Functionalist approaches to crime By the end of this lesson you should: Be aware of the influence of Emile Durkheim and his concept of anomie in explaining crime. (Grade D) Be familiar with Robert Mertons development of anomie and further contemporary studies using the American dream concept and be able to critically evaluate them (Grade C upwards) Be aware of the link between ethnicity and crime and how it might fit in with anomie. (Grade C upwards) Be critically aware of the strengths and weaknesses of anomie theory as an explanation of crime. Sociology time machine Were going back in time to discuss the Daddy of sociology Emile Durkheim 02/27/2020 Crime and Deviance Chapter 5: Functionalist and Subcultural Theory And his very controversial statement that crime can be a positive thing 2 Functionalist Theory and Crime Emile EmileDurkheim Durkheim (1858-1917, (1858-1917,pictured
picturedleft) left) was was the thefirst firstsociologist sociologist to tostudy studycrime crime and andsignificantly significantly influenced influencedthe the functionalist functionalist theory theory that that would wouldfollow. follow. Durkheim Durkheim saw sawcrime crime as as aa particular particular problem problem of of modernity modernity (the (thetransformation transformation into intoan an industrialised industrialisedsociety) society) He Hefelt felt an anunderstanding understandingof of crime crimeand and deviance deviancewas
was essential essentialin inorder orderto tounderstand understandhow howsociety societyfunctioned. functioned. Key thinker 3 Durkheim and Anomie Emile EmileDurkheim Durkheim developed developedthe theterm term anomie anomieto to explain explain why why some somepeople people became became dysfunctional dysfunctionaland and turned turnedto to crime. crime. Anomie Anomie means meansbeing being insufficiently insufficiently integrated integratedinto intosocietys societys norms norms and and
values. values. Anomie Anomiecauses causes society societyto to become becomeless lessintegrated integrated and andmore more individualistic individualistic Anomie Anomiecauses causes individuals individualsto to look lookout outfor forthemselves themselvesrather rather than thanthe the community. community. 4 Crime and Deviance Can Be Both Positive and Negative Durkheim Durkheim saw sawhigh high levels levels of of crime crimeand anddeviance devianceas asvery very
negative negativefor for society society causing causing uncertainty uncertaintyand anddisruption disruption However, However, aa certain certainamount amount of of crime crimecould could be be viewed viewed positively, positively,helping helpingto to promote promotechange changeand andreinforce reinforce values. values. Crime Crime can can be: be: Normal Normal Universal Universal Functional Functional 5 Beneficial Social Change from Crime and Deviance
Suffragette and Suffragist Movements Rosa Parkes refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a US bus Martin Luther King 6 Crime Linked to Social Change In In times times of of social socialchange change individuals individuals may maybecome becomeunsure unsure of of prevailing prevailingnorms normsand andrules rules They They are areconsequently consequentlymore moreat at risk risk of of breaking breaking them. them. There Thereisis aaweaker weaker collective collective conscience conscienceof of shared
sharedvalues values to toguide guideactions. actions. Durkheim Durkheim saw sawAnomie Anomieexpressed expressednot not just justthrough throughcrime, crime,but but also alsoby by suicide, suicide,marital maritalbreakdown, breakdown,and andindustrial industrialdisputes. disputes. 7 Robert Mertons Strain Theory Robert Robert Merton Merton (1910-2003, (1910-2003, pictured picturedleft) left) regarded regardedthe theconcept concept of of'anomie' 'anomie'as asused used by byDurkheim Durkheim as astoo toovague,
vague, so so he he developed developedits itsmeaning. meaning. As As aa functionalist, functionalist,he herecognised recognised the the importance importanceof of shared shared goals goals and and values valuesof of society society in in the the USA USAparticularly particularly the the American AmericanDream. Dream. But Buthe herecognised recognisedthat that not not everyone everyonehas hasthe thesame same opportunity opportunity to to share share these these
