Assess the usefulness of functionalism in explaining crime in society today
Functionalism was the first major sociologist approach to crime and deviance however this could mean that maybe functionalists view on crime and deviance is outdated in today’s society. Functionalists take a structural view of crime they also believe that a certain level of crime and deviance is dysfunctional and a threat to social order but integral to a healthy society. However functionalists do not tell us what the perfect amount of crime is therefore it may not be seen as useful in society today.
Durkheims theory that crime has four characteristics does relate to society today, these four c characteristics are. Inevitable which is in modern society we have complex specialised divisions of labour which leads to individuals becoming less integrated and more individualistic. Universal is that crime exists everywhere, relative is that different crimes vary in society e.g in countries such as Dubai there laws are different to the U.K and lastly functional is that a limited amount of crime can benefit society e.g terrorism. Durkheims theory is useful as it still can be related to today’s society it also explains crime however doesn’t show a solution to crime.
Durkeheim also argues that all social change begins with an act of deviance for example the suffragette movement broke the law in order to highlight gender inequalities along with Martin Luther King who had to break the law in order to fight for black rights. This is useful in today’s society as we still see wars in places like Gaza fighting for rights and change. For example the wars and killing people are the act of deviance but this is to fight to have a positive outcome.
On the other hand many sociologists would argue that functionalists theory on explaining crime in society today is outdated. Many would argue that functionalists do not consider crimes that we have in todays society for example cyber crimes like fraud...