sociology crime

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  • Created on: 24-04-14 21:39

Control punishment and victimisation

Crime prevention and control:

-          What makes people conform and when are they tempted to not conform? These issue raise the issue of social control, this is a society’s capacity to regulate its members

Situational crime prevention

Clarke describes situational crime prevention as a pre emptive approach to crime that relies not on improving society or its institutions but on reducing the opportunities for crime. He identifies 3 features of measures aimed at situational crime prevention

1.       They are directed at specific crimes

2.       They involve managing or altering the immediate environment of the crime

3.       They aim at increasing the efforts of doing the crime and reducing the rewards of it

-e.g. ‘target hardening’ measures for example locking doors and windows


Durkheim, positivism and suicide:

-first major sociological contribution to understanding of suicide came from positivist Durkheim, he claimed that sociology could be and should be studied scientifically  for Durkheim sociology can discover real scientific laws if he could discover these he could show sociology as a science. To prove this Durkheim decided to study suicide he rejected a number of other theories, he claimed that climate has no effect on suicide rates however he accepts that some groups are more likely to commit suicide than others, e.g. those with depression .

Suicide rates as social facts:

In Durkheim’s view, our behaviour is caused by social facts – forces in the structure of our society

Luke’s found…




Altruistic suicide- too much social integration, involves putting others before yourself, occurs when the individuals interests have little value and those of the group override it. Individual feels it is their duty to die e.g. elderly inuits walking out in the cold to die or in ww2  Japanese pilots were expected to drive their planes into American war ships

Anomic suicide- caused by too little moral regulation caused when norms become unclear due to rapid social change, this creates uncertainty as members do not know what society expects of them economic booms and busts for example during the 1920s and 1930s

Fatalistic suicide- where there is too much moral regulation, fatalism is the belief that an individual can do nothing to change their current situation, they believe that the future hold nothing for them- for example slaves and prisoners

Suicide and type of society:

For Durkheim modern and traditional societies are different from one another in levels of integration and regulation therefore you find different types of suicide in these societies

Modern industrial societies- low levels of social integration and peoples rights and freedoms are more important than their obligations to the group. Therefore social bonds become weaker so egoistic suicides go up. Modern societies are less effective at regulating individuals as they have rapid social change therefore anomic suicides rise

Traditional preindustrial societies- have high levels of social integration the groups is also more important than the individuals liberties due to these obligations altruistic suicides are high. Fatalistic suicides are also high due to high levels of regulation

Positivists approach

Halbwach accepts Durkheim’s theory which was a positivist approach, however due to his research being more recent and he had access to more reliable statistics he more or less confirmed Durkheim findings although he argued that differences between urban and rural were the main reason for suicide rates

Interpretivism and suicide

Positivists sought to build on Durkheim’s theory interpretivists seek to abolish and look at the meanings of suicide to those invo

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