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JSB170 Week 5 Exam Revision.docx

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Queensland University of Technology

Week 5 – Social Theories of Crime Durkheim: Anomie – Durkheim believed that human happiness was dependent on having the social means to obtain social goals Suicide – He believed that where social goals could not be met and the means was not available, suicide rates would increase Believed crime is normal and will always occur on many levels: “to classify Crime among a phenomena of normal sociology is not to say merely that it is an inevitable, although regrettable phenomenon, due to the incorrigible wickedness of men; it is to affirm that it is a factor in public health, an integral part of all social societies”(Durkheim 1895 in Muncie et al 1999:47) Strain Theory – Robert Merton  Wherever social goals cannot be met through social means, ‘strain’ occurs and promotes the likelihood and need for deviance. 5 adaptations to strain 1. Conformity: achieve social goals by legitimate means 2. Innovation: achieve social goals by illegitimate means 3. Ritualism: continue to pursue legitimate means even though recognising social goals will never be achieved 4. Retreatism: Rejection of means and goals and retreat from society by some means 5. Rebellion: reject social goals and means and substitute own goals and means  Delinquency the result of collapse of institutional and community based controls  Poor institutional and community based controls is the result of rapid urbanisation, industrialisation and immigration processes  The effectiveness of social organisation can be compared to ecological principles which work on concepts of dominance and competition  Social disorganisation will lead to criminal values replacing more commonly held social values and these become self- perpetuating Differential Association  Criminal behaviour is learned  It can be learned through the interaction and communication with oth
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