True Crime or Moral Panic?
Evaluate and apply sociological theories relating to crime and deviance
Explanations of Crime and Deviancy
Crime - an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.
Deviance-the fact or state of diverging from usual or accepted standards, especially in social or sexual behavior.
Crime and deviance are seemingly effortlessly defined by the Oxford dictionary. However sociological prospectives have differing views on crime and the explanations for it.
Starting post modernist who are criticised for their denial to the existence of crime. This is because Post modernist tend to reject all ‘meta narratives’ given by other prospectives. Post modernism argues that these explanations of crimes are outdated, Instead it tends to argue that society has changed. There are new crimes which are not explained by other prospectives. Crimes such as Cyber theft, terrorism and racism e.t.c. Post modernists prefer to focus on the individual, crime is a one-off event expressing whatever identity an individual choses. Whereas Functionalism mainly focuses on society as a whole. Crime is seen as inevitable, as well as expected. In addition functionalist Durkheim argued that crime is an element of a healthy society. He said, (crime is an) “Integral part of all healthy societies.” cited by Harman, 1995.p.38. Consequently this might explain why Many Functionalists like Durkheim, believe that the existence of crime indicates that society is not excessively controlling its citizens. Moreover Functionalism recognises that everyday crime (e.g. shoplifting) is not a threat to the social order. In fact Society needs criminal behavior (and legal reactions to it) to function properly, Reason being the ...
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...ict theory does not allow for a positive outcome. Conflict will always be present because society canon function without it.
Cohen, S (2011),Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance, Routledge, Oxon, UK
Goode and Ben-Yehuda( 2009), Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance. Second edition, Blackwell publishing, Chichester, UK
Padhy, P (2006) Crime and Criminology, Isha Books, India
Walsh and Hemmens (2011) Introduction to Criminology: A Text/Reader. Second Edition, SAGE Publications, California USA
Harman, (1995), Deviance: A Symbolic Interactionist Approach, Genral hall, division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Boston, USA
Freeman, C The Guardian newspaper (feb 2014) [online] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10649851/Ukraine-protests-a-timeline-of-the-crisis.html last accessed on (23/02/2014)
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