Crime as Functional, Inevitable and Normal Essays

707 Words 3 Pages
Crime as Functional, Inevitable and Normal

Crime can be functional in bringing about social change - when social norms are unsuited with the conditions of life. A high crime rate is an indication of a social system that has failed to adapt to change. Deviance, acts as a warning device, indicating that an aspect of society is malfunctioning. Deviance may also act as a safety valve - a relatively harmless expression of discontent. For example the invasion of the House of Commons, would be a warning device to society relating to security issues.

Durkheim argues that some crime is inevitable, but only in some societies, the crime rate may become too much and, this indicates a society that is
…show more content…
There are ways of being blocked from success that will lead to deviance. This is why Merton went on to explain different patterns of deviance.

* CONFORMITY: Person continues to accept goals and means set by society, even though failure is likely outcome

* INNOVATION: Response when person accepts goals set by society but rejects socially acceptable means e.g. find another (legal) way of making money or crime

* RITUALISM: Means and goals conformed to, but person loses sight of goals. Person does work but has no real interest in outcome.

* RETREATISM: Person loses sight of both means and goals, drop out of rat race? to alcoholism or drug abuse

* REBELLION: Rejection of both means and goals leads to substitution of means and goals (political radicals/terrorists)

Cultural deviance theories assumed that people became deviant by learning the criminal values of the group to which they belonged. This laid down the foundation for subculture theories during the 1950s.

A subculture is defined as a subdivision within the dominant culture that has its own norms, values and belief system. These subcultures emerge
Open Document