Gcse sociology crime and deviance essays

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!

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.

Marxist Theories of Crime and Deviance

Interactionist Theories of Crime and Deviance

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

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

Social Class and Crime

See also the perspective links above, especially Marxism!

Ethnicity and Crime

Ethnicity and Crime – Short answer exam style questions

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

Globalisation, State Crime and Green Crime

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

All past paper essay questions for Crime and Deviance

study on suicide

subcultural crime and deviance

Marxists view of the relationship between crime and social class

Labelling theory explanaing crime and deviance

Relationships between age and patterns of crime

Ethnic differences both in offending and in victimisation

Explanations of gender differences in patterns of offending victimisation and punishment

sociological explanations of social class differences in crime rates

Crime and Deviance

Short Answers — Crime and Deviance

How do families ensure their members conform (2 mks)

Families get their members to conform by offering rewards for behaving well like extra pocket money; or by imposing punishments like the naughty step.

How do schools ensure their members conform (2 mks)

Schools get their members to conform by offering rewards for behaving well like special trips; or by imposing punishments like detentions.

How does the Mass Media get people to conform (2 mks)

The Mass Media gets people to conform by showing advertising that suggests certain clothes or behaviors are fashionable and will make people popular like celebrities; they also include stories that suggest certain behaviors are not in keeping with the rest of society and will be looked down upon so people do not do them, for example work and take benefits.

What do Sociologists mean by Deviance? (4 marks)

Deviance is behavior that breaks social norms. Sometimes this includes criminal behavior; however, deviance and crime don’t always mean the same thing. Crime is different in that it means the breaking of the law. Deviance that isn’t criminal is talking loudly in a library, whilst deviance that is criminal is murdering someone. Some crime isn’t even deviant for example speeding. There is no set definition of what deviance is as it depends on who is witnessing the behavior and how they see it, a religious person wouldn’t see going to a place of worship as deviant, but a non-religious person might.

What do Sociologists mean by Crime? (4 marks)

Crime is the breaking of the law. However, this behavior isn’t always deviant, although it can be. Deviance is different to crime as it is behavior that breaks social norms. Criminal behavior that is also deviant includes stealing, but some crimes are not deviant for example speeding. Some deviance doesn’t break the law for example a male office worker wearing a dress to work. Crime is socially constructed, in that the law differs from society to society, and who influences the writing of the law. For example, drinking alcohol is illegal in Islamic countries, but not in the UK. If the law is influenced by the wealthy it may be lenient towards the wealthy, and harsh towards poorer people.

What do Sociologists mean by Informal Social Control? (4 marks)

Informal Social Control is the way that people are made to conform to the wishes of an aspect or institution of society, without that institution having been specially set up with special buildings and specially trained staff to make people to conform. For example, the Family gets its members to conform by offering rewards like presents, or punishments like smacking as a by-product of many of its other functions. This is different to Formal social control where the institution is specially set up and its main function is to get people to conform, for example the police are specially trained to keep order and arrest people if they are not prepared to do as the …