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Date Submitted: 09/19/2011 11:16 AM

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Crime and Deviance


Crime and Deviance

Crime and Deviance is a major topic in Sociology but one that many students find difficult. This is in part because of the fragmentation and diversity of the different approaches, making it difficult for both teacher and student to establish links and connections between them. This video attempts to address these difficulties by developing a framework to help clarify the similarities and differences between these very different approaches to crime and deviance. We have also taken account of the dramatic shift in the focus of research in recent years away from deviance and theorising about crime, towards crime control and prevention. We look at how the field is changing and how some of the ‘newer’ approaches can be linked to the more ‘familiar’ ones. The structure of both the video and the booklet is based on the idea that sociological theories of Crime and Deviance can be usefully divided into theories of: Social Causation Social Construction Social Control This division not only helps to clarify some of the diversity in the area, it also reflects some general traditions of sociological thought, the implications of which go well beyond crime and deviance. This framework is also useful in adopting a chronological approach, as in the video, to the teaching of the topic of crime and deviance. The idea here is to illustrate that theories are influenced by cultural changes in wider society and ideas also go in and out of fashion. Before showing the video: Ask your students about their own experiences of crime. Have they or anyone they know been the victim of a crime? Have they ever been stopped by the police for questioning? Do they have a view about the typical criminal? What crimes or deviant behaviour will they admit to?


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Section 1: Origins of the Sociology of Crime and Deviance

Crime has always been with us but different historical periods have...