Crime and Deviance Theories

A little while back (maybe 5 or 6 years ago – I lose track) I created 3 Crime and Deviance Presentations that were, I like to think, quite ground-breaking at the time for their combination of text, graphics, audio and video – and while they may be looking a little dated now they still have a little mileage left in them. Probably. You can be the judge of that, I suppose.

Anyway, I think I only ever posted an early version of the Functionalism file and having rediscovered the files on one of my many hard drives I thought it might be nice to update the files slightly, mainly to fix a few little irritating bugettes, such as text not conforming correctly to the original font size and post them here.

The Presentations, which can be downloaded as PowerPoint Shows (.ppsx) in case you want to use them without the need to have PowerPoint, were, I think, originally designed as some sort of revision exercise, but I could be, and frequently am, wrong.


The Presentation outlines four types of Functionalist theory:

1. Durkheimian: The functions of crime.
2. Strain Theory: Merton’s concept of deviance as an individual response to structural problems.
3. General Strain Theory: Agnew’s updating of Strain to develop explanations for non-utilitarian deviance.
4. Subcultural Theories: Reactive and Independent.


The Presentation covers four main areas:

1. Becker and the social construction of crime and deviance.
2. Labelling theory: Jock Young on the Interactionist approach to crime and deviance.
3. Moral and Amoral Panics: An outline of Cohen’s ideas, plus Millar and Reilly’s concept of ideological social control and Waiton’s contemporary updating of the concept in terms of Amoral Panics.
4. Deviancy Amplification: An outline of Wilkins’ original (positivist) model and the Interactionist adaptation.

New Right 

The Presentation looks at a range of New Right ideas about crime management and control:

1. Crime Reduction: The importance of physical and cultural environments.
2. Crime Prevention: Clarke and the focus on crime prevention and management.
3. Criminogenic Environments: Realism and the development of situational crime prevention strategies based on changes to the physical and cultural environment.
4. Right Realism: The problem of order and a cost-benefit analysis of crime.

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