Deviance by ktixcqlmc


• Deviance: The recognized violation of cultural
• Concept of deviance covers a broad spectrum
• One category of deviance is crime
• Crime: the violation of norms a society formally
  enacts into criminal law.
• Juvenile Delinquency: the violation of legal
  standards by the young.
• Deviance does not always involve action or
  – To the young, elderly people may seem “out of
  – to some whites, the presence of people of color
    may cause discomfort
  – some view people with disabilities as an out
               Social Control
• Members of society try to influence each other’s
  behavior through various kinds of social control
• This control can be casual such as when parents
  praise their children or when one person teases
  another about a romantic interest.
• Serious cases of deviance may result in a response
  from the criminal justice system.
• Criminal Justice System: a formal response to
  alleged violations of law on the part of police,
  courts of prison officials.
 Deviance and Social Control
• Deviance is much more than a choice or
  personal failing;
• How a society defines deviance
• Whom individuals brand as deviant
• what do people decide to do about
• All are issues of social organization
              Biological Ideas
• Over a century ago, it was believed that deviance
  was biologically based.
• Cesare Lombroso, an Italian physician,
  proposed that criminals had distinctive criminal
  features - low foreheads, prominent jawbones,
  long arms, protruding ears, excessive hairiness,
  which made them resemble the ape-like
  ancestors of today’s human beings.
• Lombroso work was flawed as there were
  members of the population with these attributes
  that were not criminals.
                Biological Ideas

• William Sheldon (1949) - Suggested that body type
  could predict criminality
• People with the most athletic build were most likely to
  become criminals
• Genetic research today suggest that there is no conclusive
  evidence linking biology and crime.
• Many factors including biology and social influences
  probably account to an extent for criminality
        Personality Factors
• Deviance has also been blamed on
  psychological factors.
• Some personality traits are hereditary but
  most psychologists believe that
  temperament is shaped by social
       The Social Foundations of
• 1. Deviance varies according to cultural norms. (In
  Texas alcohol can be legally consumed in a car - not the
  norm in OR)
• 2. People become deviant as others define them
  that way.
• 3. Both rule making and rule breaking involve
  social power.
     Emile Durkheim:
 The Functions of Deviance

  Durkheim stated that there is
nothing abnormal about deviance; in
fact it contributes to the operation
      of society in four ways...
  1. Deviance affirms cultural
       values and norms.
• People must show preference for some
  attitudes and behaviors over others.
• Just as there can be no good without evil,
  there can be no justice without crime.
• Deviance is indispensable to creating and
  sustaining morality.
   2. Responding to deviance
   clarifies moral boundaries
• By defining some individuals as deviant,
  people draw a social boundary between
  right and wrong.

• Ex. - A school marks the line between
  academic honesty and cheating by
  punishing those who commit plagiarism
  3. Responding to Deviance
     promotes social unity.
• People generally react to serious deviance
  with collective outrage.

• Ex - Oklahoma City bombing, US/Iran
  hostage crisis, Kennedy Assassination
  4. Deviance encourages social
• Deviant people push a society’s moral boundaries,
  pointing a out alternatives to status quo and
  encouraging change.
• “Today’s deviance can be tomorrow’s morality”
• Ex - rock-n-roll in the 1950’s was viewed by
  some as destructive and threatened the morals of
  youth. Today it is mainstream and a focal point of
        Merton’s Strain Theory
• Excessive violations arise from particular social
• The scope of deviance depends on how a
  particular society provides the institutionalized
  means (such as school and job opportunities).
• Conformity lies in pursuing conventional goals
  through approved means.
• Strain between limited opportunities and
  emphasis on wealth cause deviance
        Merton’s Strain Theory
• Innovation - Using unconventional means to gain
  a culturally approved goal. (I.e a drug dealer)
• Ritualism - Resolving the strain of limited success
  by abandoning cultural goals in favor of
  compulsive efforts to live respectably.
• Retreatism - The rejection of both cultural goals
  and means as one effectively “drops out”
          Labeling Theory
• Labeling theory: the assertion that deviance
  and conformity result, not only from what
  people do, but from how others respond to
  those actions.
• “Reality” validates the action (I.e -
  borrowing a roommate’s clothing. When
  does it become stealing?)
       Primary and Secondary
• Episodes of norms violation that provoke only
  a slight reaction from others are examples of
  “primary” deviance
• Deviance as a response to the initial deviance
  and to the subsequent reaction from others is
  “secondary” deviance. In secondary deviance,
  an individual repeatedly violates the norm (ex.
  Drinking, truancy).
• When individuals develop a stronger
  commitment to deviant behavior, they
  develop a “stigma”.

