Being a criminal or deviant could be seen to be a social construct and therefore this may mean that you could question what criminal activity is and whether this social construct is even right since it has been constructed by members of the society. The laws of the society have also constructed the norms and values of society and therefore if someone were to go against that they would be seen to be criminal however, this may differ in other parts of the world because what may be criminal and deviant in our society may be seen to be the norm in another. The labelling theory helps us to understand why people commit crimes and why people end up being deviant within the community. One reason may be that this stereotypical view or pre-judgement enables people to self-fulfil their prophecy and therefore creates criminal for example. Someone who comes from poor background and where’s hoodies does not automatically mean that they could be deviant.
Some police departments, such as New York, implemented the zero tolerance style and claimed that it lowered their crime rates in the mid 1990’s. The police became more arrest-oriented and focused on a more aggressive approach to crime control. They would increase their traffic citations, arrests, and increase their contacts with citizens. However, one of the issues with the zero tolerance style of policing is that it can cause some undue harm to citizens. By being too aggressive, it leads officers to become more suspicious of some people even though they may not deserve it, and can to lead to false arrests or abuse.
Crime helps economy by creating a jobs for law enforcement officers, psychiatrists, probation officers, etc. It also proofs that government does not have full control over USA citizens. By decreasing crime rates in the USA we can improve security of the country and make citizens feel safer, but on the other hand it will decrease work load of the law enforcement. When analyzing crime rates by conflict theory we can notice that conflict theorist believe that
Assess the usefulness of functionalist approaches in explaining crime The functionalist approach to analysing deviance and the causes of crime looks at society as a whole. It explains crime that the source of criminal behaviour lies in the nature of society itself rather than in psychology or biology. Functionalists such as Durkheim see deviance as an inevitable and necessary part of society and too little is unhealthy. Some also consider crime to have positive aspects for society. In this essay we will assess the usefulness of these functionalist theories, and look at how it helps us explain crime.
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.
Outline and Assess functionalists view of crime Functionalism is a consensus structuralism theory, which sees the source of crime and deviance located in the structure of society. Although crime and deviance might be stigmatised in society, some sociologists think it is important to have it occur and there are some benefits to it. This view is seen as the opposite to Marxism, a form of conservative ideology. Marxism sees crime within its general critique of capitalism and functionalists see the positive role crime may have within the social system. Internationalist’s have a similar view to Marxists as they believe in the labelling theory, so there is no such thing as a deviant act, but social institutions create them.
Vandalizing something, will cause all respect to go down. Your reputation will be ruined, People with a bad reputation tend to be hated by just about everyone. You will be turned down from many activities you may want to take part in. Vandalism will also bring down your moral, people will think of you as a criminal, a bad person, or just plain evil. No one has the right to steal/damage property that doesn’t belong to them.
“Deviance is a normal and necessary part of any society” (Durkheim). Terrorism, Poverty, Unemployment, Drug abuse, Governments, Child abuse and Neglect are all of these social problems? Sociology tells us that our experiences are often caused by social forces. Social problems can account for two elements to be shown as problem, it must be looped to a social situation involving people in society. Crime can only be a social problem if it breaks rules in the social system.
Rules are what society is made of, without them people would not see themselves as in a society. Rules insure that people who think they are above or exempt from society are contained, such as if you murder someone you are arrested, for the good of society. Of course not all these rules work and are not upheld properly but overall they are made to keep society together and for the good of the people. The people who inforce them may be unjust and cruel but without societies rules these are the people that might be running things since they seek to dominate people. This is why we would have anarchy without societies rules and why they are in place.
People being labelled (negatively) will always be affected according to their label, and society plays an important role in the labelling process. In the next few paragraphs the contribution of Becker as an exponent of the labelling perspective will be discussed along with the process of labelling and the typology of deviants. Labelling as a cause of crime According to the Study Guide (The explanation of crime), Becker shortly discussed the way different sets of rules affect the theory of labelling as a cause of crime while developing his theory. This labelling theory, also known as the societal reaction theory does not only define deviants, it can also make them. When someone is labelled an offender they are forced by society to live according to this label which could minimise their chances of being law abiding citizens and limit their chances of finding decent jobs.