What further explanations of criminal behaviour are there? What is the Impact of Crime and Deviance on Society?

What further explanations of criminal behaviour are there? What is the Impact of Crime and Deviance on Society?

Labelling theory: Males who are young, black or working class (or a combination of the three) are more likely to be labelled deviant or criminal, even before they have shown themselves to deserve the label. Being judged in this way may lead to a negative mentality and criminal behaviour. This is another example of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Social inequalities: In a capitalist society material wealth is seen as the goal towards which we must all strive. Marxists argue that in a capitalist society there will always be a divide between those with the wealth and those without it. For those without it, the only way to access this widely advertised wealth is to take a criminal shortcut.

Marxist critics argue that the criminal justice system is biased against working class criminals, who are punished more severely than members of the middle classes who may commit crime involving much larger sums of money.


What is the impact of crime and deviance on society?

1.) The fear of crime influences the way people behave and how they interact with other people. Usually the fear of crime is greater than the actual threat, but this general anxiety will lead us to fix strong locks, avoid picking up hitch-hikers, install CCTV cameras and set up neighbourhood watch schemes.

2.) Community breakdown: Antisocial behaviour by gangs or drunks may lead to a sense of fear within the community and a sense that community spirit is breaking down. People may become more defensive in their manner towards other people.

3.) White collar crime: Tax evasion reduces government funds and decreases what can be spent on public welfare.

4.) Corporate crime: Industrial pollution, when it exceeds legal levels, can lead to environmental pollution. Large scale corporate crime can lead to a loss of faith between employers and employees and make for a difficult working life.


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The Getting In guide for those who are revising GCSE Sociology.