A2 SOCIOLOGY – CD FUNcTIONALIST PERSPECTIVES OF CRIME
LEARNING OUTCOMES OF THE TOPIC • You will be able to ... • Identify and define the functionalist perspectives on crime including the functions of crime, • Identify and define the concept of strain and its role in explaining deviance, • Identify and define the differences between different strain and subcultural theories, • Apply and evaluate the functionalist, strain and subcultural theories of crime and deviance
What do you think ? How could the functionalist perspectives be applied to crime?
A quick introduction... • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU-nWtmXnKE What key messages can be identified from the video ?
Durkheim functionalist theory • Functionalism sees society as based on value consensus thus seeing its members sharing a culture, • Culture can be summarise by a set of values and norms which help create social solidarity thus binding individuals together, • In order to achieve social solidarity 2 processes must occur: • Socialisation, • Social control
Inevitability of crime What can you make of the title? Justify your answer
Inevitability of crime • Functionalist on one hand see crime as destabilising to society but for Durkheim (1893) crime was seen as inevitable an integral part of all healthy societies, • Durkheim believed that they were two specific reasons why crime and deviance are found in all societies: • Not everyone is equally socialised into the shared norms and values, • The diversity of lifestyles and values in modern and complex societies means different groups might develop their own subcultures with distinctive norms and values
Inevitability of crime • Durkheim believes that in modern societies there is a general tendency towards anomie or normalness, • Anomie is when the rules governing behaviour become weaker and less clear cut, • Anomie can be explained through the complexity of the division of labour which leads individuals becoming increasingly different from one another, • This diversity means that the shared culture or collective conscience is weakened and this results in higher levels of crime and deviance.
Positive functions of crime Can you think of any positive functions to crime ?
Boundary maintenance • Crime produces a reaction from society uniting its members in condemnation of the wrong doer and reinforcing their commitment to the shared norms and values. • i.e. – crackdown on downloading or sexual offences against children, • Durkheim believed that this explains the concept of punishment by reaffirming society’s shared rules and reinforce social solidarity.
Adaptation and change • Durkheim believes that all change starts with an act of deviance, • Deviance can be seen as a way change existing norms and values which will initially be seen as deviant , • i.e. - the hippy movement back in the 60s-70s was initially seen as deviant due to their openness to sex, love, and drug taking
Adaptation and change continued ... • Durkheim also believed that neither high nor low level of crime is desirable as each of those signals a malfunctioning society: • Too much will eventually tear the bonds of society apart (terrorism), • Too little means that society is repressing and controlling its members too much stifling individual freedom and preventing change
Other functions of crime ... • Davis (1961) – argues that prostitution for example acts as a safety valve for the release of men's frustration, • Polsky (1967) – argues that pornography safely channels a variety of desires away from the alternatives such as adultery, • Cohen (1955) – argues that deviance acts as a warning that an institution is not functioning properly, • Erikson (1966) – believes that the belief that there is a positive function to society means that society is organise in order to accommodate crime and deviance
Have a think .... How could you criticise the functionalist perspective of crime and deviance?
````` ` 11111111111 ww w1111111111111111111111111111111111111111Criticism ````` ` 11111111111 ww w1111111111111111111111111111111111111111Criticism • Durkheim fails to offer any way of knowing how much is the right amount of needed deviance, • Functionalist believe in crime and deviance as having a function it doesn't actually mean that society will create CD in order to strengthen solidarity, • The functionalist fail to look at the way it might affect others
Homework • In preparation for next lesson read the article by Merton on the Strain Theory and the concept of Anomie. • Make sure you summarise the article by noting down in a bullet point format the key points of the articles • You must consider the aim of the article, the message that the author is bringing across and the conclusions made by the author
Recipe Time Students have to write a recipe of the lesson (or their learning). Can be a good way to narrativize the lesson and so help recall. Could develop by asking for a dramatic (or genre-specific) recipe of the lesson