Chapter 6 Deviance: violation of social norms Critical thinking: what is the opposite of deviance? Different kind of social norms? What is crime? examples of deviance? Point: both deviance and crime has nothing to do with morality The Sociological Perspective on Crime/deviance Relativity of Deviance: No human action by itself is inherently deviant. Deviance or not depends on how people define it. People become deviants because others define them as deviants (subculture, physical differences) To some it is deviance, to others it is not. Variation exists across cultures, times, situations, places. Definition of deviance or deviants has much to do with power pattern and power struggle in society. Major argument: No absolute definition, deviance is relative in nature Who is Deviant? Whether Deviant or not depends on social responses, such as stigma, negative sanction, for violation of the core values of society. Not necessarily on violations Sometimes: ascribed status and subculture make people become deviants. Why deviance? Individual approach: biological, genetic factors; Predisposed psychological factors: personality disorder, weak self-control. Sociologists consider biological and psychological explanations inadequate, and believe that Outside factors, not inside / innate factors, are responsible for deviance. and the individual perspectives is blaming the victim. Critical thinking: social factors and crime/ deviance: gender, age, race/ethncity/social class Functionalist: Nothing abnormal about deviance, every society has deviance, just like human body get sick. Society needs deviance, when lacking deviance, society will create some. Functions of deviance: 1. promote social unity 2. Affirm cultural values and norms, 3. Clarify moral boundaries, 4. encourage social change. 5. provide a safety valve for society. Why do some societies have excessive amount of deviance? Durkheim: anomie: normlessness social integration Merton: strain theory (anomie theory): if society inculcates certain cultural values, goals, but fails to provide adequate means for people to achieve the cultural goals, anomie appears. Critical thinking question: poverty causes crime? Point: If the discrepancy exists between cultural goals and means, people tends to seek alternative ways to adapt to the adversity of life. Deviance behavior: 1. Innovation: still keep cultural goals, give up institutionalized means. 2. Ritualism, stick to the rules, give up aspirations. 3. Retreatism: reject both. 4. Rebellion: reject both, but seek change by challenging existing social order. Opportunity Theory by Cloward and Ohlin (1960) Blocked opportunity for success (lack legitimate means for achievement, ). But have Access to illegitimate opportunity: For example: inner city residents, young, male, poor - high crime rate. Point: crime rate differ, not based on individual characteristics, but based on neighborhood characteristics. Broken Window Theory: Deviance/crime is a rational response to situations of social disorder Conflict explanation 1. Deviance resulted from class struggle: social inequality is the root of other social problems. 2. Deviance resulted from group conflict: value conflict, interest conflict. (e.g. hate crime) Critical thinking: Heterogeneity or homogeneity? Empirically supported? Conflict theory (continued) Social class as the central variable in explaining crimes. Biases in law enforcement against the poor For example: white collar crime vs street crime White collar : the most expensive of all types of crime (cost range between 174 and 231 billion annually, c.f. 15 billion from street crime); Fewer than 25% reported get prosecuted. 2.4 years average prison vs 7.8 years for traditional bank robbery Feminist theory Gender is the central variable: why rape or date/ acquaintance rape Women as subordinate As sexual object Lower social economic status Higher rate of mental depression Interactionist theory: learned behavior the differential association theory: people influenced by their primary groups, the intensity, the frequency of interaction affect behavior. Subculture theory: e.g. gang membership caused by teenage subculture: violence, rebellion etc. Control theory/Social Bonds theory (emphasize socialization) Deviance/criminal is normal, conformity is abnormal. Behave based on natural desires Society control exercise social control of people’s natural tendency for conformity: outer control: outside force to press you to conform. inner control: conscience for what is right and what is wrong Social bonds theory: emphasize that society bonds people together by attachment, committment, beliefs and values. Labeling theory Labeling theory: deviance is a result of being labeled by society. Primary deviance: out of curiosity, emergency, or as a spontaneous reaction. secondary deviance: out of people’s self –perception of being labeled; deliberate non-conformity behavior. Labels open or close doors of opportunity for the individuals involved. Point: labeling channels people’s behavior into continuance of deviant behavior. Techniques employed to resist labeling: Denial of responsibility Denial of injury Denial of a victim Condemnation of the condemners Appeal to high loyalty The theory is based on the conflict theory (power struggle), and the symbolic interactionist theory (people interpret their social situation and act accordingly). Deviance is resulted of Deviance Medicalizationfrom physical illness and need to be treated by medicine. Sociologist finding: social experiences underlie deviant behavior. People deviate from social norms and social labeling made people deviants. Social implication: Institutionalized treatment vs de-institutionalization. Labeling, stigma, or blovked opportunity for the individuals involved. Social control Internal control: Individuals