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Functionalism, Crime and Deviance   1. The Normative Approach       2. Durkheim’s F.I.N.
The ‘normative’ approach•   Functionalism provides a normative    definition of crime and deviance.•   That means – it is ...
Sociological Implications•   If there are core values in    society it has implications for    how crime and deviance is  ...
Crime is Functional•   Crime is functional for society.•   Boundaries of acceptable    behaviours are made known by    the...
Crime is Inevitable• It is impossible for everyone  to be equally committed to  the norms and values to  society.• “Even i...
Crime is Normal•   There is no society where there    is no crime.•   Abnormal levels of crime occur    in times of social...
Functionalism evaluated 1•   Demonstrates the useful purpose    served by crime (ie highlights    inconsistencies within t...
Functionalism evaluated 2•   Does not explain individual    motivations and why only some    people commit crime.•   It as...
Robert K. Merton•   Durkheim’s analysis is a fundamental    influence on Merton’s Social Structure    and Anomie (1949) th...
Robert K. Merton•   Durkheim’s analysis is a fundamental    influence on Merton’s Social Structure    and Anomie (1949) th...
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Functionalism

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  • Durkheim argued that too much crime is bad for society, it would result in Anomie. However all societies need a little crime to fulfill three important Functions ( F.I.N. is a mnemonic – crime is Functional-Inevitable-Normal ). Use medical injections to help in explanation – doctors reduce the chances of a person getting a disease by injecting a diluted/weakened type of it into the person to boost their immune system. – Link this idea to Durkheim’s Organic Analogy – Biological
  • What core values are evident in society? How many/which ones can you name? Look at the headlines (News of the world I think) – how many ‘deviant’ issues are in it? Which headline issue do you feel is most deviant? Why? Marxists and interactionists take a ‘RELATIVISTIC ’ approach – society based on diverse NOT shared values – competition/conflict not consensus etc.. Core values – a myth?
  • Can you think of any other examples? eg teenage gangs and stabbings, religious fundamentalism and terrorism etc… Why do such ‘themes’ constantly make the headlines? Link media headlines with social construction of news
  • Who was Sarah Payne? What happened? Can you think of any other examples of horrific crimes? How did they make you feel when you heard about them? Did you discuss them with your family/friends? – Link to A02 points regarding application of sociological knowledge.
  • What is a Utopia? What does it mean to you? Describe your utopia. Is a crime free society a reality? Why/Why not?
  • Use looting in recent Haiti disaster as an example. Why do you think this happens? Breakdown of social norms and values? People lose their ‘moral compass’ as their society goes through rapid social change. Employ their own rules, not the rules laid down by society – survival of the strongest?
  • Use riots to explain point 1 – are people who take part in riots ‘natural’ criminals? Do riots happen because of some deep rooted social injustice – eg racism? See UK and 1970’s 80’s race riots (Handsworth, Toxteth etc..) N Ireland and riots – only choice left for people to express anger/frustration etc? Anti Capitalism protesters riots/protests etc..
  • What motivates individuals to commit crimes – crimes of passion etc.. Does UK laws on cannabis ‘criminalise’ Rastafarians? - cannabis used as religious experience? What are the implications of the Uk’s anti terror laws? How are they being used/misused and by whom?
  • Who was Merton? Coined terms such as self fulfilling prophecy and role model. What do you think the American dream is? Anyone read Miller’s Death of a Salesman? (eng lit students?) Why do black rappers wear so much bling?? – Legacy of (rejecting) poverty associated with slavery? Living the (American) dream?? Cos it looks good???
  • Transcript of "Functionalism"

    1. 1. Functionalism, Crime and Deviance 1. The Normative Approach 2. Durkheim’s F.I.N.
    2. 2. The ‘normative’ approach• Functionalism provides a normative definition of crime and deviance.• That means – it is action which consists of a violation of social norms.• It presents an image of society in which exist shared norms and values. The deviant is the person who breaks these shared norms and values.• Fundamental to the functionalist philosophy is the idea that society is underpinned by consensus.• Durkheim claims that society shares a set of ‘core values’ (ie the collective conscience).• The more behaviour deviates from these core values the more likely such behaviour is seen as ‘deviant’
    3. 3. Sociological Implications• If there are core values in society it has implications for how crime and deviance is researched and studied.• Using this model, sociologists must explain why only some people act in a deviant manner.• It focuses on how dysfunctional behaviour within social institutions (family, education mass media, religion etc..) make some people into criminals/deviants - people who conform have been ‘properly socialised’.
    4. 4. Crime is Functional• Crime is functional for society.• Boundaries of acceptable behaviours are made known by the arrest of those who transgress/break the rules.• Strengthens social bonds between people and reaffirms values when they are drawn together by horrific crimes.• Public opinion on crime acts like a gauge and can cause change in the law (eg Megan’s law-USA and Sarahs Law-UK)
    5. 5. Crime is Inevitable• It is impossible for everyone to be equally committed to the norms and values to society.• “Even in a society of saints a distinction would be made between what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.”• “Because there are differences between people, there will always be those who step over the boundary of acceptable behaviour.”
    6. 6. Crime is Normal• There is no society where there is no crime.• Abnormal levels of crime occur in times of social upheaval – the power of the collective conscience is weakened and a state of anomie develops as people look after their own interests rather than respecting their neighbours.• Individualism can therefore be seen as a source of crime andor deviance.
    7. 7. Functionalism evaluated 1• Demonstrates the useful purpose served by crime (ie highlights inconsistencies within the social structure, reinforces the collective conscience etc..)• Offers an explanation that emphasizes a social (as opposed to a physiological/psychological) dimension to crime.• Explains the reason for unhealthy levels of crime which could be altered by social engineering (eg introducing new laws, governmental policies etc..).• Avoids biological/psychological theories which refer to ‘sick’ individuals.
    8. 8. Functionalism evaluated 2• Does not explain individual motivations and why only some people commit crime.• It assumes harmony and that the law reflects the interests of the majority, in doing so it ignores the issue of power (ie who has it and who hasn’t)• Over emphasis on the degree of consensus in society.• May result in a pessimistic approach regarding the control of crime (more laws, stricter policing, harsher sentencing etc…)
    9. 9. Robert K. Merton• Durkheim’s analysis is a fundamental influence on Merton’s Social Structure and Anomie (1949) theory.• AKA Strain to Anomie Theory• Argues that crime and deviance is caused by the inter-relationship between: (1) The cultural goals set by society (eg acquisition of money, wealth, status, power in western/capitalist society)(2) The chances and means of achieving such goals.(3) Mertons theory highlights the inconsistencies in the American Dream ideology. (4) * For your next sociology class: research and be able to explain what the American dream is.
    10. 10. Robert K. Merton• Durkheim’s analysis is a fundamental influence on Merton’s Social Structure and Anomie (1949) theory.• AKA Strain to Anomie Theory• Argues that crime and deviance is caused by the inter-relationship between: (1) The cultural goals set by society (eg acquisition of money, wealth, status, power in western/capitalist society)(2) The chances and means of achieving such goals.(3) Mertons theory highlights the inconsistencies in the American Dream ideology. (4) * For your next sociology class: research and be able to explain what the American dream is.
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