• A stigma is a powerfully negative label that
  radically changes a person’s self-concept
  and self identity.
      Hirchi’s Control Theory
• Travis Hirchi - “ The essence of Social Control
  lies in anticipating the consequences of one’s
• Everyone finds at least some deviance
• Imagining the reaction of family and friends is
  enough for most people to act as a deterrent.
• Those that think they have little to lose from
  deviance are likely to become rule breakers.
         Hirchi’s Control Theory
• 1. Attachment: Strong social attachments
  encourage conformity.
  – Weak relationships in the family, peer group, leave
    people freer to engage in deviance.
• 2. Commitment: The greater the person’s
  commitment to legitimate opportunity, the greater
  the advantages of conformity.
  – A young person, bound for college with good career
    prospects, has a high stake in conformity. Someone
    with little confidence in future success, is freer to drift
    toward deviance.
    Hirschi’s Control Theory
• 3. Involvement:Extensive involvement in
  legitimate activities (school, sports, etc)
  inhibits deviance. People with few such
  activities have time and energy for deviant
• 4. Belief: Strong beliefs in conventional
  morality and respect for authority figures
  restrain tendencies toward deviance.
     Social Conflict Analysis
• The social conflict paradigm reflects how
  deviance reflects social inequality.
• Who or what is labeled “deviant” depends
  on which categories of people hold power in
  a society.
  Deviance and Social Diversity
• What is considered deviant in a society has
  much to do with the relative power and privilege
  of different categories of people.
              • Deviance and Gender
• Most societies place more stringent social
  controls on women than men. (Ex Saudi
             Hate Crimes
• A hate crime is a criminal act against a
  person or person’s property by an offender
  motivated by racial bias.
• Involves both a violation of criminal law
  and bias on the part of the offender toward
  the victim on the bias of race, religion,
  ancestry, sexual orientation, or physical
            Hate Crimes
• Federal Gov’t has only tracked their
  instances since 1990
• Numbers continue to rise
• Survey by National Gay and Lesbian Task
  Force in 8 US cities shows 1 in 5 lesbians
  and gay men have been physically assaulted
  and more than 90% verbally abused because
  of their sexual orientation.
• Crime - The violation of statutes enacted
  into criminal law by a locality, state, or the
  federal government.
• Some criminal laws apply everywhere in
  the US, some only in some states, and some
  only in some towns or counties.
     Components of Crime
• Technically, crime is divided into 2
• The act itself (failure to do what the law
• Criminal intent (mens rea, or guilty mind)
              Types of Crime
• 3 Types of Crime:
• Crime against the person - “Crimes that direct
  violence or the threat of violence against others”.
• Include Murder, manslaughter (“the willful killing
  of one human being by another”), aggravated
  assault, forcible rape, and robbery
                 Types of Crime
                  Crime against Property
•   encompass crimes that involve theft of property
    belonging to others.
•   Burglary- the unlawful entry into a structure to
    commit a serious crime or theft.
•   Larceny theft - the unlawful taking, carrying,
    leading or riding away of property from the
    possession of another.
•   Auto theft - theft or attempted theft of an
•   Arson - willful or malicious attempt to
    burn…property of another
          Types of Crime
              Victimless Crimes
• Violations of law in which there are no
  readily apparent victims. (crimes without
• Ex. Prostitution, Drug use, gambling (some
            Types of Crime
                 Victimless Crimes
•   Is the term “victimless crime” a misnomer
    in some instances?
•   Drug users steal to support habits.
•   Pregnant woman smoking crack.
•   Runaway living the life of prostitution.
•   *In some areas gambling (23 states
    including NJ) and prostitution (Nevada) are

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