Durkheims Functionalist Theory

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Durkheim’s functionalist theory -Functionalists see society as based on value consensus (members of society sharing common culture). -Culture: Set of shared norms (rules), values, beliefs and goals shared culture produces social solidarity and binding people together. -Functionalists argue there are two mechanisms needed for society to achieve solidarity: Socialisation: instils the shared culture into its members ensuring we internalise the same norms and values, and meet society’s requirements. Social control: mechanisms include both + & - rewards for conformity and deviance, ensuring we behave the way society expects. The inevitability of crime -Functionalists see too much crime as destabilising society; they also see crime as inevitable and universal. They believe that every society has some level of crime and deviance and a crime-free society is a contradiction in terms -Durkheim- views”crime is normal...an integral part of all healthy societies” -Two reasons crime& deviance are found in all societies: *Not everyone is equally socialised into shared norms and values, so some will be prone to deviate. *In complex modern societies, different groups develop their own subculture with distinctive norms and values so what the members of the subculture regard as normal, mainstream culture may see as deviant. -Durkheim’s –In modern society there is a tendency towards anomie (normlessness) whereby the rules governing behaviour become weaker and less clear-cut ,because modern societies have complex division of crime on of labour ,leading to individuals becoming different from each other, -This diversity means that shared culture or collective conscience is weakened, resulting in higher levels of crime and deviance, e.g. Durkheim sees anomie as a major cause of suicide in modern societies. The positive functions of crime -Durkheim believes crime

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