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This chapter discusses the significance of control in the operation of society, which has been recognised by philosophers and writers for many centuries. Control is an aspect of most theories of crime and deviance, but it has not, until comparatively recently, been studied in its own right as a significant causal feature of crime and deviance. One possible reason for this is that criminologists were reluctant to research into ideas that so clearly support discipline and regulation, particularly in the liberal climate of the early 1960s. Also, the pathological undertones of the theory were unappealing to the sociologists who had largely come to replace the psychologists at the forefront of criminological writing. Furthermore, perhaps the importance of control was thought to accord with general common sense, and criminologists, in attempting to provide a mystique in order to have their discipline taken more seriously, preferred to concentrate on less-obvious phenomena.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the significance of control in the operation of society, which has been recognised by philosophers and writers for many centuries. Control is an aspect of most theories of crime and deviance, but it has not, until comparatively recently, been studied in its own right as a significant causal feature of crime and deviance. One possible reason for this is that criminologists were reluctant to research into ideas that so clearly support discipline and regulation, particularly in the liberal climate of the early 1960s. Also, the pathological undertones of the theory were unappealing to the sociologists, who had largely come to replace the psychologists at the forefront of criminological writing. Furthermore, perhaps the importance of control was thought to accord with general common sense and criminologists, in attempting to provide a mystique in order to have their discipline taken more seriously, preferred to concentrate on less obvious phenomena.

Chapter

This chapter explores the contribution of symbolic interactionism to the sociology of deviance in the 1960s and early 1970s. It first traces the origins of symbolic interactionism, citing the work of the University of Chicago’s sociology department, particularly on the sociology of crime and control. It then looks at the emergence of symbolic interactionism and how it has occupied a prominent place in the field of criminology, as well as the interactionists’ tendency to practise a social anthropology of participant-observation. The strength of interactionism lies in its insistence on distinguishing between primary and secondary deviance and researching the social reaction to crime and deviance, particularly retrospective and projective labelling. The chapter concludes by reviewing the criticisms against the interactionist sociology of crime and deviance.

Chapter

This chapter examines the role of anomie theory in the sociology of crime and deviance. It begins by discussing Émile Durkheim’s theory of anomie before turning to Robert Merton’s Americanization of anomie, and how sociologists adapted the basic Mertonian schema and modes of adaptation, such as innovation, to explain rising rates of crime under conditions of growing prosperity but persistent inequality. It then considers the contribution of anomie to the development of post-war theories of strain, as well as the questions raised by anomie theory, particularly as the underlying concern in theories of crime, modernization, and development. It also looks at the decline in social capital that has raised concerns about the pace and direction of social and economic change, citing two major works: Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone (2000) and Richard Sennett’s The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism (1998).

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the University of Chicago’s sociology department and the work done by its sociologists on crime and deviance during the 1920s and 1930s. The chapter first provides a background on the University of Chicago, its sociology department, and the city. It then considers the Chicago sociologists’ use of ecology in their research, the apparent contradictions in their explanation of criminality and deviance, and their emphasis on moral diversity rather than discord, pathology, or disorganization. It examines the approach used by Chicago sociologists to launch an intellectual assault on the study of the city, focusing on social problems and offering explanations of crime and delinquency based on the peculiar conditions of the so-called zone in transition. What the University of Chicago sociology department accomplished was a decisive break with the haphazard, solitary, and ill-maintained studies associated with proto-criminology. The result was a model of an urban criminology.

Chapter

4. Functionalism:  

The Durkheimian Legacy

This chapter explores the functionalist approach to crime, deviance, and control as well as the criticisms heaped against it. It first considers the central tenets of functionalism, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it has contributed to the sociological perspective on crime and deviance before turning to the views of Émile Durkheim and George Herbert Mead about the functions of crime, deviance, and control. It then discusses developments in American sociology and the legacy of the proponents of functionalism. It also examines the adoption of functionalist approaches for the analysis of crime in American society by scholars such as Kingsley Davis, Robert Merton, and Talcott Parsons.

Chapter

15. Critical criminology—part 1  

Challenging the ‘usual suspects’

This chapter examines a range of criminological perspectives which are collectively known as critical criminology, with particular emphasis on labelling perspectives, Marxist inspired critical theories, and feminist perspectives. It begins with an overview of the four main ideas of positivism (in either its biological, psychological, or sociological forms): determinism, scientism, consensus, and treatment/rehabilitation. It then considers the philosophical and political arguments that underpin critical criminologies, along with the different foundational strands within critical criminology. It also discusses the importance of the ideas of social construction, power and power relations to critical criminology, as well as the problems of ‘deviance’ and its interpretation and control. Finally, it explores the development of critical criminology in Britain, the rise of the ‘new’ criminology, Taylor et al's (1973) notion of a ‘fully social theory’ of crime and deviance, and the issue of violence in relation to gender.

Chapter

1. Theoretical Contexts:  

The Changing Nature and Scope of the Sociology of Crime and Deviance

This book explores the sociology of crime and deviance as an incoherent discipline with relatively independent versions. It considers the diverse theories and perspectives on crime and deviance that can be linked, either directly or indirectly, to the work of Émile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber. It also looks at each of the major schools of thought and their assumptions, along with the character and sources of ambiguity that has characterized the sociology of crime and deviance. As an example, the book cites the disagreements regarding the connection between crime and politics. In particular, it discusses the debate over the consequences of the politicization of crime control. Finally, it examines the disparate contexts in which criminology is viewed as an academic enterprise.

