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!). 


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

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.

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

Robert Merton’s Strain Theory class notes

Functionalism and Strain Theories of Crime summary revision notes

Subcultural Theories of Deviance class notes 

Subcultural Theories of Crimesummary revision notes

The Underclass Theory of Crimebrief class notes

Marxist Theories of Crime and Deviance

The Marxist Perspective on Crimevery detailed class notes

The Marxist Perspective on Crime summary revision notes

Evaluating the Marxist Perspective on Crimeevaluative posts, mostly links to research

Assess the Contribution of Marxism to our Understanding of Crime and Devianceoutline essay plan

Interactionist Theories of Crime and Deviance

The Labelling Theory of Crimevery detailed class notes

The Labelling Theory of Crime brief summary notes

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

Other Posts 

Why is Crime Falling?

Globalisation, State Crime and Green Crime

What is State Crime? Some examples of War Crimes Committed by the United States – detailed notes 

Save Sheffield’s Trees – A Case Study in Green Crime and Green Criminology – Sociology in the News

Revision Notes for Sale 

If you like this sort of thing, then you might like my Crime and Deviance Revision Notes  – 31 pages of revision notes covering the following topics:

  1. Consensus based theories part 1 – Functionalism; Social control’ theory; Strain theory
  2. Consensus based theories part 2 – Sub cultural theories
  3. The Traditional Marxist and Neo-Marxist perspective on crime
  4. Labeling Theory
  5. Left- Realist and Right-Realist Criminology (including situational, environmental and community crime prevention)
  6. Post-Modernism, Late-Modernism and Crime (Social change and crime)
  7. Sociological Perspectives on  controlling crime – the role of the community and policing in preventing crime
  8. Sociological Perspectives on Surveillance
  9. Sociological Perspectives on Punishment
  10. Social Class and Crime
  11. Ethnicity and Crime
  12. Gender and crime  (including Girl gangs and Rape and domestic violence)
  13. Victimology – Why are some people more likely to be criminals than others
  14. Global crime, State crime and Environmental crime (Green crime)
  15. The Media and Crime, including moral panics