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Deviance (PowerPoint download)


        What we want to know
   How is deviance defined and who defines
     • Is it the person or the action?
   How is deviance distributed in society
    and how do we know?
   What causes deviance?
   How is deviance controlled?
        The Nature of Deviance
 Most people internalize societal norms
 Individuals do not internalize every norm

 Remember from chapter 3…

Sanctions- rewards and punishments use to
  enforce conformity…
Social control- techniques and strategies for
  preventing deviant human behavior in any
                Defining Deviance
   Deviance is the violation of norms,
    especially widely held norms
   Crime is an action declared illegal by
    some government or agency
   Is all deviance criminal ?
     • Pushing children into fashion shows,
       sports ?
    • Subcultures (gangs) and deviance
   What is deviance?
   What are the nature and social
    function of deviance?
   How do the theories that have been
    proposed to explain deviance

-white collar crime
-talking to yourself in public
-smoking in public places
              Defining Deviance
   Non Criminal Deviance
    • Music preferences
    • Body piercing
    • Marrying someone
        Your parents disapprove of

        Your parents want you to

    • Being a Geek or a Nerd
           Defining Defiance
Not all norm violations are deviant:

a. within the same society (killing)
b. varies from society to society (divorce)
c. time period (business on Sundays)
     How does one become labeled
1. Repeating an offense
(unless serious single act)
2. Behavior must be known to others-
3. Stigmatized by society…

Stigma…mark of disgrace used as a
   form of social control
I.E. uniforms, signs, marks, etc
           Deviant label
Negative Social Reaction
Goffman’s “spoiled social identity”-no
 longer normal or whole

Ex. Obesity, victims of AIDs , mentally
 ill, homeless
         Emile Durkheim
Social Functions of Deviance:
-clarify norms
-unify the group
-diffuse tension
-promote social change
-(provides law enforcement jobs)
Clarifying Norms
 Deviance defines boundaries of
  acceptable behavior
 Punishment of norm violators reminds
  others that certain behaviors will not
  be tolerated
 Acts as preventative measure or
Ex. Harsh prison sentences
Unifying Norms
 Conforming members vs
  nonconforming members
 Reinforces the belief in shared values
 Important to maintain the group
Diffusing Tension
 Minor acts of deviance serve as a
  safety valve
 Individuals can relieve tension
  without disrupting the basic fabric of
Participating in demonstrations,
Promoting Social Change
 Large numbers of people violating a
  particular norm, indicative of
  something society needs to change
Providing Jobs
 Judges, lawyers, police officers,
  prison personnel, parole officers=
 Crime reporters and criminologists..
 Can you think of any other jobs
    How do we Explain Deviance?
   Functionalist Perspective: natural
    part of society
   Conflict Perspective: power and
   Interactionist Perspective: interaction
    among individuals influence deviance
    The Functionalist Perspective
   Parts of a social system work
    together to maintain a balance stable
    social system-all parts of a society
    serve a functional purpose
   People agree on what is best for
    society and work together
   Examples: family, education, school
  Functionalist Perspective
• Functions are actions that have
  positive consequences
• Dysfunctions are actions that have
  negative consequences i.e. crime
• Manifest functions are intended
• Latent functions are unintended
What are the latent and manifest
  functions of internet, fast-food, super
  stores i.e. Wal-Mart
  Problems with Functionalist
• The influence has declined in
  recent decades.
• It ignores inequalities of social
  class, race, and gender
Merton’s “strain theory”
 Natural outgrowth of values, norms,
  structure of society
 Anomie- when norms of society are

  unclear or no longer applicable
 The 5 Modes of adaption
           Modes of Adaption
   Conformity-accept cultural goals/accept
    culture norms (legitimate)
   Innovation-accept cultural goals/reject
    cultural norms (drug dealers)
   Ritualism-reject cultural goals/accept
    cultural norms
   Retreatism-reject cultural goals/reject
    culture norms (drug addicts, beggars)
   Rebellion-reject/replace cultural goals
          Conflict Theory
The social-conflict paradigm is a
 framework for building theory that
 sees society as an arena of inequality
 that generates conflict and change.
Most sociologists who favor the
 conflict paradigm attempt not only to
 understand society but also to
 reduce social inequality
        Weakness of Conflict
   It ignores social unity based on
    mutual interdependence and shared
         Conflict Perspective
   Quinney states that …”the ruling
    classes label any behavior that
    threatens their power base as
   Competition and social inequality
    lead to deviance
   People w/out power commit deviant
    acts to obtain economic rewards, low
    self esteem, powerlessness
    Symbolic Interactionism-
Ignores the influence of
 larger social structures.
By emphasizing what is
 unique, it risks
 overlooking the effects
 of culture, class,
 gender, and race.
Control Theory:
 Deviance is a natural occurrence

 Social ties determine comformity

 individuals
Cultural Transmission
 Deviance is learned through
  interaction with others engaging in
  deviant acts
 All individuals conform
Labeling Theory
 All people commit deviant acts

 Not all are labeled as deviants

 Label becomes self fulfilling prophecy

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