slower process of urbanization could contribute to its low crime rates. At the risk of generalizing and stereotyping, generally, lower classes make up a large proportion of conventional crime, because in the inner city are concentrated the worst housing, highest unemployment, the greatest number of poorer people and consequently the highest crime rates (Heidensohn 1989).

    • Word count: 2681
  18. 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.

    • Word count: 1949
  19. 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.

    • Word count: 1259
  20. 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)".

    • Word count: 3294
  21. There is a need in the community for a drastic reduction of crime. Such technologies that can be used to cut this problem down can be found in the Data Capture and Control and Monitoring categories.

    Too much crime is being committed and therefore there is a higher need for crime reduction in Brent. In recent years, there have been about 1540 accident casualties per annum on the roads in the Borough of Brent. Each of these casualties represents a personal tragedy for someone, and many could have been avoided by greater care. Accidents also result in an enormous economic cost to the community. Right now there are a lot of road accidents; therefore I think we need to have a reduction in road accidents. Interviewing people in areas around schools, I have learnt that children feel that there is too little road crossing areas and that areas around schools aren't fitted with road humps which may encourage drivers to keep speeding around these areas.

    • Word count: 2896
  22. 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

    • Word count: 1461
  23. 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.

    • Word count: 3215
  24. Functionalist accountDurkheim argues that crime is a universal feature of all societies. This is because crime serves a vital social function. Through the punishment of offenders, the moral boundaries of a community

    Humans then don't just identify differences, they also evaluate them: good/bad, normal/abnormal, natural/unnatural. (Giddens (2001), p. 200) Another argument put forward by Durkheim, is that crime can have a positively beneficial role in social evolution. Individuals, who anticipate necessary adjustments of social morality to changing conditions, may be stigmatised as criminals at first. Crime is the precondition and the proof of a society's capacity for flexibility in the face of essential change. In Some societies, the crime rate may become pathological and as such, this indicates a society that is sick, which means that it is suffering from social disorganisation.

    • Word count: 2496

    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

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