Sociology Deviance Essay Questions

Sociology Deviance Essay Questions-6
What the figures have demonstrated is that heredity is a very strong predisposing factor as far as committing crimes is concerned.

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He says in his (1982): “What is normal is simply that criminality exists, provided that each social type does not reach or go beyond a certain level which it is perhaps not impossible to fix conformity with…previous rules.” (Durkheim, 1982: 98) As long as the levels of deviance do not become unstable and threaten the social order, thought Durkheim, notions like crime and delinquency are important social functions; providing social cohesion and homogeneity.

The concept of breaking the law, in other words must always be in a dialectical relationship to the up holding of the law but the latter must always prevail in order to maintain the status quo.

The outcomes of such research, commentators have suggested, could be the use of drugs in the prevention of crime and deviance.

Of course, most of the theories concerning crime and deviance rely more on sociology than psychology or genetics.

Since many of those within a society will share these opinions (thus, obviously, forming a consensus) the only difference between the deviant and the non-deviant must be the social structure that they exist under, as Haralambos explains: “since members of society are placed in different positions in the social structure (for example they differ in terms class position) they do not have the same opportunity of realizing the shared values. In Merton’s words ‘the social and cultural structure generates pressure for socially deviant behaviour upon people variously located in the structure.” (Haralambos, 1991: 587) In other words, the ability to achieve cultural goals is unequal across the society and it is the frustration of this that results in deviance and crime.

The Chicago school based their notions on similar founding precepts although they stressed the importance of environmental factors in the formation of deviance and crime (Messner and South, 2000).

The Blair government’s dictum of being “Tough on Crime, Tough on the Causes of Crime” has become a cliché of the contemporary political scene but one that seems to have found favor with public opinion.

A recent MORI poll, for instance, concerning the public’s attitudes towards the area of crime and delinquency reveals that almost 45 per cent of those poled thought that their concern of crime had “Increased a lot” over the last few years and that 46 per cent had lost confidence in the police and the social services ability to deal with its victims.

The use of psychobiology in this area may seem reasonable, it may even offer attractive easy answers like the use of crime-curbing drugs but, ultimately the problem is more likely to reside in the complexity of the interface between the individual and the society.

Even that most biological of thinkers Hans Eysenck acquiesces to the importance of context and culture in this area: “The very notion of criminality or crime would be meaningless without a context of learning or social experience and, quite generally, of human interaction.


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