Functionalism and Crime and Deviance
Functionalist sociologists focus on how far individuals accept the norms and values of society. Central to their study of crime is the attempt to understand why people break the rules of society.
Despite their focus on the importance of shared norms and values, functionalists see a small amount of crime as necessary and beneficial to society. The publicity given to crime highlights the boundaries of acceptable behaviour.
However, the beneficial effects of crime for society are limited; too much crime can indicate problems.
Durkheim looks at how crime and deviance is inevitable and needed in …show more content…
Cloward and Ohlin researched subcultures as well, their studies are useful to sociology because he explains the reasons why people commit non-utilitarian crimes and crimes in groups. He argues that WC boys commit more crime, not because they’re inherently evil, but instead because they are the most exposed to crime and have the easiest access. Marxists such as Phil Cohen would be criticize this arguing instead that working class boys are pushed towards crime more due to their situations rather than just choosing it as it was easy. He categorizes subcultures into 3 categories, criminal, conflict and retreatist. While they do encompass most subcultures it may not be useful to separate subcultures into such clearcut boundaries. It may prevent us from studying groups individually and make it more difficult to compare groups which overlap.