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CRM 101 - Sociological Theories of Crime

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CRM 101
Gurpreet Johal

CRM 101 Sociological Theories of CrimeSOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVEBiological and Psychological theories tried to explain the criminality of individualsSociological theories consider the wider relationship between SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIESSocial Structure TheoriesStructural FunctionalismAnomieStrainSTRUCTURAL FUNCTIONALISMEmile Durkheim 18581917Lack of social cohesion integrationregulationLow social cohesionhigh crime rate and devianceRapid societal changedecreased inegration and regulationIndividuals lack a sense of social regulationPeople feel unguided when making life choicesDURKHEIM AND DEVIANCEAnomieThe breakdown of social cohesion and social control mechanisms in a societyPsychological state of experiencing normlessnessAbsence of clear societal norms and valuesThis breakdown can lead to high rates of crimeRussia is a contemporary case study of how anomie is associated with rising crime rateSTRAIN THEORYRobert Mertons Americanization of AnomieMertons Adaptations to StrainDiscrepency by goals and actual means for achieving those goals creates strainStrain results in various nonlegitimate ways of circumventing blocked opportunityMERTON OPPORTUNITY STRUCTURESDurkheims anomie theory emphasized social cohesion and the social restraints prevented crimeThus for Merton anomie was shifted from normlessness to RELATIVE DEPRIVATIONThe greater the gap between aspirations and expectations the higher the probablity of devianceEmphasis on structure distribution of opportunity and Culture emphasis on pursuit of wealthRELATIVE DEPRIVATIONConditions that exists when people of wealth and poverty live in close proximity to one anotherFeelings of anger and hostility may produce criminal behaviour5 TYPES OF RESPONSE TO STRAIN OF BLOCKED OPPORTUNITYConformitynondeviant responseInnovationAcceptance of shared goals but not of legit means to achieve themsRitualismMeans are accepted and goals are rejected or altered goal deescalationRetreatism
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