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June 10, 2008 / C H Thompson

Functionalist perspectives of crime and deviance

These guys argue that crime is useful to society!!

Yes, it’s true! They say this because crime has a function in society. It’s all about that social body again. So in the same way the family is a functional prerequisite, so too is crime!

Durkheim’s point is crime and deviance can actually help maintain social order because it unites the rest of society in the disapproval of deviant behaviour. The majority consensus on acceptable behaviour is built on people all agreeing something is wrong. For example the newspapers would slate someone famous who was involved with group sex. Think Mosley Fomula I boss.

Durkheim (1897) said deviancy allows for social change to occur. Durkheim said all societies need some change to remain stable and healthy. If society acts positively to deviant behaviour it starts the process for that behaviour to be seen as non-deviant in the future.

Durkheim said crime moves from the functional to the dysfunctional when the level of crime is either too high or too low. Too high and it threatens social order. Too low and there’s no social change.

The rate at which individuals deviate from the norm is related to the degree of integration and cohesiveness of that society. Because society encourages individualism and unlimited aspirations, situations arise when such aspirations can’t be achieved. Unless society imposes new regulations on aspirations then a state of anomie/normlessness will occur resulting in a higher tendency to commit suicide.

More in depth detail regarding functionalist to subcultural perspectives here!!!!functionalist

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