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Social Deviance Constructing Difference. Have you ever… Stolen something—no matter how small? Consumed alcohol while under the legal age (not in the company.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Deviance Constructing Difference. Have you ever… Stolen something—no matter how small? Consumed alcohol while under the legal age (not in the company."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Deviance Constructing Difference

2 Have you ever… Stolen something—no matter how small? Consumed alcohol while under the legal age (not in the company of your parents)? Hit another person?

3 Focus Questions What is deviance? How do people become deviant? Who gets to define what is and is not deviant? (And why do some behaviors get defined as deviant while others do not?) What are the consequences of being identified as deviant by others? ©Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2008.

4 Definition In the strictest sense, deviance is behavior that violates a norm. Deviance is behavior, ideas, or attributes that are perceived by others as abnormal, wrong, or offensive.

5 Two perspectives on deviance Absolutism: Approach to defining deviance that rests on the assumption that all human behavior can be considered either inherently good or inherently bad Deviant act comes to define the individual’s character Frequently based on stereotypes –Examples?

6 All Parents who Spank are Abusing Their Children

7 All Muslims are Terrorists =

8 Two perspectives on deviance Relativism: Approach to defining deviance that rests on the assumption that deviance is socially constructed The same act committed at different times, or under different circumstances may or may not be considered deviant What is considered deviant changes based on the time and place, and across history and cultures. –Examples? (Iowa City ped. mall)

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10 Social Conflict Theory Approach to Crime/Deviance “If one individual inflicts a bodily injury upon another which leads to the death of the person attacked we call it manslaughter; on the other hand, if the attacker knows beforehand that the blow will be fatal we call it murder. Murder has also been committed if society places hundreds of workers in such a position that they inevitably come to premature and unnatural ends. Their death is as violent as if they had been stabbed or shot…Murder has been committed if society knows perfectly well that thousands of workers cannot avoid being sacrificed so long as these conditions are allowed to continue. Murder of this sort is just as culpable as the murder committed by an individual.” Frederick Engels The Conditions of the Working Class in England

11 Social Conflict Approach to Crime/Deviance Crime is a function of class conflict between the wealthy and powerful and those who lack wealth and power. – 1) Norms and laws along with the enforcement of these laws reflect the interests of the rich and powerful. Thus, the rich and powerful are less likely to commit or be accused of committing a crime – 2) Even if the behavior of the rich and powerful is called into question, (even if accused) they have the means to resist the criminal label (i.e. avoid punishment

12 Corporate/White Collar Crime Savings and Loan Scandal (S & L) By 1982, cost to tax-payers via the FSLIC was $2.4 billion 1986 FSLIC was insolvent In 1996 the Government Accounting Office reported that the total cost to American taxpayers of the S&L bailout was $480.9 billion

13 Corporate/White Collar Crime Savings and Loan Scandal (S & L) The average loss per S&L offense was $500,000 while the average loss per property offense during the same time period was $1,251 The average prison sentence given to S&L offenders was 36 months—compared to 56 months for burglary and 38 months for convicted motor vehicle theft ( ).

14 Corporate/White Collar Crime The Ford Pinto Case Early crash-tests demonstrated problems with the gas tank Cost-benefit analysis to determine how to proceed.

15 Cost/Benefit Analysis Done by Ford Executives Benefits –Savings: 180 burn deaths, 180 serious burn injuries, 2,100 burned vehicles –Unit Cost: $200,000 per death, $67,000 per injury, $700 per vehicle –Total Benefit: 180 x ($200,000) x ($67,000) + 2,100 x ($700) = $49.5 Million Costs –Sales: 11 million cars, 1.5 million light trucks –Unit Cost: $11 per car, $11 per truck –Total Cost: 11,000,000 x ($11) + 1,500,000 x ($11) = $137 Million

16 Cost of White Collar/Corporate Crime 1997 estimate that WC crime cost $ billion—far greater than the cost of street crimes; –FBI estimates that burglary and robbery costs the nation $3.8 billion a year –GAO estimates government alone is defrauded out of $100 billion a year

17 Cost of White Collar/Corporate Crime Deaths from work-related incidents alone (including violations of OSHA) are greater than deaths from all the crime index crimes reported to the Justice Department combined (1997) According to your text, “Between 1982 and 2002, about 170,000 American workers died on the job…[W]orkplace safety agencies investigated 1,798 fatality cases in which companies willfully violated workplace safety laws” (p. 243).

18 Cost of White Collar/Corporate Crime December 23, 1984 – 5,000 killed instantly and up to half a million are injured when methyl isocynate gas leaks from a Union Carbide factory

19 Punishment for White Collar/Corporate Crime When white collar criminals are arrested, studies indicate that they are: –more likely to have their cases dismissed (40% vs. 26%) –more likely not to have to put up bail (13 % vs. 40 %) –more likely to be given probation than a jail term (54% vs. 40 %) –more likely to be given a shorter sentence, if sentenced to jail (29 months vs. 50 months)

20 Life at “Club Fed”

21 Problems with Social Conflict Approach Assumes that laws and cultural norms are created directly by the rich and powerful Conflict theorists only give one reason why enforcement against white collar crimes is less than street crimes (elite power) –complex nature of white collar crimes (can’t always tell if a crime has occurred)

22 Who gets to define what is deviant? Labeling Theory: States that deviance is the consequence of the application of rules and sanctions to an offender; a “deviant” is individual who has been successfully labeled as suchLabeling Theory One benefit of having power = ability to resist label. –Examples? ©Pine Forge Press, an imprint of Sage Publications, 2008.


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