VIEWS: 14 PAGES: 24 POSTED ON: 10/13/2011
Deviance What is deviance? • The violation of social norms. • Who or what determines which acts are considered deviant? • Society (public consensus or powerful groups) • That is to say deviance is culturally defined. Is what is considered deviance always the • NO!! same? • An act which is considered deviant in one situation, may not be considered deviant in another situation, even in the same society. • What is considered deviant, and the consequences of deviant acts, vary from society to society and from historical period to historical period. Deviance and its consequences are culturally determined. How does a person come to be considered a deviant? • Repeating an offense? • Committing acts that have serious consequences? • A person may only need to commit a single act to be considered deviant. Two components of being labeled deviant; •1. Detection •2. Stigmatization Stigma •A mark of social disgrace. •A stigma may but does not have to be an outward sign. •A stigma is a “spoiled social identity.” Durkheim’s “Functions” theory of Deviance • From the Functionalist perspective. • Unifying the Group; An “insiders versus outsiders,” or “us against them,” attitude helps to bring groups or societies together. In this way deviance can enhance social solidarity. • Deviance ironically can also enhance conformity. Deviance can clarify norms. Deviance defines boundaries of acceptable behavior. Deviance and punishment remind people of norms. More positive functions of deviance. • Safely releasing discontent or diffusing tension. Minor acts of deviance relieve tension without disrupting society. • Inducing social change and or identifying problems in a society. • When a particular norm is violated, by a large number of people, it might indicate a problem within the society. • Providing jobs. The Cultural-Transmission Theory of Deviance? • Views deviance as a learned behavior. • Deviance is learned the way all behavior is learned, through interaction. • Differential Association; If the majority of a person’s interactions are with deviants, the person will likely be socialized into deviance. • Cultural Transmission theory views all individuals as conformists. People simply conform to the norms of the people they have the greatest association with. • Cultural Transmission is from the Symbolic Interactionist perspective. Structural-Strain Theory • A Functionalist perspective on deviance. • Proposed by Robert Merton • Views deviance as the natural outgrowth of the values, norms, and structure of society. Structural-Strain Theory views deviance as the result of incompatible goals and means. • All people in society are socialized to accept certain goals such as financial success, good grades etc. • Not all people in society have the legitimate means to achieve these goals, they have been socialized to accept. • Strain is the result of this tension between goals and means. • Without access to legitimate means for achieving societies goals, people turn to illegitimate means, e.g. stealing, cheating (deviance). Merton believed that the strain of incompatible goals and means produces a state of anomie for individuals. • Anomie is normlessness, societies norms are no longer clear or no longer applicable. Merton believed that people respond to culturally approved goals, and legitimate means of achieving those goals, in one of five ways. • 1. Conformity • 2. Innovation • 3. Ritualism • 4. Retreatism • 5. Rebellion Conformity •Accepts • Accepts the culturally the approved cultural norms/means for attaining goals of societies society. goals. Innovation •Accepts • Rejects the approved the means of achieving the cultural culture’s goals goals of and substitutes new ones society. (stealing, cheating, etc.) Ritualism •Rejects • Accepts the culture’s the norms/means for attaining cultures goals, without goals any hope of attaining those (gives goals. Going up). through the motions. Retreatism • Rejects the • Rejects the culture’s culture’s norms/means goals, has for attaining no hope of societies achieving goals. Doesn’t even them. go through the motions. Rebellion •Rejects • Rejects the culture’s the approved culture’s means/norms for obtaining goals but goals but replaces replaces them them with with new means and norms. new goals. Hirschi’s Control Theory • Sees deviance as a natural occurrence. • Conformity is the result of social control. • Individuals with weak ties to the community, are likely to commit deviant acts. • Community members can exercise more social control, over members with strong ties to the community, because those members have more to lose. • Individual with weak ties to the community, are more difficult to control, because they have less to lose. Conflict Theory • Competition and social inequality lead to deviance. • Social life is a struggle between those who have and those who do not have. • People who are in power (those who have) commit deviant acts, in an effort to maintain power. Conflict Theory Continued • People out of power (those who do not have) commit deviant acts for one of two reasons. • To obtain economic rewards. • Because they have feelings of powerlessness. • According to the conflict theorists because those who have, have all the power, they label what will be defined as deviance and what will not. They control what types of deviance will be detected and punished. • The deviance of the lower classes will be more often detected. • Deviance is the result of class struggle. Power Theory • Comes from the Conflict Perspective. • The powerful have greater; deviant motivation, opportunity and weaker social control. • The powerful engage in profitable deviance and the powerless in unprofitable deviance. • Because the powerful have a greater deviant motivation they will be more likely deviant. Labeling Theory • Does not focus as much on why people are deviant as it does on why some people are labeled deviant and other aren’t. • Grew out of the interactionist perspective. • According to the labeling theory all people commit deviant acts, but only some are labeled as deviant. • Primary Deviance are deviant acts that are undetected by society and do not result in a person being labeled deviant. • Secondary Deviance- are deviant acts that are detected and result in the person being labeled deviant and accepting the label as true. • Once a person is labeled as deviant their whole life changes. Braithwaite’s Shaming Theory • Disintegrative shaming; The wrongdoer is punished in such a way as to be stigmatized, rejected, and or ostracized. • Reintegrative Shaming; making wrongdoers feel guilty while showing them understanding, forgiveness, or even respect. • Disintegrative shaming causes deviance or at least perpetuates it.
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