Presentation on theme: "Crime and Deviance An Introduction. What’s the difference? Crime is normally seen as behaviour that breaks the formal, written laws of a society This."— Presentation transcript:
What’s the difference? Crime is normally seen as behaviour that breaks the formal, written laws of a society This behaviour could be classed as minor crime such as dropping litter or major crime such as murder Deviance is a broader term; it refers to any kind of behaviour that goes against the norms in a society. All crime is deviant but not all deviance is criminal Give some examples
Social Construct: something that is defined by society and that changes over time and place Sociologists would argue that Crime and Deviance are social constructs What is considered criminal or deviant behaviour has changed considerably over the years Homosexuality was only decriminalised in England in 1967 for men over 21 Suicide was a criminal act in the UK until 1961 However both were still considered deviant. Has this changed in Western society?
Who are the criminals? This question depends on the theoretical viewpoint held by the Sociologist. Earlier theories accept the official crime statistics compiled by the courts and police records. These demonstrate that most criminals are young, working class men. In prisons, this would be the typical inmate. There would also be a disproportionate number of Afro- Carribeans Why? Family? Education? Peers?
Social facts? However, many criminologists see the statistics as social constructs rather than social facts. The prisons are full of working class men because they are the ones targeted and labelled by an unfair and biased system The “real” criminals are just as likely to be running companies, or older people, or women. This depends on the sociologist’s theoretical viewpoint.
Summary Some sociologists question official statistics on crime They believe that they don’t explain the reasons why people commit crime They have developed theories as to why some groups in society avoid getting caught and going to prison and others don’t. Why can Crime and deviance be explained as a social construct? How are crime statistics compiled? Can you think of any reasons why they may not give an accurate picture?