January 29 , 2013
Functionalist & Strain Theories
WHAT IS CRIME? Violation of social contract Pathology, inferiority, or
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF Free will Determinism
HOW SHOULD WE Swift, certain, proportionate Treatment, separation,
CONTROL CRIMINALS? punishment elimination, rehabilitation
Structural Functionalism – early school of thought, based on metaphor that society is a
living organism, based on different parts. Individual parts are inter-dependent, and work
together. The healthier all the individual parts are, the better the society will be – the
better individual members of society will be.
Macro sociologists perspective
- Not saying the existing structure works for everyone, but it works as a whole
- How do social systems operate successfully?
- How is order maintained in society?
Consensus-based approach - basis of social order is found in the shared values of a
community – agreement about what is right/wrong
- Crime is normal
It has existed in every society – it has to be serving some kind of purpose.