Book

Understanding Deviance provides a comprehensive guide to the current state of criminological theory. It outlines the principal theories of crime, deviance, and rule-breaking, discussing them chronologically, and placing them in their European and North American contexts considering major criticisms that have been voiced against them, and constructing defences where appropriate. The volume has been revised and brought up-to-date to include new issues of crime, deviance, disorder, criminal justice, and social control in the early twenty-first century. It considers new trends in criminological theory such as cultural criminology and public criminology, further discussion of how post-modernism and the ‘risk society’ is reformulating crime and deviance, and an assessment of how different approaches address the fall in crime rates across most democratic and developed societies. There is also a new chapter on victimology.

Book

Peter Bartlett and Ralph Sandland

Written by two of the country's leading specialists in mental health law, Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice, fourth edition, provides a detailed overview of the law and the socio-legal, historical, sociological, and cultural issues that surround it. Mental health law, at its heart, involves the forcible confinement and medication of some of society's most vulnerable people, and the authors look closely at the legal and social issues raised by this, and the human rights of those who suffer from mental illness. With reference to recent cases and new legislation, the authors analyse the legal structure and functions of the mental health system, and the problems of characterizing mental health law. The case law and statutes contain implied premises as to what it is to be a citizen, what the role of the state is for the vulnerable, and what the relative roles of law and medicine are in the regulation of control and deviance. Mental health law is an area of considerable legal and social complexity, and the authors challenge readers to question the system and the policies that have been developed. New to this edition are a significant restructuring of the text to take account of changes in law, policy, and practice; and new and expanded coverage of various topics including the 2007 reforms to the 1983 Mental Health Act, DOLS and the MHA/MCA interface, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Book

Stephen Jones

This expanded sixth edition of Criminology provides the reader with a clearly expressed and concise analysis of the main sociological and psychological theories of crime and deviance. It is written on the basis that, to facilitate understanding, it is necessary to provide a full account of the historical background and development of these theories. The book also contains an extensive discussion of the perception and nature of crime. It has been completely updated with the significant developments in key areas such as criminal statistics, and the latest research in the scientific study of behaviour. The book is written in a clear and readable style that helps students understand even complex aspects of criminology. In drawing on a wide range of research, the author seeks to ask the right questions, rather than provide definitive answers. The book is thoroughly referenced, providing plenty of opportunity for further reading for those interested in researching the area in more detail.

Chapter

This chapter explains what crime is and what sorts of activities are criminalised and why. It begins by considering how society decides exactly which activities should be classed as crimes and goes on to discuss crime from an international human rights perspective. It then looks at crime as a social construct and its relation to deviance, the reasons why some actions are criminalised, the harm principle, and how crime differs from social harm. It also examines whether we need the criminal law in order to hold people to account and punish them, or whether a system designed to deal with any harm caused without apportioning blame would be more effective in ensuring safe and content communities.

Chapter

This chapter discusses what crime is. No matter how universally its ideas and regulations are accepted, it is important to understand and not lose sight of the fact that crime is a social construct. Because crime is socially constructed, ideas of unacceptable and criminal behaviour alter across cultures and over time. Many suggest that what is known as the ‘harm principle’ might be the best standard by which we should decide whether an activity should be criminal. This principle holds that if conduct is not harmful to others it should not be criminal, even if others strongly dislike it. The chapter also looks at the concept of deviance and identifies: what kinds of activities are disapproved of (seen as deviant) and why; which of these are criminalised and why; what the criminal law may reveal about society and what matters to it.

Chapter

This chapter evaluates the importance of crime statistics in criminological studies. Crime statistics can give an indication of how much ‘crime’ is happening, for example how many robberies or car thefts have been counted in a particular year and area. They also help to identify and assess trends and patterns, such as shifts in types of crimes and perpetrators, increases and decreases in the number of offences and in more serious acts of deviance, like assault or murder. This knowledge enables us to decide on the appropriate responses to crime, and for ‘society’ and its state agencies to implement those responses. The chapter then traces the development of UK crime statistics, looking at the two main sources of UK crime statistics: police recorded crime and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

Book

Stephen Jones

This expanded seventh edition of Criminology provides the reader with a clearly expressed and concise analysis of the main sociological and psychological theories of crime and deviance. It is written on the basis that, to facilitate understanding, it is necessary to provide a full account of the historical background and development of these theories. The book also contains an extensive discussion of the perception and nature of crime. It has been completely updated with the significant developments in key areas, such as criminal statistics and the latest research in the scientific study of behaviour. The book is written in a clear and readable style that helps students understand even complex aspects of criminology. In drawing on a wide range of research, the author seeks to ask the right questions, rather than provide definitive answers. The book is thoroughly referenced, providing plenty of opportunity for further reading for those interested in researching the area in more detail.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on radical criminology as opposed to criminology, with emphasis on the attempts of its proponents to break with the perceived limitations of the sociology of deviance. It first traces the roots of radical criminology to Karl Marx’s theories of capitalism and class conflict, its genesis as the ‘new criminology’, later termed ‘left idealism’, and then became the more social democratic ‘left realism’. The study of relative deprivation was critical in this respect. It examines the work of the Birmingham Centre of Contemporary Cultural Studies together with the development of radical criminology in America It also analyses The New Criminology (1973) by Young, Taylor, and Walton, which presents Marxism as their own model for a fully social theory. The chapter concludes with a review of criticisms against radical criminology as well as consideration of the latest research on the crimes of the powerful, elite deviance, and institutional corruption.

Chapter

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter examines juvenile criminality and peer groups. The discussions cover the concept of anomie and criminality; relative deprivation, strain, and social exclusion; subcultural theories of juvenile deviance; and David Matza and Gresham Sykes' theory of delinquency.