Functionalist Theory

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Functionalist Theory

  1. 2. <ul><li>Durkheim’s study of suicide showed how the seemingly individualistic decision to take one’s own life was due to social and economic issues </li></ul><ul><li>In this way Durkheim was able to show how social factors explained individual and group action such as crime </li></ul><ul><li>Durkheim’s ideas were significant because they moved the emphasis away from factors with the individual as Lombroso suggested to the social </li></ul><ul><li>Durkheim suggested as external social forces caused suicide, then external forces could also cause recidivism </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>Durkheim viewed crime as a social fact-a feature of societies, not of individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Durkheim noted that crime was endemic in all societies and therefore saw crime as having positive social function </li></ul><ul><li>This he reasoned was because society needed positive deviation and therefore negative deviation was inevitable </li></ul><ul><li>Crime is a positive aspect of society as it helps produce a moral consensus in society </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>Therefore crime helps establish a social consensus about what is right and wrong in society </li></ul><ul><li>Crime establishes a ‘collective conscience’ about what is and isn’t criminal/deviant behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore crime has a positive function as it establishes and maintains a social consensus </li></ul><ul><li>By CThompson [email_address] </li></ul>

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