Essay on Sociology notes

Submitted By dandelmont
Words: 3287
Pages: 14

imagine that you have just been elected Prime Minister of Canada. Your first campaign pledge was to reduce crime. Using one or more of the sociological analytical theories, explain what policy initiatives you would favour to reduce crime levels. Remember to use sociologcal terms to explain your position.
Essays will be evaluated on the quality of the discussion as it relates to the course material and grammatical skills. Analtyical theories should be clearly defined and attributed to the approriate sociologists. no longer than 1200 words and no shorter than 1000 words, which is approximately 4 pages DOUBLE SPACED.
Put your name and student number at the top left corner of each page.
Deviance is a negative behavior because it violates norms

Social disorganization theory points to broad social factors as the cause of deviance. A person isn’t born a criminal, but becomes one over time, often based on factors in his or her social environment. Research into social disorganization theory can greatly influence public policy. For instance, studies have found that children from disadvantaged communities who attend preschool programs that teach basic social skills are significantly less likely to engage in criminal activity.

According to Durkheim, crime has functional (orpositive) consequences, such as fostering flexibility. It is impossible for all people to be alike and to hold the same moral consciousness. Some individuals differ from the collective type; inevitably, some of these divergences include criminal behavior—not because the act is intrinsically criminal but because the collectivity defines it as criminal. Durkheim saw crime as the product of norms. The concept of wrong is necessary to give meaning to right and is inherent in that concept. Even a community of saints will create sinners. For a society to be flexible enough to permit positive deviation, it must permit negative deviation as well. If no deviation is permitted, societies become stagnant. Crime helps prepare society for such changes; it is one of the prices we pay for freedom.25 Furthermore, crime is normal. No society can be exempt from crime: “There is . . . no phenomenon that presents more indisputably all the symptoms of normality, since it appears closely connected with the conditions of all collective life.”26 In 1893, Durkheim introduced his version of the concept of anomie, which derives from a Greek word meaning “without norms.” Durkheim was not the first to use the term, nor did he develop the concept as did extensively did the American sociologist Robert K. Merton. But
Durkheim was responsible for making the concept an integral part of sociology and criminology. He believed that one of society’s most important elements is its social cohesion, or social solidarity, which represents a collective conscience. In explaining this phenomenon, Durkheim defined two types of solidarity, mechanical and organic.
According to Durkheim, primitive societies are characterized by mechanical solidarity, which is dominated by the collective conscience. The type of law manifests this dominance— the reason for law is to discourage individuals from acting in a way that threatens the collective conscience. As societies become larger and more complex, the emphasis in law shifts from the collective conscience to the individual wronged, and law becomes restitutive. This shift from mechanical to organic solidarity is characterized by an increased need for a division of labor, a division that may be forced and therefore abnormal, leading to the creation of unnatural differences in class and status. People are less homogeneous, and the traditional forms of social control, appropriate to a simple, homogeneous society, are not effective in controlling behavior. Greater loneliness, more social isolation, and a loss of identity result, with a consequent state of anomie, or normlessness, replacing the former state of solidarity and providing an atmosphere in