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Deviance and Social Control

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1 Deviance and Social Control
Chapter 7 Deviance and Social Control

2 Chapter Outline Deviance and Social Control
Biological and Psychological Explanations of Deviance Functionalism and Deviance Symbolic Interactionism and Deviance Conflict Theory and Deviance Crime in the United States Global Differences in Crime Approaches to Crime Control

3 Deviance Norms determine whether behavior is deviant or normal.
Norms vary from group to group, society to society, and time to time, so behavior considered deviant varies. Deviance – behavior outside the normal range of social expectations; any behavior that departs from societal or group norms.

4 Positive & Negative Deviance
Negative Deviance – involves behavior that underconforms to accepted norms. Positive Deviance – encompasses behavior that overconforms to social expectations. Conformity is done in an unbalanced way.

5 Distribution of Deviance Relative to Norm of Leanness

6 Defining Deviance Defining deviance is a relative matter.
Depends on three circumstances: Social status and power of the individuals involved. Social context in which the behavior occurs. The historical period in which the behavior takes place.

7 Question for Consideration
Consider the “Doing Research: William Chambliss – Saints and Roughnecks” discussion in the text (p. 180 of 9th ed). How can the idea that “deviance is relative” be applied to Chambliss’s findings? Can you think of other examples that demonstrate the relativity of deviance?

8 Forms of Social Control
Social control – means for promoting conformity to norms Internal control Self-imposed Acquired during socialization External control Exists outside the individual Based on sanctions designed to control the individual

9 Biological Explanations of Deviance
Lombroso - believed criminals were throwbacks to earlier human evolutionary development. William Sheldon - attributed crime to body shape (endomorphs, mesomorphs - most likely to be criminals, and ectomorphs). There is no convincing proof that genetic characteristics cause people to be deviant.

10 Sociologists’ Evaluation of Biological Explanations
There are five main reasons sociologists have not placed much stock in biological explanations of deviance. They ignore the fact that deviance is more widely distributed throughout society than are heredity and other physical abnormalities. They almost totally discount the influence of social, economic, and cultural factors. Early theories were based on methodologically weak research.

11 Sociologists’ Evaluation of Biological Explanations
There are ideological problems and controversial implications inherent in the biological approach. Biological factors are more often invoked to explain the deviance of armed robbers, murders, and heroin addicts than, say, the crimes of corporate executives, government officials, and other high-status persons.

12 Psychological Explanations of Deviance
All psychological explanations of deviance locate the origin of criminality in the individual personality. They take for granted the existence of a “criminal personality,” a pathological personality with measurable characteristics that distinguish criminals from noncriminals. Contend that criminals are born, not made.

13 Critique of Psychological Explanations
They often ignore social, economic, and cultural factors shown by sociological research. Focus on deviance such as murder, rape, and drug addiction with relatively little to say about such deviance as white-collar-crime. Tend to view deviance as a result of physical or psychiatric defects rather than as actions considered deviant by social and legal definitions.

14 Critique of Psychological Explanations
They cannot explain why deviant behavior is engaged in by individuals not classifiable as pathological personalities. Psychological theories emphasize pathology and suggest eugenic solutions to the crime problem that are unacceptable to some segments of society.

15 Functionalist View of Deviance
Negative consequences of deviance: Encourages social disorder Erodes trust Encourages further nonconformity in others Diverts resources from other social needs

16 Functionalist View of Deviance
Positive consequences of deviance: Helps clarify norms Offers a safety valve Increases social unity Brings about needed social change

17 Strain Theory Merton’s strain theory adapted Durkheim’s concept of anomie. Anomie – social condition in which norms are weak, conflicting, or absent. Strain theory – deviance is most likely to occur when there is a discrepancy between a culturally prescribed goal (economic success) and a legitimate means (education) of obtaining it.

18 Responses in Merton’s Strain Theory
Goal = Success Hard work = Success Response Example Accepts Conformity Executive Rejects Innovation Criminal Ritualism Bored teacher

19 Responses in Merton’s Strain Theory
Goal = Success Hard work = Success Response Example Rejects Retreatism Skid-row alcoholic Rebellion Militia group member

20 Application of Strain Theory
Albert Cohen (1977) – explained the prevalence of gang delinquency among lower-class youth. Cloward & Ohlin (1998) – refined strain theory to emphasize that deviant behavior is not an automatic response but must be learned.

21 Evaluation of Strain Theory
Strain theory has had great staying power due to its applicability to juvenile delinquency and crime. Its emphasis on social structure rather than individuals has been a strength. However, it assumes a consensus in values (everyone values success in economic terms). Does not explain an individual’s preference for one mode of adaptation over another. It offers no help in explaining other types of deviance (e.g., mental illness).

