To be on the safe side you want to provide two very different criticisms, develop both of them and briefly evaluate. Therefore, although functionalists provided useful contributions to our understanding of crime, their perspective could now seem outdated, and thus flawed. Not explaining differences in the way different deviants are treated. A link to my Quizlet on the topic can be found here. Find out about Acknowledgements and copyright here. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Evaluate the usefulness of functionalist approaches in understanding crime and deviance. Merton argues that an individual’s position in the social structure affects the way they adapt or respond to strain to anomie. Durkheim believes that crime has two positive functions. Assess the functionalist theory of crime and deviance...Assess the functionalist view of crime and deviance. •  Criminology Book Two, •  AQA A level Sociology Book One including AS level. [21 marks] This essay will detail the functionalist perspective of crime and deviance. You could take this criticism even further by arguing that Functionalist theory is itself ideological – by arguing that societies need nuclear families to provide effective socialisation, this theory itself reinforces the social order. Conflict theorists (Marxists and Feminists) point out that Functionalists have a rose tinted view of society – they focus too much on the positive functions that institutions perform, ignoring the negative ways in which institutions and socialisation can have on certain people. Like Merton and Cohen, a criticism of Cloward and Ohlin is that they both forget the crimes of the wealthy, and the wide power structure, and instead over-represent working class crime. Explain with examples why functionalist explanations of crime and deviance may be criticised for: Assuming that society has universal norms and values. A very small act of deviance for example such as traffic violations would barely bring about a large change in society at all. They include conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion. Cohen agrees with Merton that deviance is largely a lower-class phenomenon, which results from the inability of those to achieve through legitimate means, however, he also criticises the theory for two reasons. ( Log Out /  Functionalists think that society is a stable system of shared values, beliefs, goals and norms; which we refer to as a Value Consensus.Because of this position it is a structuralist theory.The functionalist society is based on two main things, socialisation and social control. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Functionalist theories began to emerge after the industrial revolution in the 18th century. An 'A' Grade A level Sociology Student who wishes to educate and help others revise the subject that I, myself, struggled with the most at A level, and does not wish to see anybody else struggling! We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. The question below is a possible 10 mark question for the AQA’s Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods paper (paper 3), Outline and explain two criticisms of the Functionalist view of society (10). For example, his ideas of status frustration and alternative status hierarchy help to explain non-economic delinquency such as vandalism, violence and truanting. Check out my other essays and plans here! These cookies do not store any personal information. Cloward and Ohlin further develop Cohen’s theory providing three subculture categories: professional, conflict and retreatist. Evaluate the usefulness of functionalist approaches in understanding crime and deviance. Interactionists criticise Functionalism for being a deterministic theory – human behaviour is portrayed as being shaped by the social system, as if individuals are programmed by social institutions, being the puppets of social forces. Today, money success is not always necessarily the most important thing to have. The question below is a possible 10 mark question for the AQA's Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods paper (paper 3) Outline and explain two criticisms of the Functionalist view of society (10) To be on the safe side you want to provide two very different criticisms, develop both of them and briefly evaluate.… They argue that professional subcultures offer many opportunities on the criminal career ladder, conflict subcultures arise in areas of high population turnover; were loosely connected and didn’t provide many legitimate or illegitimate opportunities, and retreatist subcultures failed to achieve legitimately and illegitimately. It as if people are just pretending to obey social norms, but when you dig deeper and look at things more qualitatively, behind closed doors, this isn’t necessarily the case, and everyone is ‘doing their own thing’. A level sociology revision – education, families, research methods, crime and deviance and more! There is a considerable amount of evidence against this view – for example despite most people being socialised into traditional gender norms, many people today develop LGTBIQ identities; despite being socialised to obey the law, self-report studies show high levels of minor criminality. Furthermore, they exaggerate the differences between the subcultures, and like most things, they actually overlap. In Cohen’s view, they resolve their frustration by rejecting mainstream middle-class values and they turn instead to other boys in the same situation, forming a delinquent subculture. Functionalist perspective of crime – revision notes Durkheim (1893) is the main sociologist in functionalism and believed that society is a stable system based on value consensus. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. A link to my Quizlet on the topic can be found here, Reminder: Do not plagiarise. A second is structural goals. Psychological theory of deviance: In many ways, psychological theories of deviance mirror biological explanations (see section: Biological Theories of Deviance), only with an emphasis on the brain. when an individual’s ideas go against existing norms and values. This is probably overkill to get you the 10 marks. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. However, it is easy to overstate how free people are – people may think their free, but human action is still patterned and things like suicide and educational success still seem to be shaped by an individual’s social background…, this was good, but not that useful and was really confusing. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. ( Log Out /  Marxists, however, criticise Merton’s theory, arguing that it ignores the power of the ruling class to enforce laws in ways that criminalise the proletariat but not the bourgeoisie. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. All change starts with an act of deviance i.e. (30marks). Create a free website or blog at Your students will then be able to download copies of the following eBooks: •  AQA A level Sociology Book One including AS level Taking official crime statistics at face value. Not seeing the definition of crime and deviance as problematic. Also, Postmodernists would argue that rather than there being rigid subcultures resulting from reasons such as strain, young people belong to “neo-tribes” that are fluid and diverse. Theories of crime and Deviance; Functionalist, strain and subcultures. This is known as boundary maintenance. A Guide to A level scoiology with A/A* tips and tricks. Functionalists see society as based on value consensus. Learn how your comment data is processed. Not everyone can, however, achieve this, with many people being denied opportunities due to factors such as discrimination, and poverty, which in turn produces frustration, and can create a pressure to resort to illegitimate means such as crime and deviance. Crimes such as vandalism, for example, can’t be explained by a … He argues that deviance is the result of a strain between two factors. Design by Promo. Assuming that people just react to outside forces. Critics point to the fact that there is an ample amount of crime/delinquent behavior that is “non-utilitarian, malicious, and negativistic” (O’Grady, 2011), which highlights that not all crimes are explicable using Merton’s theory. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. He ignores the possibility that they didn’t share these values in the first place, and so never saw themselves as failures.