Piliavin and Briar found that police decisions to arrest a youth were mainly based on physical cues, from which they made judgements about the youth's character. Officers' decisions were also influenced by the suspect's gender, class, and ethnicity, as well as by time and place. Aaron Cicourel found that officers' typifications led them to concentrate on certain 'types'. This resulted in law enforcement showing a class bias, in that working class areas and people fitted the police typifications most closely. In turn, this led police to patrol working class areas more intensively, resulting in more arrests and confirming their stereotypes.
Like the item says, 'functionalist sociologists focus on how far individuals accept the norms and values of society.' Durkheim blames people not being fully integrated into society’s norms and values as to why they commit crime. So he said once people have served their time for their crime, they should be reintegrated. It’s a strength that Durkheim suggests them being reintegrated as it means they’re less likely to reoffend if they feel they belong to their society and do not look for status through crime. However, interactionists would say that agents of social control cause crime, not the society you are in.
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”
Looking at the social characteristics can show a link between the types of social characteristics that people have and the types of crime they are involved in. For example looking at the location where an individual comes from and ethnicity, may associate him with a certain type of behaviour. It is shown that black men are more likely to be stopped and search according to Mayhew they were 8 times more likely, especially in deprived areas typically council estates, and are run down. However police may also stop and search a black male, due to institutional racism and negative stereotyping of the group. Some crimes go unrecorded or undetected, because some people feel pressure, they may be domestic or drug usage, there is even a class difference.
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.
When the group with the most power changes, the acts that are considered to be criminal change. Society is affected by the concept of the “choice theory” because it needs to figure out what punishment fits the crime to keep other criminals from committing the same crimes. Society need to make this laws to have control over law and order within their societies. It allows them away to keep law abiding citizens saver in their own
Labelling theory was developed by Howard Becker, and is primarily concerned with societal reaction to crime; thus straying away from the deviant act and instead looking more closely at how and why certain people become defined as deviant. It suggests deviance is not an inherent act, but instead the result of people negatively labelling those that deviate from the norm. Edwin Lemert put forward a typology of deviance, extremely relevant in terms of highlighting labelling theory. He suggested Primary Deviance was a simple deviant act, not as a result of a label, but instead may result in a label. And Secondary Deviance, he suggested, was the idea criminality is a response to being labelled as deviant.
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.
Running Head: UNDERSTAND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR Criminologist Attempt to Understand Criminal Behavior by Constructing Theories of Crime In an attempt to curve crime rates and to fully understand the criminal mind; criminologist must construct theories that will enable us to implement effective policies to negate criminal behavior. I. Introduction A. Definition of Criminology B. Deviance vs. Crime C. Purpose of Theories II. Social Process Theories A.
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.