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What is the Structural-Functionalist view of crime?

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brigaither | Student | (Level 2) Honors

Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:35 AM via web

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What is the Structural-Functionalist view of crime?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:48 AM (Answer #1)

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Structural functionalists believe that every aspect of society plays an important role in that society.  They believe that crime, in the proper amount, is good for a society.  The main reason for this is that crime helps to define our values and to get people to adhere to those values.

When we identify and punish criminals, we are affirming our shared values.  We are saying that certain behaviors are outside of what is acceptable to us.  By doing so, we are also defining what is acceptable.  This helps us to retain our sense that all of us in the society are united and cohesive.  For this reason, crime is good so long as it does not reach levels that are too high.

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