Deviance/Social stratification

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1. Explain the limitations of biological and psychological explanations of crime. Expand the essay by explaining the strengths of a sociological approach to understanding crime.
2. Emile Durkheim made the surprising statement that crime is actually useful for any society. Write an essay in which you explain Durkheim’s approach and point to a number of specific ways in which crime (or, more broadly, deviance) is functional for society as a whole.
3. Describe the labeling theory of deviance. What basic insight about deviance is offered by this approach? What is the importance of distinguishing between primary deviance and secondary deviance? What is the importance of stigma in labeling analysis?
4. Briefly identify the main characteristics of caste systems and class systems. How are these systems linked to different kinds of economic production (agrarian versus industrial technology)? What are the different justifications for inequality in each case?
5. What is meritocracy? How and why do class systems combine caste and meritocracy? Illustrate your response with reference to Great Britain or the United States.

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