Sociological Theories of Deviance and Crime
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Select one of the four perspectives on crime and deviance (functionalism, conflict, feminist, or symbolic interactionist). In this discussion forum address the following questions:
Why do you believe this perspective explains crime and deviance best?
Please be sure to back up your opinion with information from the textbook.
Functionalism, Conflict theory, Feminist theory, and Symbolic Interactionism are four theoretical perspectives that sociologists use to understand deviance and crime.
Functionalists believe that deviance is necessary for society to function properly. They argue that deviance serves several functions, such as reinforcing social norms, promoting social change, and creating social solidarity. According to functionalists, individuals who engage in deviant behavior threaten the stability of society, and society has a duty to control this behavior through the criminal justice system.
Conflict theorists, on the other hand, argue that deviance and crime are the result of social inequality and power imbalances. They believe that those who hold power in society use their influence to create laws and criminalize behavior that threatens their status quo. Conflict theorists argue that the criminal justice system is biased towards the rich and powerful and unfairly targets marginalized groups such as minorities and the poor.
Feminist theorists focus on gender-based violence and the ways in which patriarchy perpetuates violence against women. They argue that violence against women is rooted in social and cultural norms that perpetuate gender inequality. Feminist theorists also critique the criminal justice system for failing to adequately address gender-based violence and for perpetuating gender biases.
Finally, symbolic interactionists focus on the ways in which individuals interact with one another to create meaning around deviant behavior. They argue that deviance is not inherent in a particular behavior, but rather it is created through the social interactions between individuals. Symbolic interactionists focus on the labels that society places on certain behaviors, and the ways in which these labels affect individuals’ behavior and self-identity.