Compare and contrast any TWO sociological theories and briefly evaluate them
The nature of Crime and deviance, the breaking of social norms and the rejection of social values within society, is something that has fascinated various sociologists for many years. Renowned sociologists such as Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, Max Weber, to name but a few, have researched and developed theories touching on the exploration and understanding of criminal and deviant behaviour within society. This paper identifies and evaluates, a theory developed from a longitudinal study of young adolescent boys called the saints and roughnecks study, carried out by William Chambliss (1978) a conflict theorist and a labelling theory developed by Howard S. Becker an interactionist.
What is crime and deviance? Deviance is behaviour that does not conform to the norms and expectations of society. For a lot people, deviance is a word used only in relation to religious, moral and political norms. A ‘deviant’ is someone who chooses to depart from what is referred to as ‘normal’ moral standards or who deviates from a political or religious environment or institution. From a sociological point of view deviance, however, is viewed from within a much broader perspective taking into consideration deviation from many kinds of social norms, this could be something relatively trivial such as burping or farting in public or something explicitly banned such as murder or rape.
What is crime? Crime or criminal behaviour is deviance or deviant behaviour that is an infraction of the criminal law, otherwise known as law-breaking. Crimes are generally seen by society as very serious and negative forms of deviance, which is why there are laws that ban this type of behaviour and police and judges that help to uphold them. The following definition reflects this view. ‘Crimes are those actions deemed so disturbing to citizens or disruptive to society as to justify state intervention’ (Pease, 2002). This definition...