Assess the View That Crime Is Functional, Inevitable and Normal.

368 Words2 Pages
The first explorations of deviance and crime was done by Durkheim who identified two different sides of crime for the functioning of society: positive and negative. According to Durkheim, crime was necessary for society. He argued that the basis of society was a set of shared values that guide our actions, which he named the collective conscience. The collective conscience provides boundarie which distinguishes between actions that are acceptable and those that are not. The problem for any society is that these boundaries are unclear and change over time. While a certain, limited amount of crime may perform positive functions for society, according to Durkheim, too much crime has negative consequences. His most well known concept was that of 'anomie', which has been widely used in sociology. According to Durkheim, society is based on people sharing common values which form the basis for actions. However, in periods of social change, people may be freed from the social control by collective conscience and start to look after their own self need rather than following social values. Durkheim's concept of anomie was later developed by Merton who argued that Durkheim's idea was too uncertain. Merton argued that anomie was a situation where the socially approved goals of society were not available to a substantial proportion of the population if they followed socially approved means of obtaining these goals. Merton's strain theory shows five different forms of behaviour which are understood as a strain between goals and means. These are conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion. Hirschi looks at why people do not commit crimes and looks into why don't more people commit crime then they do, he identified four bonds of attachments that help bind society together: Attachment, commitment, involvement and belief. These forces maintain conformity for most
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