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Chapter 6: Deviance and Social Control:. Sickos, Perverts, Freaks, and People like Us. Soc 100. Dr. Santos. Introduction. Deviance- the violation of social norms Stigma- the disapproval attached to disobeying the expected norms

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chapter 6 deviance and social control

Chapter 6: Deviance and Social Control:

Sickos, Perverts, Freaks, and People like Us

Soc 100

Dr. Santos

  • Deviance- the violation of social norms
  • Stigma- the disapproval attached to disobeying the expected norms
  • Crime- the forms of deviance in which formal penalties are imposed by the society
  • We are all deviant at some time or another and in some places
what is deviance
What is deviance?
  • Deviance is a violation of ever-changing social norms
    • Deviance is culturally dependent and historically located, exists always in juxtaposition with some “normality”
    • Deviance is socially constructed even though some of it might be characterized as an immoral absolute
    • Deviance is overlooked in some situations
who what is defined as deviant
Who/what is defined as deviant?
  • Both acts and individuals (and even entire groups) can be defined as deviant: “Condemn the sin, love the sinner,” “aliens”, “misfits”. etc.
  • Low status persons (e.g. ethnic minorities, poor people) are more likely to be perceived as deviant, their good behavior “explained away”
  • Higher status persons (e.g. priests, doctors) are less likely to be defined as deviant, their bad behavior “explained away”
structural functionalist viewpoint
Structural-functionalist viewpoint
  • Deviance serves vital functions for society
      • Sets examples of unacceptable behavior
      • Provides guidelines for (opposite) behavior that is necessary to maintain social order
      • Bonds people together through their common rejection of deviant behavior
      • Provides jobs for those who deal with deviants
      • Can signal problems in a society that need addressed (stimulate positive change)
      • Opens societies to new and creative paths of thinking
misconceptions about deviance
Misconceptions about deviance
  • Some acts are inherently deviant
  • Those who deviate are socially identified and recognized
  • Deviants purposely and knowingly break the law
  • Deviance occurs because there is a dishonest, selfish element to human nature
micro level explanations of deviance
Micro-level explanations of deviance
  • Social control theory - our bonds with society encourage us to conform; with fewer bonds, we are more likely to be deviant
  • Rational choice theory - the decision to be deviant depends upon a cost/benefit analysis of sanctions
Differential association theory - conformity or deviance is learned from those we spend time with
  • Labeling theory - behavior is not intrinsically deviant, but becomes deviant because it is labeled as such
    • Members of a society define (label) what is deviant and impose sanctions for that behavior
    • Individuals who engage in primary deviance are not labeled, but those who engage in secondary deviance are
labeling theory con t
Labeling theory, con’t.
  • Being labeled can reinforce deviant behavior by:
    • Increasing alienation
    • Forcing increased interaction with deviant peers
    • Motivating juvenile delinquents to positively value and identify with the deviant status
  • Deviance becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
  • Those with less power in society are more likely to be labeled as deviants
meso and macro level explanations of deviance
Meso and macro-level explanations of deviance
  • Structural-functionalist theories
    • Anomie - the breakdown of the norms guiding behavior leads to social disorganization
    • Strain theory - those with fewer resources are less able to achieve societally shared goals and may resort to deviant behaviors to achieve their desired goals
merton s ways of adapting to strain
Merton’s ways of adapting to strain
  • Conformity - embracing the society's definition of success and adhering to the established and approved means of achieving success
  • Innovation - use of illicit means to reach approved goals
  • Ritualism - strict adherence to culturally‑ prescribed rules, even though individuals give up on the goals they hoped to achieve
  • Retreatism - giving up on both the goals and the means
  • Rebellion - rejecting the socially approved ideas of "success" and the means of attaining that success, but replaces those with alternative definitions of success and alternative strategies for attaining the new goals
Conflict theory - deviance is a result of social inequality
    • Elites want to maintain control, so they define what is deviant to benefit themselves and deflect attention from their own behaviors
    • The greater the power differentials and inequalities, especially class, the greater the conflict in a society
    • Conflict is inevitable under the current capitalist power arrangement
Feminist theory - abuses suffered by women are rooted in the patriarchal, capitalist system
    • The causes include the gendered division of labor, the separation of spheres, and the socialization of children
    • Cultural attitudes toward crime against women differ based on the status of women in that society
    • Women are less often in a position to commit crimes and often commit crimes that are different from men’s
crime and individuals macro level analysis
Crime and individuals: macro-level analysis
  • Laws reflect the current opinion of what is right or wrong
  • Consensus crimes - members of a society are in general agreement about the serious of the deviant act
  • Conflict crimes - one group passes a law over which there is disagreement or which disadvantages another group
types of crime
Types of crime
  • Predatory or street crime
  • Victimless or public order crimes
  • Hate crimes
  • Organized crime
  • Occupational or white collar crime
  • State organized crimes
  • Global crimes
types of white collar crimes
Types of white-collar crimes
  • Crimes against the company
  • Crimes against employees (e.g., the neglect of worker safety)
  • Crimes against customers
  • Crimes against the public
  • White-collar crimes are less publicized, but ultimately more costly and more deadly than violent predatory crimes
ways of measuring crime
Ways of measuring crime
  • Uniform crime reports
  • Self-reported surveys
  • Victimization surveys
  • Triangulation is best!
world systems perspective
World systems perspective
  • The cause of deviance lies in the global economy, inequalities between countries, and competition between countries for resources and wealth
  • Capitalism has caused inequality to rise between core and periphery nations
  • Periphery nations may resort to unconventional means to meet their goals
dealing with crime
Dealing with crime
  • Structural-functionalist- the justice system is important for maintaining order in society
  • Conflict- the criminal justice system presents crime as a threat from poor people and minorities and disproportionately arrests and sentences them
prisons and jails
Prisons and jails
  • Total institution- completely controls the prisoners’ lives and regulates all of their activities
  • Degradation- mark the inmate as deviant
  • Mortification-break down the individual’s original self as the inmate experiences resocialization
  • Incarceration rates have increased
    • “Get tough on crime”
    • “War on drugs”
    • Preventative policies
the functions of prisons
The functions of prisons
  • Revenge or retribution
  • Removing dangerous individuals from society
  • Deterrence
  • Despite these, nearly 75% of male prisoners will re-offend (high recidivism)
alternatives to prison
Alternatives to prison
  • Social capital - rebuild social networks, shared norms, values, and understanding that facilitate cooperation within or among groups and access to important resources
  • Shock probation - releasing a first time offender early in the hope that the shock of prison life would deter them
  • Day treatment or half-way houses
  • Restitution - The offender renders money or service to the victim or community under supervised parole to compensate the victim