Assess Functionalist Approaches to the Study of Crime and Deviance Functionalists such as Emile Durkheim, Robert Merton and Albert Cohen all attempt to explain the nature and extent of crime in today’s society. In essence, Functionalists argue that society is based on value consensus and social solidarity which is sustained via socialisation and social control mechanisms within society. Emile Durkheim states that whilst crime is obviously a social negative with the ultimate power to destabilise society, he stands by the claim that crime is inevitable, universal, and integral to a healthy society and even having positive benefits. He claims that crime occurs in society due to two fundamental reasons; firstly, not everyone is effectively socialised to the same norms and values which leads to people being prone to deviation and secondly, due to the diverse lifestyle and subcultures in contemporary society, subcultures act out different norms and values and what members of that subculture regard as normal, mainstream culture may deem it as deviancy. The Functionalist approach to the study of crime states that crime has two positive functions for society.
Durkheim expands on this saying we are aware of these boundaries following social reactions to deviance. This is a strength to Durkheim's theory as people are able to know the boundaries in their shared norms and values, possibly limiting crime. However, it doesn’t explain why some people commit crimes and others do not. He also speaks of how crime creates social integration as it bonds people together against criminals. Like the item says, 'functionalist sociologists focus on how far individuals accept the norms and values of society.'
Assuming that young, petty lawbreakers may be deterred from braking laws, simply by introducing the possibility of a public flogging, has some flaws to it. Jacoby neglected to bring up, what I would call the perfect argument to this topic. People who already intentionally commit crimes in today’s American society are fully aware of the possible repercussions for their actions. Despite this knowledge they continue to commit crimes that could land them in jail. I could argue that even more crime could result in effect to fewer prisonable offences and more humane forms of corporal punishment.
The ‘broken windows’ hypothesis suggests that maintaining order through the management of minor offenses is an essential function of public police (Wilson & Kelling, 1982). In their article, Wilson and Kelling argue that if minor instances of crime and disorderly behavior are not addressed, more serious forms of disorder and increased levels of crime will follow. “Disorder and crime are usually inextricably linked, in a kind of developmental sequence,” (Wilson & Kelling, 1982). This hypothesis was based on the findings from observations of foot patrol officers managing the occurrences of disorder on their beats, and led the authors to suggest that in order to combat crime, police must refocus their efforts on neighborhood disorder. The concept of ‘broken windows’ is appealing to police departments attempting to reduce crime and restore order in their communities.
Conclusion A. Compare and Contrast B. Improvements to Analyze C. Summarization of Both Theories Criminologist Attempt to Understand Criminal Behavior by Constructing Theories of Crime The study of criminology is one of the most important parts of the criminal justice field. Criminology is an” integrated approach to the study of the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior” (Siegel, 2010 ). The main objective of criminology is to find possible causes of crime and deviance; which will help in the decline of crime within society.
There punishment needs to be in proportion to the crime that was committed. Deterrence is the philosophy of a way of preventing crimes by threatens a punishment. With this philosophy society is making a statement, they are setting an example that certain actions will not be tolerated. Incapacitation is the philosophy that preventing crime by detaining wrongdoers in prison. This is taking them out of society and reducing their ability to commit any other crimes.
I am having dubious feelings for the success of the geomapping of offender residences idea. The GIS applications enable the crime agencies and the society and as a result, they would be having more knowledge on criminals and statistics and visual depiction serve as a good benchmark for mapping crime and criminal preferred location. Due to which, in my judgment, sex offenders will look for isolated places due to the presence of the geomapping implementation. But, this in turn, would also be beneficial for the criminals to carry out crime activities within least mapped areas. Also, technology and managerial efforts’ failures are conceivable and it can be crucial in certain circumstances.
Essentially, the police will base their use of assets in a manner to reduce crime by building ties within the community and having a presence in neighborhoods. This can be an effective method because many argue that seeing the police in an area a majority of the time deters criminals from acting in those areas. A downfall of the COP theory is that political influence can force a department to pool resources in an area where crime is not as prevalent in order to keep good relations with a major tax base. Often times the poorer neighborhoods do not feel as though they are receiving enough of a police presence. The contingency theory is based on the approach to achieve specific goals, such as crime control.
This implies that if disorderly behaviors in public places such as petty vandalism, begging, vagrancy, prostitution, drug dealing, loitering and murder are regulated then a significant drop in serious crime will follow. The Broken Windows Theory was applied to Times Square in New York City which is an example of success. Times Square was once overwhelmed with crimes including prostitution and illegal street activities amongst others. Due to these implications the area began to fall apart. From the concept that maintaining order will help prevent crime, Times Square was able to convert from an awful state of being to a pleasant one.
It assumes that individuals are fearful of punishment. As a result, attaching punishment(s) to crimes is the surest way of preventing crime. The Theory also concludes that the punishment must be proportional to the crime, a concept commonly called marginal deterrence. More serious offenses, such as rape,