Functionalist Theories of Crime

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Functionalist Theories of Crime

  1. 1. Functionalist Theories of Crime
  2. 2. Functionalism Society is made up of ‘building blocks’ - living organism. All parts exist to enable it to work as a whole. Born into an existing system of moral codes which are learned through socialisation. Deviance occurs through social pressures.
  3. 3. Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) Crime is necessary for society. Deviance important to the well-being of society and challenges to established moral and legal laws acted to unify the law-abiding. Fails to recognise causes of crime
  4. 4. Further Functionalist Theories Robert Merton (1938) – crime due to anomie and strain. Using illegal means to achieve material goals. Albert Cohen (1955) – ‘status frustration’. Lower class using illegal means to achieve middle class goals. Cloward and Ohlin (1961) – working class have less opportunity to succeed.
  5. 5. Read P468-472 What are the merits of these theories? Do they explain crime adequately?
  6. 6. Read P468-472 What are the merits of these theories? Do they explain crime adequately?

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