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!).
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 Crime – summary revision version of the above.
The Underclass Theory of Crime – brief 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 Crime – very 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 Crime – evaluative 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 Crime – very 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 Theory – evaluative 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 Orders – supplementary 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 Criminology – brief 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 Management – class notes
Controlling and Reducing Crime – the Role of the Community, the Police and Different Forms of Punishment
Crime Prevention and Control Strategies – summary notes
The Role of the Community in Controlling and Reducing Crime – summary notes
The Role of the Police in Controlling and Reducing Crime – summary notes
Sociological Perspectives on Punishment – summary 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 Class – 10 mark exam style question
See also the perspective links above, especially Marxism!
Ethnicity and Crime
Official Statistics on Ethnicity and Crime – class notes
Ethnicity and Crime – The Role of Cultural Factors – class notes
Neo-Marxist Approaches to Ethnicity and Crime – summary 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 Evidence – evaluative post
Ethnicity and Crime – Short answer exam style questions
Outline and Analyse Question on Police Racism – 10 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 crime – covering Misha Glenny’s work on the McMafia.
Capitalism, Globalisation and Crime – covering global finance and tax havens and TNCs and law evasion.
Sociological perspectives on state crime – covering the different types of state crime and a slightly unusual take applying material from global development to analyse state crime.
Victimology – covering trends in victimisation, and positivist and critical victimology
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