Within each society wealth, power and status is distributed unfairly and unequally. This inequality creates social class divisions, people at different levels, where some have more while others less (Haralambos, 2008). All societies form through the same process where behaviour is learnt from others within the community. The learning process, known as socialization, varies and it is culture that determines how to think by teaching appropriate behaviour relevant to that society. Informal rules using the same norms and values specifies behaviour for certain situations and suggests how to behave overall. However, some people do not follow these informal rules and act as they wish. In this instance the term deviance is used for unpleasant behaviour whilst crime is behaviour when formal laws are broken, for which sanctions act as a form of deterrent (Livesey, 2005). There are various sociological theories of how societies operate each with alternative ideas as to the reason crime and deviance occurs, explained below.
Functionalism considers society responsible for behaviour rather than individuals so focuses on how they fit within society rather than how people operate. Functionalists believe society is structured to operate like the human body, each part has different functions to have an overall effect, termed organ analogy. The theory suggests society is split into different parts, such as the family, people within it have varying levels of importance and alternative social identities, duties or responsibilities, for instance a mother as a family carer. It is thought teaching socialization using collective consciousness, shared beliefs, morals and attitudes makes people cooperate, unite and agree on behavioural rules, v...
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...uld be fair to say that none of the theories totally explain crime as there is no accurate definition that can account for all the different types of crime even though crime, for many reasons, will always occur.
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Livesey, C and Lawson, T. (2005). AS Sociology for AQA. London: Hodder Education
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Moore, S., Aitken, D., Chapman, S. (2008). Sociology AS for AQA. 3rd ed. London: HarperCollins
Rackham, S. (2013). Sociology Hull College: Hull
Taylor, P., Richardson, J., Yeo, A., Marsh, I., Trobe, K., Pilkington, A. (1997). Sociology in Focus. Ormskirk: Causeway Press
Wincup, E., Griffiths, J. (1999). Crime, deviance and social control, Sevenoaks: Hodder and Stoughton
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