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Chapter 9. Deviance. What is Deviance?. Deviance: The recognized violation of cultural norms Crime: The violation of criminal law Juvenile delinquency: Violation of legal standards by the young Social control: Attempts by society to regulate people’s thought and behaviour

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chapter 9
Chapter 9

Deviance

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

what is deviance
What is Deviance?

Deviance: The recognized violation of cultural norms

Crime: The violation of criminal law

Juvenile delinquency: Violation of legal standards by the young

Social control: Attempts by society to regulate people’s thought and behaviour

Criminal justice system: a formal response by police, courts, and prison officials to alleged violations of the law

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

biological context
Biological Context

Early studies on head shape (e.g., Lombroso) and body size (e.g., Sheldon) showed relationships with crime, but they were faulty.

Now studies show people’s overall genetic composition in combination with social influences account for variation in criminality, but this does not explain how some behaviours are defined as deviant.

Critical evaluation: Why are some kinds of behaviours defined as deviant and not others?

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

personality factors
Personality Factors

Containment theory: Individual factors like the ability to cope with frustration and identifying positively with cultural norms and values are related to fewer problems with police.

Critical evaluation: The vast majority of crimes are committed by those whose psychological profiles are normal.

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

social foundations of deviance
Social Foundations of Deviance
  • Deviance varies according to cultural norms across Canada and internationally.
  • People become deviant as others define them that way.
  • Both norms and the way people define situations involve social power.

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

structural functional analysis
Structural-Functional Analysis

Durkheim’s insight

  • Deviance affirms cultural values and norms.
  • Responding to deviance clarifies moral boundaries.
  • Responding to deviance promotes unity.
  • Deviance encourages social change.

(Cont’d)

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

structural functional analysis cont d
Structural-Functional Analysis (Cont’d)

Merton’s Strain theory

  • People who do not have legitimate means to an approved goal (e.g., wealth) use illegitimate means (e.g., crime).
  • This is called innovation.

Deviant Subcultures

  • Deviance is also helped by having deviant opportunity structures available (e.g., gangs).

Critical evaluation: not everyone seeks success, and attention is focussed on the poor.

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

fig 9 1
Fig 9-1

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

labelling deviance symbolic interaction analysis
Labelling Deviance: Symbolic-Interaction Analysis

Labelling theory: deviance and conformity result not so much from what people do, as from how others respond to those actions.

Primary and Secondary Deviance: some violations have little affect on one’s self-concept (primary).

But if defined by people as a deviant, a person may adopt the identity (secondary).

Stigma: a powerfully negative label that greatly changes a person’s self-concept and social identity (Cont’d)

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

labelling deviance symbolic interaction analysis cont d
Labelling Deviance: Symbolic-Interaction Analysis (Cont’d)

Labelling difference as deviance: People have a tendency to treat difference (e.g., living on the street) as deviance or even illness.

Medicalization of Deviance: the transformation of moral and legal issues into medical matters

Sutherland’s Differential Association Theory: people learn deviance and define deviance positively in deviant groups.

(Cont’d)

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

labelling deviance symbolic interaction analysis cont d11
Labelling Deviance: Symbolic-Interaction Analysis (Cont’d)

Hirschi’s Control Theory

  • Attachment: Strong social attachments encourage conformity.
  • Commitment: The greater a person’s commitment to legitimate opportunities, the greater conformity.
  • Involvement: Time and energies linked to “legitimate” activities inhibit deviance.
  • Belief: Strong belief in conventional morality and respect for authority figures inhibits deviance. (Cont’d)

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

labelling deviance symbolic interaction analysis cont d12
Labelling Deviance: Symbolic-Interaction Analysis (Cont’d)

Critical evaluation:

  • Some kinds of behaviour are universally condemned (e.g., murder).
  • Research on consequences is inconclusive.
  • Some seek a deviant label.

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

social conflict analysis
Social-Conflict Analysis
  • Deviance and power
    • Norms or laws reflect interests of rich and powerful
    • Powerful have resources to resist deviant labels
    • Belief that norms and laws are natural and good masks political character
  • Deviance and Capitalism: People labelled deviant:
    • Those who threaten private property
    • Those who cannot or will not work
    • People who resist authority
    • People who challenge the status quo

(Cont’d)

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

social conflict analysis cont d
Social-Conflict Analysis (Cont’d)

White-Collar Crime: crimes committed by people of high social position in the course of their occupations: fraud, bribery, and embezzlement.

Critical evaluation:

  • Laws exist to protect the environment, workers, and consumers, not just rich.
  • Deviance does not just exist in capitalist societies.

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

deviance and social diversity
Deviance and Social Diversity

Deviance and Gender

  • The world applies more stringent normative controls to women.
  • Strain due to reality of gender-based inequality
  • The behavior of women and men is judged differently.
  • Why do women commit fewer crimes than men?

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

crime
Crime

Violation of criminal laws involving an act and criminal intentfrom wilful conduct to negligence

Types of crime

  • Violent crimes: Crimes against persons
  • Property crimes: Crimes against property
  • Victimless crimes: violations without apparent victims (e.g., drug laws)

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

criminal statistics
Criminal Statistics
  • Statistics gathered by police show show property and violent crime rising from the 1960s-90s and then declining, but compare with…
  • Victimization surveys: asking a representative sample of Canadians their experience with property and violent crime.
    • The rate is higher because some crimes go unreported

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

fig 9 2
Fig 9-2

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

the street criminal a profile
The “Street” Criminal: a Profile
  • Age: persons between the ages of 12 and 24
    • 20% of population
    • 35% of accused of violent crime
    • 60% of accused of property crimes
  • Gender: 85+% of arrests involve males and 97% of all prisoners are males.
  • Social class: Criminality is more widespread among people of lower class social position.
  • Race and ethnicity: Native people and Blacks are arrested disproportionately.

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

canadian and american perspectives
Canadian and American Perspectives
  • U.S. violent crime rates are higher
  • Canadian rates are between U.S. and Europe
  • Why?
    • Social safety net
    • Availability of guns
  • Since 9/11 Canada and U.S. have become partners in war on terror

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

fig 9 3
Fig 9-3

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

criminal justice system
Criminal Justice System

Police: point of contact between population and criminal justice system

  • With lots of discretion, arrests depend on:
    • How serious is the crime?
    • What is the victim’s preference?
    • Is the suspect cooperative or not?
    • Have they arrested the suspect before?
    • Are bystanders present?
    • Is the suspect visible minority? (Cont’d)

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

criminal justice system cont d
Criminal Justice System (Cont’d)

Courts determine innocence or guilt

  • Plea bargaining: legal negotiation in which a prosecutor reduces a charge for a defendant’s guilty plea—efficient, but may undercut rights.

(Cont’d)

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.

criminal justice system cont d24
Criminal Justice System Cont’d

Punishment

  • Retribution: an act of moral vengeance, suffering for offender comparable to caused by offence
  • Deterrence: discouraging crime, but high rates of recidivism--subsequent offences occur.
  • Rehabilitation: reforming the offender
  • Societal protection: offender is incapacitated temporarily, but they return with a stigma.

© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.