Crime and Deviance

This page provides links to blog posts on the main topics of the AQA’s  Crime and Deviance module. It includes links to posts on sociological perspectives on crime (Functionalism, strain theory etc); crime control and punishment, including surveillance; the relationship between class, gender, ethnicity and crime; and globalisation, state and green crime (everyone’s favourite!). 

Sociology of crime mind map

Introductory Material

Sociological Perspectives on the London Riots – The London Riots remain the biggest act of mass criminality of the 2000s, I like to use them to introduce sociological perspectives on crime and deviance. You can also use this as an example of how media narratives on the causes of the riots differ so much from the London School of Economics research findings on the actual ’causes’ of the riots.

Perspectives on Crime and Deviance – A Very Brief Overview –  A summary grid of 21 theorists, their ‘key points’, their ‘perspective’ and an evaluation. If you like you can cut and paste, cut it up and use it as a sentence sort!

Key Concepts for A Level Sociology Crime and Deviance– definitions of most of the key concepts relevant to crime and deviance within A-level sociology. 

Hints on how to answer the AQA’s Sociology Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods exam paper – in case you need to know how you’re assessed (only covers the crime and deviance material).

Consensus Theories of Crime and Deviance

The Functionalist Perspective on Crime and Deviance – class notes covering Durkhiem’s ‘society of saints’ (the inevitability of crime), and his views on the positive functions of crime – social integration, social regulation and allowing for social change.

Hirschi’s Social Control Theory of Crime – class notes covering Hirschi’s four bonds of attachment – attachment, commitment, involvement and belief. 

Robert Merton’s Strain Theory class notes: the easy summary of Merton’s strain theory is that people who try to succeed by normal means (getting a job for example) and fail turn to crime in oder to achieve what they couldn’t through normal means. 

Functionalism and Strain Theories of Crime summary revision notes – a briefer version of the three posts above. 

Subcultural Theories of Deviance class notes on mainly Albert Cohen’s consensus theory of status frustration, but also with details of other subcultural theories (e.g. Willis). 

Subcultural Theories of Crimesummary revision version of the above. 

The Underclass Theory of Crimebrief class notes covering Charle’s Murray’s theory of the underclass. Murray argues the long term unemployed get cut off over the generations and socialise their kids into a culture of worklesseness and criminality. 

Marxist Theories of Crime and Deviance

The Marxist Perspective on Crimevery detailed class notes covering concepts such as crimogenic capitalism, the costs of corporate crime and the ideological functions of selective law enforcement. 

The Marxist Perspective on Crime summary revision notes of the above. 

Evaluating the Marxist Perspective on Crimeevaluative posts, mostly links to research which supports the Marxist perspective on crime. 

Assess the Contribution of Marxism to our Understanding of Crime and Deviance – an outline 30 mark essay plan. 

Interactionist Theories of Crime and Deviance

The Labelling Theory of Crimevery detailed class notes covering concepts such as labelling as applied to education and crime, the self fulfilling prophecy, Howard Becker’s Master Status, and Cicourel’s Negotiation of Justice. 

The Labelling Theory of Crime brief summary notes of the above. 

Realist Theories of Crime and Deviance

Right Realist Criminology – Includes an introduction to Realism and detailed class notes on Right Realism covering rational choice theory, broken windows theory, Charles Murray’s views on the underclass, situational crime prevention and environmental crime prevention (mainly zero tolerance policing)

Evaluating Broken Windows Theoryevaluative post. Wilson and Kelling’s Broken Windows Theory has been referred to as ‘the most influential theory of crime control’ of recent decades, this post offers some evaluations of this theory. (Spoiler Alert – it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny very well!) 

Environmental Crime Prevention – Definition and Examples – supplementary notes to Right Realism covering zero tolerance policing and ASBOs

Public Space Protection Orders and Criminal Behaviour Orderssupplementary notes to Right Realist policies of crime control 

Left Realist Criminology – class notes covering relative deprivation, marginalisation, subcultures, early intervention, community based solutions to crime and community policing

Post and Late Modern Theories of Crime and Deviance 

Post/ Late Modern Criminologybrief summary notes

Jock Young – Late Modernity, Exclusion and Crime  – class notes

Cultural Criminology – Crime as Edgework – class notes 

Foucault – Surveillance and Crime Control – class notes

Synoptic Surveillance and Crime Control – class notes

Actuarial Justice and Risk Managementclass notes

Controlling and Reducing Crime – the Role of the Community, the Police and Different Forms of Punishment

Crime Prevention and Control Strategiessummary notes

The Role of the Community in Controlling and Reducing Crimesummary notes

The Role of the Police in Controlling and Reducing Crimesummary notes

Sociological Perspectives on Punishmentsummary notes

Does Prison Work? – evaluative post

Social Class and Crime 

Social Class and Crime – detailed class notes

Outline and Analyse Two Ways in Which Patterns of Crime Vary by Social Class10 mark exam style question

See also the perspective links above, especially Marxism!

Ethnicity and Crime

Official Statistics on Ethnicity and Crimeclass notes

Ethnicity and Crime – The Role of Cultural Factorsclass notes

Left Realist Explanations for Ethnic Differences in Crimeclass notes

Neo-Marxist Approaches to Ethnicity and Crimesummary notes

Paul Gilroy’s Anti-Racist Theory summary notes

Criminal Justice, Ethnicity and Racism – Selected Key Statistics – evaluative post

Racism in the Criminal Justice System – Selected Evidenceevaluative post

Ethnicity and CrimeShort answer exam style questions

Outline and Analyse Question on Police Racism10 mark exam question and answer

Gender and Crime 

Sex-Role Theory – why do women commit fewer crimes than men? – class notes

The Liberationist Perspective on the (Long Term) Increase in the Female Crime Rate – summary notes

Globalisation, state and green crime

Globalisation, global criminal networks and crimecovering Misha Glenny’s work on the McMafia. 

Capitalism, Globalisation and Crimecovering global finance and tax havens and TNCs and law evasion. 

What is State Crime?

Sociological perspectives on state crimecovering the different types of state crime and a slightly unusual take applying material from global development to analyse state crime.

Other Posts 

Victimologycovering trends in victimisation, and positivist and critical victimology 

Crime and Deviance Revision Bundle for Sale

If you like this sort of thing then you might like my Crime and Deviance Revision Bundle.

Crime Deviance A-Level Revision

It contains

  • 12 exam practice questions including short answer, 10 mark and essay question exemplars.
  • 32 pages of revision notes covering the entire A-level sociology crime and deviance specification
  • Seven colour mind maps covering sociological perspective on crime and deviance

Written specifically for the AQA sociology A-level specification.

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