Therefore the law did not resolve conflicting interests but imposed the interests of one group over another. While this can still happen today it seems that the law does try hard to make sure everyone is satisfied and everyone’s interests are accounted for. Rudolf von Jhering said that the law is the main way of ordering society, his views was that the rights of the majority should take precedence over the individual. He said that society is made up of conflicting interests that cannot all be satisfied and that the role of the law was to balance them out so the individual conformed to the needs of society. Roscoe Pound said that interests are both individual and social and that conflicts are only resolved through considering them on the same level.
This is the main question asked in control theories. “Rather than asking the typical criminological question, “What makes people criminal?” these theorists share a conviction that deviant behavior is to be expected. What must be explained, they say, is “why people obey rules” (Williams & McShane, 2010, p. ). What I’ve understood from all of this is that society has placed certain constraints and rules upon each citizen and we are to live our lives according to said rules. When we break or deviate from any rule, no matter how minor it is, then we are committing acts of criminal behavior.
One subculturalist that believes crime is a collective activity is Albert Cohen. Cohen argues that crime is a collective response to strain. Individuals join together and form a subculture to cope with the feelings of strain. Strain is the gap between society’s goals and legitimate means of achieving them. But due to poor educational achievement and low paid manual work they are unable to gain these goals.
Outline and assess functionalist explanations for crime and deviance (50marks) When regarding crime and deviance, there is on-going debate between Functionalists, Marxists and Interactionists. Functionalism is a structural approach that sees human behaviour as shaped by external factors and is a consensus theory whereby it sees society as built by shares values that maintain order, this has influenced approaches such as Right Realism. Functionalist such as Durkheim and Merton view social structure within society as an explanation of crime and deviance rather than the circumstances of the individual. On the contrary, Interactionists hold an interpretivist approach and believes that the explanation of crime and deviance is due to how we label individuals and how those individuals live up to their self-fulfilling prophecy. Whereas, Marxists believe that capitalism creates potential criminals.
Criminal justice as rational is a perspective of the criminal justice system that adopts the utilitarian belief that human beings are reasonable and rational creatures. A utilitarian study means that everything is valuable; it has a utility or useful purpose, (Gorkoff, Personal Communication October 2012.) Jeremy Bentham focuses on the principles of utility. In his writing, ‘An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation,’ he shows that people have two measures of action; ones that determine pain and those that bring pleasure, both governments and individuals consider these actions when creating, maintaining, enforcing and following laws, (Gorkoff, Personal Communication October 2012.) Bentham states that; “pleasures then, and the avoidance of pains, are the ends which the legislator has in view,” (Bentham, pg 106), meaning that crime and action are determined by the end goal of whether it brings pleasure or pain to the individual.
they believe in shared values and consensus in society and talk about the march of progress which is that everything is getting better. The founding father of sociology, Durkheim who is a functionalist tries to explain the causes and extent of deviance in society as well as Merton who puts forward his strain theory. Durkheim believed that crime is necessary, inevitable and functional for society so much that without it society wouldn’t function without a certain amount of crime. However, he does recognise that too much crime is bad for society and causes it to be dysfunctional and break down. He therefore says the amount of crime is the important factor.
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.'
The main objective of criminology is to find possible causes of crime and deviance; which will help in the decline of crime within society. Criminologists understand that there is a difference between deviance and crime; however, deviance is the beginning stages to a life of crime. Deviance is defined as the
When we consider theories that are most applicable to the idea of a social institution and how they may apply to organized crime or criminal behavior in generally it is important to consider at least two theories. The Rational Choice Theory and the Theory of Differential Association are two theories that attempt to allow us to gain insight as to how social institution can not only be responsible for creating organized crime but also allude to criminal behaviors and allow us to see how individuals can come to a decision to choose their live their life in this fashion. Rational theory believes organized crime groups can make rational decisions when pertaining to crime and the groups know right from wrong and possess free will. The rational theory believes in harsher penalty and quicker approach when it comes with dealing with criminals. The rational theory offenders discover that committing a crime was not worth it.
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.