Chapter 6 Deviance and Social Control

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Chapter 6  Deviance and Social Control Powered By Docstoc
					Chapter 6: Deviance and
Social Control:
Sickos, Perverts, Freaks, and
People like Us
 Soc 100                Dr. Santos

n   Deviance- the violation of social norms
n   Stigma- the disapproval attached to
    disobeying the expected norms
n   Crime- the forms of deviance in which
    formal penalties are imposed by the society
n   We are all deviant at some time or another
    and in some places
      What is deviance?
n   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
n   Both acts and individuals (and even entire
    groups) can be defined as deviant: “Condemn
    the sin, love the sinner,” “aliens”, “misfits”. etc.
n   Low status persons (e.g. ethnic minorities, poor
    people) are more likely to be perceived as
    deviant, their good behavior “explained away”
n   Higher status persons (e.g. priests, doctors) are
    less likely to be defined as deviant, their bad
    behavior “explained away”
n   Deviance serves vital functions for society
     n   Sets examples of unacceptable behavior
     n   Provides guidelines for (opposite) behavior that is
         necessary to maintain social order
     n   Bonds people together through their common
         rejection of deviant behavior
     n   Provides jobs for those who deal with deviants
     n   Can signal problems in a society that need
         addressed (stimulate positive change)
     n   Opens societies to new and creative paths of
Misconceptions about
n   Some acts are inherently deviant
n   Those who deviate are socially
    identified and recognized
n   Deviants purposely and knowingly
    break the law
n   Deviance occurs because there is a
    dishonest, selfish element to human
Micro-level explanations
of deviance
n   Social control theory - our bonds with
    society encourage us to conform; with
    fewer bonds, we are more likely to be
n   Rational choice theory - the decision to
    be deviant depends upon a
    cost/benefit analysis of sanctions
n   Differential association theory -
    conformity or deviance is learned from
    those we spend time with
n   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
    – Individuals who engage in primary
      deviance are not labeled, but those who
      engage in secondary deviance are
        Labeling theory, con’t.
n   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
n   Deviance becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
n   Those with less power in society are more likely
    to be labeled as deviants
Meso and macro-level
explanations of deviance
n   Structural-functionalist theories
    – Anomie - the breakdown of the norms
      guiding behavior leads to social
    – 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
n   Conformity - embracing the society's definition of
    success and adhering to the established and
    approved means of achieving success
n   Innovation - use of illicit means to reach
    approved goals
n   Ritualism - strict adherence to culturally‑
    prescribed rules, even though individuals give up
    on the goals they hoped to achieve
n   Retreatism - giving up on both the goals and the
n   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
n   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
n   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
n   Laws reflect the current opinion of
    what is right or wrong
n   Consensus crimes - members of a
    society are in general agreement
    about the serious of the deviant act
n   Conflict crimes - one group passes a
    law over which there is disagreement
    or which disadvantages another group
Types of crime

n   Predatory or street crime
n   Victimless or public order crimes
n   Hate crimes
n   Organized crime
n   Occupational or white collar crime
n   State organized crimes
n   Global crimes
Types of white-collar
n   Crimes against the company
n   Crimes against employees (e.g., the
    neglect of worker safety)
n   Crimes against customers
n   Crimes against the public
n   White-collar crimes are less publicized,
    but ultimately more costly and more
    deadly than violent predatory crimes
Ways of measuring crime

n   Uniform crime reports
n   Self-reported surveys
n   Victimization surveys

n   Triangulation is best!
World systems
n   The cause of deviance lies in the global
    economy, inequalities between countries,
    and competition between countries for
    resources and wealth
n   Capitalism has caused inequality to rise
    between core and periphery nations
n   Periphery nations may resort to
    unconventional means to meet their goals
Dealing with crime

n   Structural-functionalist- the justice
    system is important for maintaining
    order in society
n   Conflict- the criminal justice system
    presents crime as a threat from poor
    people and minorities and
    disproportionately arrests and
    sentences them
Prisons and jails
n   Total institution- completely controls the
    prisoners’ lives and regulates all of their
n   Degradation- mark the inmate as deviant
n   Mortification-break down the individual’s
    original self as the inmate experiences
n   Incarceration rates have increased
    –   “Get tough on crime”
    –   “War on drugs”
    –   Preventative policies
The functions of prisons

n   Revenge or retribution
n   Removing dangerous individuals from
n   Deterrence
n   Despite these, nearly 75% of male
    prisoners will re-offend (high
The rise of the Prison-Industrial Complex in the USA > 1980
Alternatives to prison
n   Social capital - rebuild social networks,
    shared norms, values, and understanding
    that facilitate cooperation within or among
    groups and access to important resources
n   Shock probation - releasing a first time
    offender early in the hope that the shock
    of prison life would deter them
n   Day treatment or half-way houses
n   Restitution - The offender renders money
    or service to the victim or community
    under supervised parole to compensate
    the victim

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