internalize norms and values, develop conscience and voluntarily control themselves. External control: Outside forces such as controlling actions of social groups. formal informal legal codes family enforced by friends government agencies peers Formal control: the Criminal Justice System Three parts: the police, the courts, and the corrections: Deter crime, preserve order, maintain justice, and rehabilitation Deterrence theory: deter crime by creating fear: letting potential offenders know that those who break the law will be punished severely, Certainly, And swiftly. Why Criminal justice system does not function as expected, and Why Prisons do not Rehabilitate? Inmate Subculture Inconsistency between the goals and the internal structure of prisons Inconsistency between written laws and laws in action Decision is at the discretion of individual law- enforcement agents. Social structural factors such as social class and gender. Sociologists’ Argument Social context and structural factors affect crime rate: factors External to individuals are responsible. Criminals are the victims of society’s problems Society’s tendency to blame the victims: e.g. misconceptions in victimization age race gender social classes of crime: 2 categaries: crime crime Types indexcrime/Extent of against UCR: 8 person, crime against property Uniform Crime Report: official source of data UCR represents only crimes known to police; Only reflects 1/3 of all crimes committed annually; Focus on lower class crime: 8 indexed crimes: violence and property crime; Overlook offenses that have an extrem impact on society: (particularly corporate crimes and organized crimes) Recording is at the discretion of individual officers.: respect, social class, minority status. Continued: Inconsistency exists between Reported crime and NCS victimization rate. Clearance of crime: process of being arrested and charged for the offense: Clearance rate: 45% for violence crime 18% for property crime Only about 1 in 5 offenses results in an arrest. Criminal case mortality (attrition rate) Only 7 out of 100 cases result in a charge being filed against a suspect. Fewer than half finally go to prison E.g. rape: 92% do not result in the offender going to prison. White collar crimes / occupational crime (term coined by Edwin Sutherland) Who? Medical professionals, bankers, bond traders, brokers, politicians, etc. Consumer crime Occupational crime Organizational crime cybercrime Organizational crime: corporations engage in illegal activities: hazardous working conditions, harmful products, negligence of workers’ and consumers’ interests. U.S. chemical corporations export 150 million pounds of presticides to other countries. 1.7 million of intrauterine devices dumped overseas. Characteristics: utilitarian, positive public image, enormous expenses to the public, attitude of noncriminality Organized crime: structured and global scale Internationalized, industrialized. Gross income exceeds $226 billion US alone). Violent crimes There is a high rate of violent crime in American society (9.4 per 100,000) compared to other western countries (4.3 per 100.000). Violence: the homicide rate is 2 times greater than the average for other industrialized nations. (Reason: cultural context: American is the most violent in western cultures: glorify violence and a tradition of violence?) Gun Violence Federal control of gun licensing is lax and ineffective in controlling sale and purchase (about 70% of the people holding licenses should not hold them). Gun crime increased while other types of violent crime decreased. (about 30,000 death of gun related violence annually, more than traffic accident, ¾ by acquaintances) Gun killing among the young increased 371% since 1980 Compare: in 1996: New Zealand: 2, Japan: 15, England: 30, Canada: 106, Germany: 213, US: 9396 The magnitude and variety of Rape Forcible rape Statutory rape Acquaintance rape 80 per 100,000 females city 77 suburban 51 rural Social responses? Stigma, blame the victim Causes: male domination mentality women as sexual object lower position of women in society Gang Violence and Hate Crimes Increased Subculture Hate crimes: based on race, sexual orientation, ethnicity and ancestry. Family violence: violence against children (reasons) Child abuse Wife abuse (reasons) Alcohol and family violence Property crime Poor people’s crime. More harm done to the public interest than white collar crime? the Influence of Drug on Crime As many as 80% of all offenders admit to the use of illegal drugs Points: 1. Substance abuse facilitate criminal behavior 2. other factors affect the relationship: background, personality, type of substance, circumstances. 3. Drug use does not directly cause criminal behavior, but the same circumstances contribute to both behavior. 4. Gender as an intervening variable. The extent of crime (victimization and victims) 80% victims and 90% offenders are male Female kill 14% of male victims, for self-defense Highest for young between 20-35 years old 47% white 49% black Black victim 3 times higher than white, victimization 4 times higher. Percentage of violent crime in general increased 17%, bur for the young, by 128% Most homicide are intraracial: 94% black victims were by black, 84% white by white 87% male death by male 9 out of 10 female death by male Social Deviance by Shaw and McKay Crimes are deviant behavior when social disorganization occurs. The root is social, not individual traits: social characteristics of the respective neighborhoods make the differences in behavior. Crime rate are directly, positively related to other social problems such as poverty, infant mortality, and school drop-out, drug problem. Problems: neglect the effect of social inequality and macro level social change.
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