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Functionalist Theories of Crime and Deviance

In: Social Issues

Submitted By sophiejames31
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Emile Durkheim: 1. C+D is functional
Durkheim believed that a certain amount of c+d could be positive for society.
-Necessary to generate social change – innovation only arises when old ideas are challenged.
-Helps to clarify the boundaries of acceptable behaviour following social reactions to deviance eg drugs.
-Creates social integration as it bonds society together against criminals eg 9/11 and 7/7. 2. C+D is dysfunctional
Durkheim believed that crime and deviance also acts as a threat to society. This is because the norms and values that ‘unite’ society are being challenged, thus threatening consensus, social order and stability. 3. Cause of C+D
Durkheim believed that C+D occurred as a result of anomie (normlessness). He believed that this could occur during periods of rapid social change eg revolutions when people become unsure of what society’s norms and values are. 4. Social order and social control
Durkheim believed that there’s an agreement/consensus over norms and values, resulting in social order and stable societies. He believed that this was due to social control, a positive thing, creating social cohesion.
He believed social control was achieved by agencies who socialise individuals into norms and values by integrating them into school, instilling core norms and values.
Religion binds people together during times of happiness and sadness, and regulates behaviour.
Parsons argued that sickness may be deviant as it can de-stabilise society. He thus sees the medical profession as performing important social control, minimising illegitimate/deviant sickness.
Durkheim Evaluation- Strengths | Weaknesses | * Durkheim has generated much research and influence over sociological theories on C+D eg control theories. Thus suggesting his ideas have made a major contribution to the study of C+D. |...

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