What is anomie and what are the conditions that cause anomie? Anomie is a term in which may be describe as a personal condition resulting from a lack of norms. It also can be referred to the fairly of society to regulate goals of human desire. Anomie can also be observed through different effects that can lead to criminal and deviant behavior such as suicide. Anomic theory is considered a sociological theory that tries to explain the pattern of crimes through macro level of analysis.
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.
Both crime and deviance are violations of social norms (scn.org). There are many theories to explain why people commit crime, but to explain crime as a social construct the theories of Emile Durkheim, Robert Merton and Howard Becker are closely related. Emile Durkheim’s theory of anomie was introduced in his book “The
This helps to define why some individuals with similar strains commit crimes and why others chose legal manners in which they deal with their strains and emotions. General Strain Theory can help to explain any act that is considered deviant by society, and carries with it some sort of punishment, either formally or informally (Agnew, 2006). Failure to achieve
The first explorations of deviance and crime was done by Durkheim who identified two different sides of crime for the functioning of society: positive and negative. According to Durkheim, crime was necessary for society. He argued that the basis of society was a set of shared values that guide our actions, which he named the collective conscience. The collective conscience provides boundarie which distinguishes between actions that are acceptable and those that are not. The problem for any society is that these boundaries are unclear and change over time.
And Secondary Deviance, he suggested, was the idea criminality is a response to being labelled as deviant. The deviant label then becomes the individual’s master status, and the deviance is used as a means of attack, defence or adjustment to the societal reaction to the label/stigma they carry (Lemert, 1951). Social reaction is a fundamental concept in relation to crime, and changing definitions of crime are also evident; over time and between cultures, what gets labelled as a crime has shifted, highlighting cultural variations regarding what society labels as criminal. This reaction to crime may be criminogenic – meaning tending to produce crime or criminality as a result of reaction and labelling, highlighting the extent to which labelling is present in the establishment of criminal identity. Howard Becker developed his theory of labelling - also known as social reaction theory - in the 1963 book Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance.
Perspectives of Social Problems and Social Responsibility Within criminology there has been multiple theories suggested to explain the numerous motives behind why crime exists in our world. The two most central arguments surrounding criminal activity is whether the crime is the individuals fault, or if it is the fault of the society that they grew up in. These views are termed social responsibility and social problems, and will be discussed in this paper along with their respected perspectives that withhold why their view on criminology is the paramount reason on why criminals commit crimes. The view of social responsibilities approach to crime termed by Schmalleger essentially states that crime is an individual responsibility, and in terms of the criminal, victim, and justice system we all play a role within the social aspect of criminal behavior. Although he feels that this way of looking at crime is not fair to the victim or the justice system, but that the media over the years has influenced this way of thinking, giving the conception that certain conditions surrounding when, where, or how the crime took place may be the factor in why it happened in the first place.
The positivist writer Mendelsohn argued that the victim of a crime ‘had an aptitude, although unconsciously, of being victimised’. He stated that victims ‘look, think and act differently’ than non-victims which increases their chances of becoming victims again. However, the positivist approach can be argued to be reductionist as it identifies certain patterns of interpersonal victimisation but ignores wider structural factors influencing victimisation
Once a label is given to an individual they become part of all the generalizations that go with that label (Siegel). For example, someone who has been convicted of a crime might be seen as someone who has no respect for the law. These labels also present a self-fulfilling prophecy. Being identified as a deviant, a person is usually ostracized from conventional social groups, and therefore is forced to become part of less desirable ones (Fitch). Being a member of less desirable social groups will only reinforce that they are a deviant, and increase their chances of engaging in deviant behaviors (O’Conner).
Rather than focusing on social situations, the criminal and deviant act, the interactionists focused on the reaction to the act and its effects on the deviant individual. One main possible criticisms of interactionist theory is that to some extent ignores and privatisation and its effect on crime. Can negative labelling be the only reason that crime is predominantly more in working class area than in middle class ones? The “new criminology” was a radical development of traditional Marxist theory (Young, Walton and Taylor) they attempted to combine the process of labelling with Marxist explanations of social inequality to explain crime. A criticism of both the original interactionists and the new criminology came from the “New Left Realists”