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Emile Durkheim - The Sociology Guy - functionalist emile durkheim viewed society

Emile Durkheim - The Sociology Guy-functionalist emile durkheim viewed society

Boundary Maintenance Erosion of social norms Part of Functionalist view
Crimes serve a positive function Excessive criminal and deviant of Crime and Deviance -
of uniting society is their activity can act as a sign that focused on impact on
condemnation of criminals. This society's norms and values are society of crime
serves to reinforce the collective no longer functional. High rates
conscience and reaffirm society's of criminality suggest that
commitment to its norms and society is not functioning
values correctly - they are a warning
Adaptation and Change `Safety valve'
Deviant behaviour acts as a way Some crimes act as a way of
of challenging social norms. As releasing the frustrations of
the behaviour becomes accepted society and averting greater
by more and more people then it damage to social order. Polsky
becomes part of the norms and and Davis suggested that
values of society leading to pornography and prostitution
gradual evolution of society served as a release of tension
that reduced other crimes
Evaluations: Durkheim failed to explain the reasons for
individual crime although many of his ideas on impacts of crime
still have contemporary relevance
Emile Durkheim
Part of Functionalist view of
Non - deviant adaptations to strain Crime and Deviance - focused
on how individuals react to
unequal structure of society
Conformity - Ritualism - Strain is caused by society's
Accepting Rejecting socially unequal opportunity
socially approved approved goals structure that promotes the
goals and but conforming American Dream but
legitimate means to legitimate focuses less on how to
of achieving means of achieve it... so people adapt
them achieving them
Deviant adaptations to strain Evaluations of Merton
- Do all individuals
Innovation - Retreatism - Rebellion - believe in the American
Accepts social Rejects both adopts dream?
goals but uses the socially alternative - Influenced subcultural
illegitimate approved goals goals and theorists such as
means to and legitimate means to Cohen
achieve them - means of achieve those - Focuses on individual
i.e. crime achieving them new goals causes of crime
Robert Merton
Synoptic Drawing on Merton's Strain Theory, Cohen suggested that Subcultural Theories of Crime
Link to
Education blocked opportunities to succeed lead young working-class - part of functionalist
males to form delinquent subcultures approach
Unable to achieve status in education -
working-class boys suffer from STATUS
Look to obtain status by forming subcultural
groups with similar peers and construct an
This involves subverting the norms and
values of society to give status to criminal
and deviant activities - usually non-
utilitarian Evaluations of Cohen
- Explain non-utilitarian crime
This brings them into conflict with authorities - Recognises the influence of peers on
and further harms their opportunities for status criminal behaviour
through legitimate means - Does not account for crimes committed
by individuals or utilitarian crimes
Albert Cohen

What was Emile Durkheim wrong about? In a certain way however, Durkheim was wrong about Tardes ideas. They are, as the Wiki-Article rightly notes, experiencing a renaissance in the context of both Poststructuralist and Postmodernist thought. Guattari and Deleuze are notable here. As is the Neo-Tardism of Bruno Latour. There was an error loading more items.