Evaluation on Durkheim’s theory- Deviance
Durkheim was a functionalist who believed that societies are held together via shared values and economic independence. He believed that there was a possibility of the collapse in society if the values are not constantly reaffirmed and sent from one generation to another. Therefore he says the maintenance of values is a crucial function of society. There are a few ways to reaffirm these values and ensure social cohesion: Education and religion.
Durkheim argued that crime was inevitable for society to run smoothly and should be a normal aspect of life. He says that there should be a limited amount of crime so that society will be able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. Durkheim imagined a society of saints and said that if everyone was perfect there will still be deviance, but the slightest slip will be regarded as a serious offence e.g. picking your nose in public.
According to Durkheim there are 2 key elements to understanding crime. He says that crime is necessary and beneficial to society, and that society could not exist without deviance, however he says too much crime will be bad for society and could cause a collapse. Crime is functional however will come dysfunctional if crime rate is too low or too high. He says that for change to occur a yesterday deviance must become today’s normality so all in all deviance in the right proportion is healthy. Collective sentiments us be different throughout a society or else there will be no changes or very little deviance.
Durkheim has criticisms, he does not explain why certain people are more likely to commit crimes and was not interested In solving the problem but seeing their nature of the relationship between deviance and order In society.