goals goalsand andvalues. values. He Healtered alteredanomie anomieto tomean meanaa society societywhere wherethere there isis aa disjunction disjunctionbetween between goals goalsand and the the means means of of achieving achievingthem. them. Key thinker 8 Merton (Continued) Mertons Mertonstheory theoryisis'structural: 'structural: he he locates locates the thecause causeof of crime crimein in American Americansociety society support
support for for the theAmerican AmericanDream. Dream. Being Beingblocked blockedfrom from success success leads leads to to deviance, deviance, people people adopt adopt illegitimate illegitimatemeans means to toachieve achievethe the goals goalsthey theycannot cannot achieve achievelegitimately. legitimately. E.g. E.g. steal stealcars carsto to fund fundthe theperfect perfect house house 9 Critique of Durkheim Durkheim's Durkheim's work workisisimportant importantfor for offering
offering aa social socialdimension dimensionto to crime. crime. He Helinks links anomie anomie to toaa deregulated, deregulated, more moreindividualistic, individualistic, industrial industrialsociety. society. But But he hecannot cannotexplain explainwhy why some somepeople peopleare aremore more deviant deviant than than others. others. 10 Your task 1. 2. 3. Using the information on the slides and your hand out answer the following: According to Durkheim, what are the four characteristics of crime? In what ways can crime be functional? How does Merton explain crime?
11 Functionalism, outdated? Think again! These studies back up Mertons American dream idea Carl Nightingale (1993) Philip Bourgois (1995) Jock Young (2003) Found Found in in the the sink sink estates estates of of Britain, Britain, satellite satellite dishes, dishes, designer designer prams, prams, appetite appetite for for Hello Hello magazine, magazine, etc. etc. 02/27/2020 Observed how black people avidly consumed Found US culture e.g. widespread designer labels. support amongst black Americans for the American Dream. They dea in drugs to finance it.
Crime and Deviance Chapter 5: Functionalist and Subcultural Theory 12 Travis Hirschi he heargues argueswe weneed need to tounderstand understandwhat what forces forcesmaintain maintain conformity conformity for for most most people peoplein insociety. society. He Heasks asksthe thequestion: question: why whydon't don't more morepeople people commit commit crime crime than than they they do? do? He Hefocuses focuses on onwhat
what keep keepthe the majority majority together together rather ratherthan than the thefactors factors that that drive driveaa minority minority into into deviant deviant behaviour. behaviour. Key thinker 13 Hirschis Bonds of Attachment He Heidentified identifiedfour four bonds bondsof of attachment attachment that thathelp helpbind bindsociety society together: together: Attachment: Attachment: the theextent extent to towhich whichwe wecare careabout about
other other people's people's opinions opinions and anddesires. desires. Commitment: Commitment: the thepersonal personal investment investment we weput putinto intoour our lives; lives; in inother otherwords, words,what what we wehave haveto to lose loseififwe weturn turnto tocrime crimeand andget get caught. caught. Involvement: Involvement: how howintegrated integrated are are we weso sothat that we
weneither neitherhave havethe the time timenor nor inclination inclination to tobehave behavein in aadeviant/criminal deviant/criminalway. way. Belief: Belief: how howcommitted committedare are individuals individuals to to upholding upholding society's society'srules rules and andlaws? laws? 14 e going to work towards writing this essay: ..\year 13\subcultural theory\sub cultural theory poem.docx Yup thats right, evaluation and criticisms from other sociological perspectives, for those all important A02 marks. A good place to start with this is Subcultural theory, which develops from functionalism and tries to do deal with the
problem of non material crime. 02/27/2020 Crime and Deviance Chapter 5: Functionalist and Subcultural Theory 16 Your tasks Read your handout carefully- question the information, check anything you dont understand Be ready to discuss what you have read Challenge: How could we use subcultural theory in a functionalism essay? 02/27/2020 Crime and Deviance Chapter 5: Functionalist and Subcultural Theory 17
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