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Class 13-B Assessing the strengths/weaknes ses of the various perspectives of crime

13B strengths vs weaknesses

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Text of 13B strengths vs weaknesses

  • 1. Class 13-B
    Assessing the strengths/weaknesses of the various perspectives of crime
  • 2. Biological/Psychological
    Lombroso saw crime as a form of illness caused by pathological factors.
    Individual differences in behaviour can pre-dispose certain people into committing crimes.
    They identify certain abnormalities within the individual which separate the criminal from the non-criminal.
    The sources of crime were seen to lie within the individual.
  • 3. Biological/Psychological
    Functionalists say crime is a feature of all societies not just the individual
    Interactionalists argue (Becker) you are a criminal because you have been labelled as one, not because of genes.
    Marxists would say it is the capitalist system which causes crime through class conflict
    In response to Merton subculturalists (Cohen) not everyone is under a strain to anomie its just the working-class
  • 4. Functionalists
    Durkheim looks to society for an explanation of crime rather than the biological/psychological make up of the individual.
    Durkheim argued that a certain amount of crime is necessary for society to function
    Society causes anomie, this can come from over or under regulation of people
    Merton (4 adaptations) suggests that the nature of society (competitive individualism) generates crime and deviance which then develops the strain to anomie.
  • 5. Functionalists
    Marxist would argue that Functionalists fail to explain or even acknowledge what causes the presence of crime/deviance in the first place.
    Interactionalists would say that agents of social control cause crime, not the society you are in
    Feminists disagree that crime is a necessary function of society instead it maintains patriarchal power
    Subculturalists argue that it is not everyone who is under the strain of anomie, but only the working class.
  • 6. Subculturalists
    Cohen, Miller, Cloward & Ohlin argue that those under the strain to anomie tend to be the working class.
    Cohen Status frustration people cannot gain status legitimately so create a subculture with their own values. Many of these subcultures commit crimes in order to gain status within their subculture.
    Subculturalsits argue that not everyone wants material success which is why non-utilitarian crimes are committed.
    Subculturalism has been developed to explain middle class crime, the pressure to succeed lead
    s to criminal acts.
  • 7. Subculturalists
    Interactionalists subcultures suggest that the working classes commit crime, rather than explaining why the working classes are stereotyped as criminals.
    Realists argue subcultures ignore free will.
    Feminists say that subculturalists focus on working class male crime, and this doesnt explain the rise of ladette subculture.
    Marxists argue subculturalists fail to consider the laws which the working-class break have been created by the ruling-class (tax evasion/avoidance)
  • 8. Interactionist Perspectives
    • There no set definition that all actions are results of labelling, therefore there is no such thing as crime and deviance just actions labelled as such
    • 9. Some social groups are more likely to be labelled as criminal and deviant. Due to their ethnicity, class etc.
    • 10. This is because criminal labels are the reflection of the perception of the agents of social control i.e. the police, which then creates a consensual agreement on what and who is criminal in society.
    • 11. Becker said: social groups create deviance by making rules whose infraction constitutes deviance and by applying those rules to particular and labelling them as deviant