Deviance • Deviance: The recognized violation of cultural norms. • 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 • Deviance does not always involve action or choice. – To the young, elderly people may seem “out of it” – to some whites, the presence of people of color may cause discomfort – some view people with disabilities as an out group 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 nonconformity? • All are issues of social organization Biological Ideas Lombroso • 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 Sheldon • 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 experience. The Social Foundations of Deviance • 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 change • 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 society. Merton’s Strain Theory • Excessive violations arise from particular social arrangements. • 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” (alcoholism) 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 Deviance • 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). Stigma • 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 behavior”. • Everyone finds at least some deviance tempting. • 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 activities. • 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 Arabia;) 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 disability. 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 • 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 components; • The act itself (failure to do what the law requires); • 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 Automobile • 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 complaint). • Ex. Prostitution, Drug use, gambling (some areas). 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 legal.
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