Presentation on theme: "The Individual & Society"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Individual & Society Part I: Conformity & Deviance
2 Today What is conformity? Why do people conform? What is deviance? What causes deviant behavior?
3 Conformity Conformity: Adherence to social standards and norms Social Psychology – Two main types of conformity:Normative ConformityInformational Conformity
4 Normative ConformityThe influence of others that leads individuals to conform in order to be liked and accepted by themResults in public compliance but not necessarily private acceptance of the group’s beliefs and behaviors
5 Information Conformity Conforming due to the belief that others’ interpretations of a given situation are more correct than ours, will lead us to correct course of action
6 Other types of conformity… Identification: people conform to what is expected of them based upon their social rolesCompliance: altering behavior in order to fit into their expected roles while still internally disagreeing with the groupInternalization: change in behavior to be like another person who is respected, well-liked, etc.
7 The Asch Experiments Solomon Asch -1950s Test of Conformity: To what degree an individual’s opinions are influenced by group majority?
8 The Asch ExperimentsLook at the line on the left. Which line on the right is the same size? Would you change your answer if everyone else in the room answered differently?
10 Critical Response Paragraph #2 How does the Asch experiment demonstrate conformity? DUE MONDAY, OCTOBER 7th In-class OR via by MIDNIGHT. No late work accepted this time.
11 Critical Response Paragraph #2 Modified Grading Guidelines Introductory, Argumentative StatementState the name of the experiment (1 point)Mention that is an example of conformity (1 point)Evidence & Argument – TWO examples from filmDefine the type of conformity it shows (1 point)Mention TWO parts of the experiment that make it an example of that kind of conformity (2 points)Statement of Conclusion & Broader ImplicationsSummarize the findings (basically, restate your first sentence) – 1 pointOffer a suggestion of broader implications – for instance, what does this say about people in general? – 1 pointOtherNo first or second person – 1 pointCorrect grammar and spelling – 1 pointAppropriate length (5-7 sentences in ONE paragraph) – 1 point
12 Social ControlSocial control: ways of directing or influencing group members' behavior to conform to the group's values and normsAnthropologists: Direct and Indirect constraintsSociologists: Internal and External Mechanisms of Control
13 Internal Mechanisms of Control Individuals conform to moral standards because they don’t just learn them, they sometimes internalize themIndividuals may experience discomfort, such as feeling guilt, for violating internalized social normsOperates on the individual even in the absence of others’ reactions
14 External Mechanisms of Control External mechanisms of control: Social forces that are external to the individual and channel behavior towards accepted normsThis includes others’ responses to behavior: rewards and punishments (sanctions)Various types of sanctions:Positive and NegativeFormal and Informal
15 Positive & Negative Sanctions Positive sanctions: Actions that encourage the continuation of a certain behaviorNegative sanctions: Actions that discourage the repetition or continuation of a certain behavior
16 Formal & Informal Sanctions Formal sanctions: Applied in a public ritual usually under the control of authoritiesInformal sanctions: Actions that arise spontaneously with little or no formal direction
17 POSITIVE NEGATIVE INFORMAL FORMAL Informal positive Informal negative Spontaneous displays of approval of behaviorExamples: smiles, pats on the back, handshakes, congratulations, hugsInformal negativeSpontaneous displays of disapproval or displeasureExamples: frowns, damaging gossip, impolite treatmentFORMALFormal positive Public affairs, rituals, or ceremonies that express social approval of behavior; planned, organizedExample: Presentation of awards or degrees, public declarations of respect or appreciation (banquets etc.), cash awardsFormal negative Actions that express institutionalized disapproval of behavior - flow directly from person or agency of authority; applied within context of formal organizationsExample: Expulsion, dismissal, fines, imprisonment
18 DevianceDeviance: Failure to conform to norms and standards of the group; culturally relevantSeveral biological, psychological, and sociological explanations have been theorized to explain deviance
19 Biological Theories of Deviance Earliest attempts to scientifically explain deviant and criminal behavior are biologicalCentered around importance of inherited factors; downplayed environmental influencesEarliest studies focused on physical characteristics; modern studies focus on genetic structure
