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Lecture 3

Lecture notes - week 3

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Simon Fraser University
CRIM 104
Barry Cartwright

09/20/2012 CONTEMPORARY VERSIONS OF ANOMIE- STRAIN THEORY THE FUNCTIONALIST APPROACH  Anomie theories and subculture theories related to structural functionalism  Popular sociological perspective from late 1930s into 1960s  Functionalist approach draws parallel between social order and organic life  Society seen as series of integrated parts, each working to ensure continuation of organism STARTING WITH SAINT-SIMON  Saint-Simon emphasized importance of moral order  One of first to view society as functional mechanism, greater than its component parts AND THEN CAME AUGUSTE COMTE  invoked an organic analogy of society  Used terms like elements, organs and tissues to describe society EVEN CRIME SERVES A FUNCTION  Durkheim said a certain amount of crime was normal – found in all societies  Crime helped to define/ shape collective consciousness  Crime and punishment maintained society’s fundamental values and preserved its moral order TALCOTT PARSONS  Started the concept of “structural functionalism”  Pre-eminent sociological paradigm during 1940s and 1950s  The Structure of Social Action (1937)  The Social System (1951) PARSONS’ FOUR FUNCTIONAL IMPERATIVES  Adaptation = society had to adapt to its environment to obtain certain resources necessary for its survival  Goal attainment = society had to define/ prioritize its goals, and then strive to achieve them PARSONS’ FOUR FUNCTIONAL IMPERATIVES cont.  Integration = society had to regulate/ coordinate inter=relationships of its subsystems  Latency = society had to maintain conforming behavior by resolving strains, and motivating individuals to conform THE FOUR PARTS OF THE SOCIAL SYSTEM  Function was to maintain society (help it to survive) and to ensure well-being of its members  Family produces children, teaches them fundamental values (e.g., belief in merits of hard work, regard for poverty respect for others)  Schools provide basic knowledge and work skills, and re-enforce fundamental values THE FOUR PARTS OF THE SOCIAL SYSTEM cont.  Religion supports basic values, provides spiritual avenue to cope with social and personal problems  Economy allows individuals to work, earn and spend A HAPPY BALANCE  Society/social system strive for balance or stability, often referred to as equilibrium  Watch words are consensus and integration MERTON’S ANOMIE AND DEVIANT BEHAVIOUR  If society is functional, then why do we have problems like social unrest, drug addiction, drop- outs and crime?  Merton deliberately distanced himself from Freudian or psychological explanations  Merton used term “anomie” to describe dysfunction between (or malintegration of culture and social) structure (Legge & Messner, 2010) MERTON’S MANIFEST AND LATENT FUNCTIONS  Manifest functions are those that society intends, and are often set out as formal institutional goals  A manifest (or intended) function of CJS system is to punish criminals so that they (and others) will over the laws  Another manifest function of CJS is to rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders, so that they can once again become functional members of society MERTON’S MANIFEST AND LATENT FUNCTIONS cont.  Latent functions are those that society does not intend; they are usually informal, and may have undesirable outcomes.  An unintended or latent function of CJS is providing its satisfied customers with training ground for future criminal activity THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF SUBCULTURAL THEORIES  Emerged during 1950s  Relative prosperity, compared to Great Depression (Dirty Thirties)  Relative peace and prosperity, compared to WW2, which lasted from 1939 until 1945 THE AFTERMATH OF WORLD WAR TWO   LIFE WAS GOOD… WATCHING TV GANGS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN ALBERT COHEN  Wrote Delinquent Boys: The Culture of the Gang in 1955  Cohen studied with Robert Merton at Harvard, and Edwin Sutherland Indiana A LOGICAL CONNECTION  Connection to Merton’s strain theory, and to Chicago School’s concern with inner city slums, social disorganization and delinquent youth gangs  Connection to Sutherland’s theory of differential association; Cohen saw his work as elaboration on some of unresolved issues regarding transmission of cultural values GANG SUBCULTURES  Gang delinquency most prevalent amongst lower class males  Non-utilitarian, malicious and negativistic behavior  Short term hedonism, often causing discomfort to others STATUS FRUSTRATION  Members of lower class unable to achieve social status, because they lacked means.  Would come up against middle class standards at school, and find they couldn’t meet them REACTION FORMATION  Cohen viewed delinquent behavior as a type of reaction formation – a hostile reason to an adverse environment (i.e., to status frustration)  Also viewed delinquency as a collective solution – delinquent subculture established new cultural norms, redefined meaning of status, set new types of acceptable behavior or conduct PICKING ON THE LOWER CLASSES  Cohen talked briefly about female delinquency as being sexually-oriented response to status frustration associated with sexual double standards  Also talked briefly
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