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1There are several different sociological explanations from different perspectives the Functionalist perspective Labelling perspective Sub-culture perspective and the Marxist perspective used to explain crime and deviance 2The main features to each perspective are described below Functionalist Perspective Functionalists believe that crime is best analysed by looking at society as a whole and that we should not look at the individual person and that the way society is structured explains the cause of crime They believe that crime has a function in society and that we need it even though functionalists feel strongly about shared values and consensus to keep society together This said they think that the existence of crime brings other parts of society together because we come together to stop crime eg neighbourhood watch or a paedophile moving into a town all different types of people would get together in the way of marches and the signing of petitions This therefore helps to promote shared values and social order Functionalists believe crime has its function if it did not prisonspunishment and the police would therefore not have a function in society Theorists who follow this perspective are Durkheim and Albert Cohen Sub-Culture This approach explains deviance in terms of the subculture of social groups They believe all there are many different social groups who have their own norms and values that are different from other social groups eg some groups of criminals may have norms that promote and reward criminal behaviour Other members of society may think that that behaviour is morally wrong and will condemn them This theory alleges that deviance is the result of people conforming to the values norms of their own social group Members of subculture are not really that different to other members of society they might speak dress the same have similar values about family but their subculture is effectively dissimilar from the culture of society as a whole to make them commit acts
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