This would suggest that through the labelling theory crime is socially constructed and is only perceived as a crime when society labels it as that. This theory offers evidence as to why some people are labelled as criminals, whilst others who commit the same crime are not. Becker argues that the labelling theory is useful in explaining crime and deviance as it provides evidence as to why some people are seen as ‘criminals’ when a large proportion of society have indeed committed what would be deemed as a criminal act. Cicourel conducted a study on the Metropolitan Police service (MPS) to find out if the procedures and policies they followed influenced the way in which they treated certain people.
Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the usefulness of functionalist approaches in explaining crime. (21 marks) “Crimes are those actions deemed so disturbing to citizens of disruptive to society as to justify state intervention.” Pease (2002). Crime is any act which breaks the laws of society. For example, murder or rape. Deviance, on the other hand, is behaviour which moves away from conventional norms and values such as burping and farting in public.
Criminological Theories of Deviance Kristie Barela American Intercontinental University Criminological Theories of Deviance What are criminological theories? It is understood that criminology is the study of crime, but criminological theories provide us with an explanation of criminal behavior. These theories help one to understand why people commit crime. Social control theory, strain theory, differential association theory, and neutralization theory are just a few examples of sociological theories of crime that will be examined within this paper. Along with a brief description of the criminological theories, an attempt to show how they differ from one another and discussion of one strength and one weakness unique to each theory will be made.
Most, if not all, acts of crime are categorized as deviant behaviour, for example, murder. Deviance is behaviour which drifts away from society’s established norms and values, but is not necessarily perceived as crime, such as queue jumping (Haralambos and Holborn 2009). The functionalist approach to crime and deviance is one of value consensus. They emphasise social stability and collective public values, a ‘collective conscience’. Functionalist define crime and deviance as functional and necessary to society as a whole, with just the right amount of crime to avoid anomie; normlessness.
I will be explaining these theories further in my essay and scrutinizing these theories and presenting its criticisms. Finally I will conclude with my opinion about crime and its causes. First of all, right realism is based on a negative perception regarding human nature. According to right realists, human beings are naturally selfish and greedy. Thus they argue that one of the causes of crime is merely one’s rational choice.
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.
Learning Theory 1 Running Head: Social Learning Theory Social Learning Theory: Unusable, Testable? Deborah Randle Department of Criminal Justice Mississippi Valley State University Submitted In Partial Requirement for CJ560-Seminar in Criminological Theory Professor Frederick Ford Learning Theory 2 Abstract Social Learning theories by Albert Bandura propose that people internalize moral code, through the process of socialization learn behaviors, through interaction with others rather than through development. This paper will explore how aggressive behavior is learned through observing and modeling from other behavior. Also, this paper will explain how human beings reciprocate interaction between cognitive behavior and environmental influences. Learning Theory 3 The social learning theory is the behavior theory most significant to criminology.
According to Sutherland, differential association refers to the principle that criminal acts are related to an individual’s frequent or constant exposure to antisocial attitudes or values. Proposition 1- Criminal behaviour is learnt. The basic argument of differential association is that, like all forms of behaviour, criminal behaviour is learnt from other people, thus eliminating the roles of heredity, human nature and innovation as causes of deviant behaviour. Example: Newly recruited gang member will learn from others how to commit crime – hot wire a car. Proposition 2 – Criminal behaviour is learnt through interaction with other people by means of a process of communication.
The labelling theory see criminal behaviour as being defined by society, it therefore helps to explain why certain behaviour is considered to be negatively deviant to some people, groups and cultures however positively deviant to others. 1.2 Definition The labelling theory was fully developed in 1963 by Howard Becker and it is the view of deviance where a person can become a criminal when labelled as such by society and when they accept the label as a personal identity. The process of labelling is emphasised and deviance is not a state of being but is the outcome of social interaction. 1.3 The social response approach The social response approach focuses on the identity of the delinquents as being defined by society or those with power. In his work “Outsiders” Becker states that “no particular act is inherently deviant unless until a group with socially powerful statuses or position label it as such.” Becker’s contribution can be divided into three segments: • Labelling as a cause of crime • The process of labelling • The typology of deviants 1.3.1 Labelling as a cause of crime According to Becker while developing his theory, some behaviour is perceived as a violation against a society’s cultural norm.
According to Karl, people who commit crimes are helplessness and hopelessness. They are suffering psychological disorders or illnesses (Menninger, 533). If the society really wants to decrease the occurrence of crimes, it should reform the current punishment system and offer proper treatments to the anti-social agents, which is to replace punitive and vengeful attitude with a therapeutic attitude to them. Karl Menninger argues that the consequence of current punishment in society is inconsistent to the purpose of using it. He pointed out that “our system for controlling crime is ineffective, unjust, and expensive (Menninger, 531).