20 Example: Cesare Lombroso Italian criminologist – late 19th centuryCriminals tend to have particular physical traits:Heads higher at rear than forehead, longer lower jaws, flattened noses, scanty beards, long ears, etc.Inherited facial and body characteristics indicative of an inherited primitiveness, reversion to ancestral savageryThis and similar approaches have now been completely discredited
21 Psychological Theories of Deviance Downplays biological factorsEmphasizes the role of parents and early childhood experiences – behavioural conditioning - in producing deviant behaviorIncludes:PsychoanalysisBehaviorism
22 Example: Psychoanalytic Approach to Deviance Based on work of Sigmund Freud and followersEmphasize role of unconscious , innate, impulsive drive (“Id”) in causing individuals to preform deviant actsAll people have deviant tendencies due to Id, but learn to control them through socialization processIf socialization process fails, the Id takes control
23 Example: Psychoanalytic Approach to Deviance Weakness: difficult to test as "id" or unconscious as it is not visible or directly measurable; overemphasis on innate drive at expense of social and cultural factors
24 Example: Behaviorist Approach to Deviance Emphasizes how people adjust and modify behavior in response to rewards and punishments that actions elicitBehaviors leading to favorable actions likely to be repeatedBehaviors leading to unfavorable consequences unlikely to be repeatedUsually rewarded for conformist behavior, but occasionally situation is reversed in specific circumstances, e.g. a teenager associating with a delinquent gangDeviant behavior is learned by series of trials and errors
25 Sociological Theories of Deviance Like psychological explanations, emphasizes environmental influences rather than inherited biological factorsUnlike psychological explanations, focuses on ongoing social and cultural factors rather than individuals early childhood experiences in contributing to devianceIncludes:Strain TheoryControl TheoryDifferential Association TheoryLabeling Theory
26 Example: Strain Theory Deviance is the outcome of social strain due to the structure of (American) societySociety overemphasizes importance of monetary success while failing to emphasize importance of legitimate means to achieve that successIndividuals who occupy favorable positions high in the social class structure have many legitimate means at their disposal to achieve this success, whereas those in lower, less favorable positions do notBecause of this shared goal of financial success, but unequal access to important resources, the form of deviance a person engages in depends on the position he or she occupies in the social structure
28 Example: Strain Theory Strength: emphasizes external causes of deviant behavior, which are within the power of society to correct – very influential among sociologistsWeakness: inability to explain kinds of deviance that occur among all social strata and social groups (e.g. drug dependence, domestic violence) and for reasons other than acquiring wealth
29 Example: Control Theory Why do most individuals NOT commit deviance?Cause of deviance is ABSENCE of what causes conformitySocial Attachments –> Social Control –> ConformityIntimate attachments to parents, teachers, peers, etc. help people establish values linked to conventional lifestyleAbsence of social attachments , and subsequently, social control, leads to devianceWithout attachments, opinions of others do not matter- individuals are free to violate social norms without fear of social disapproval
30 Example: Differential Association Theory Edwin SutherlandCriminal or deviant behavior is learned in the context of intimate groupcriminal techniques – how to break into a housecriminal attitudes –such as rationalizations for committing crimeAcquired through long standing interactions with others who hold this viewDeviant behavior emerges the same as conformist behavior does – but due to different experiences and different associations, it leads to deviance rather than conformity
31 Example: Labeling Theory Examines process by which people come to be labeled as deviantDeviance is relevant – individuals are not deviant until given that label by a person of social powerEmphasizes effect of the label on an individual and subsequent behavior
32 Summary Conformity can be External and internal mechanisms exist to maintain social control and conformityExternal mechanisms include formal and informal, positive and negative sanctionsDespite mechanisms of control, some individuals still deviate from normsSeveral biological, psychological, and sociological theories exist to explain devianceSome combination of explanations and theories is probably needed to gain fullest understanding of deviance and its cause