Using the Material from Item a and Elsewhere Asses the Usefulness of Subcultural Theories in Explaining Subcultural Crime and Deviance in Society.

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Using the material from item A and elsewhere asses the usefulness of subcultural theories in explaining subcultural crime and deviance in society. Durkheim argued that a certain amount of crime was ‘healthy’ for society and that it is deviant behaviour that provided a catalyst for social change. He said that crime and deviance are functional because the ritual of punishment is an expressive experience that serves to bind together members of a social group and establishment a sense of community; also known as re-affirming boundaries as the resulting media coverage publicly reaffirms the existing values. They are useful in introducing necessary changes and preparing people for change – as Durkheim argues all social change begins with some form of deviance; certain crimes when prosecuted illicit public sympathy and affect change in legislation policies – Kiranjit Ahluwalia, Rosa Parks. Durkheim also put forward social cohesion, this is when certain horrific crimes are committed the entire community are drawn together in shared outrage, such as September 11th Twin Towers, often resulting in public accepting legislative changes which severely impact upon out civil liberties. However Durkheim also seen negatives aspects of Crime and Deviance named ‘Anomie’ the point when crimes becomes dysfunctional. This is a condition characterized by the breakdown of norms governing social interaction. Durkheim argues that people can only be happy when their wants are commensurate to their means. He thought that humans are basically selfish in nature and if left to their own devices would in order to satisfy their own needs, commit crime if they could get away with it. A state of anomie would therefore occur where there are insufficient social controls to ensure conformity from individuals. He argued that this would normally occur in periods of great social change or stress, where the collective conscience may be weakened. However, Merton believes that deviance occurs as a...
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