22 Control Theory This theory purports conformity to social norms depends on a strong bond between individuals and society. Social bonds control the behavior of people; it is the social bond that prevents deviance from occurring.

23 Basic Elements of Control Theory
Attachment – the stronger the attachment, the more likelihood of conformity. Commitment – the greater one’s commitment to legitimate social goals such as educational attainment and occupational success, the more likely one is to conform. Involvement – participation in legitimate social activities increases the probability of conformity. Belief – subscription to norms and values of society promotes conformity.

24 Symbolic Interactionist Perspective of Deviance
Cultural transmission theory contends deviance is learned, just like any other aspect of culture. Differential association theory states deviant behavior is learned principally in primary groups. The idea of “birds of a feather flock together.” Labeling theory views an act as deviant only if other people respond to it as if it were deviant.

25 Labeling Theory Concepts
Primary Deviance – a person engages in an isolated act of deviance. Secondary Deviance – acts of deviance become part of one’s lifestyle and personal identity. Stigma – termed coined by Goffman, an undesirable characteristic or label used by others to deny the deviant full social acceptance.

26 Mental Illness and Labeling Theory
Labeling theory views mental illness as the result of social interaction in which others respond to us and we imagine what those responses mean. Mental illness is considered a matter of social definition. Psychiatrist Szasz sees mental disorder behaviors as adaptations to interaction-based stresses threatening to overwhelm an individual. Scheff sees mental illnesses as violations of social norms.

27 Conflict Perspective of Deviance
Emphasizes social inequality and power differentials. Most powerful members of a society are said to determine group norms and the definition of deviant. Relate deviance to capitalism, pointing to the relationship between race, ethnicity, and crime.

28 Race, Ethnicity, and Crime
Statistics show that African Americans and Latinos are dealt with more harshly than whites – from arrest through indictment, conviction, sentencing, and parole. Even when criminal offense is the same, African Americans and Latinos are more likely than whites to be convicted and serve more time in prison than whites. African Americans account for 13% of the population, but are 40% of the prison inmates.

29 White-Collar Crime White-collar crime is any crime committed by respectable and high-status people in the course of their occupation. Usually reserved for economic crimes such as price fixing, insider trading, illegal rebates, embezzlement, bribery of a corporate customer, manufacture of hazardous products, toxic pollution, and tax evasion. Cost are higher though. White-collar crimes cost $200 billion annually – 18 times greater than the cost of street crime.

30 Theoretical Perspectives: Illustrating Deviance
Concept Example Functionalism Anomie Delinquent gangs Conflict Theory White-collar crime Powerful people get less prison time for the same crime INSERT TABLE 7.2 HERE (P. 193 FROM 9TH ED)

31 Theoretical Perspectives: Illustrating Deviance
Concept Example Symbolic Interactionism Labeling High school students who reject dating because they have been consistently described as “not cool.”

32 Questions for Consideration
What are the functions and/or dysfunctions of plea bargaining? How might a conflict theorist look at plea bargaining?

33 Crime in the United States
Crime is defined as acts in violation of the law. Data is collected for major categories of crimes in the U.S. In 2006, violent crime made up 12% of the known crimes. Property crimes made up 88% (2006).



36 FBI Crime Clock: 2007

37 Juvenile Crime Juvenile crime refers to violations of the law committed by those less than eighteen years of age. Juvenile offenders are the third largest category of criminals in the U.S. Juvenile crime reached its lowest in a decade in Several factors account for this. A decline in the demand for crack cocaine. Gangs have reached truces. Police have clamped down on illegal guns. Repeat juvenile offenders have been given stiffer sentences.

38 Global Differences in Crime
Homicide The U.S. homicide rate per 100,000 population is around 5.5. The rate of homicide in Europe is less than 2 per 100,000.

39 Global Differences in Crime
Rape The U.S. rate was 32 per 100,000, times higher than the average for Europe. Burglary The only crime for which the U.S. rate was less than double the average for European countries.

40 Global Differences in Crime
Robbery U.S. rate is around 145 per 100,000 . The average European rate is less than 50 per 100,000.

41 Approaches to Crime Control
A criminal justice system may draw on four approaches to punishment: Deterrence – emphasizes intimidation, using threat of punishment to discourage crime. Retribution – criminals pay compensation equal to their offenses against society. Incarceration – removes criminals from society. Rehabilitation – attempts to resocialize criminals.

42 Americans and the Death Penalty
About 70% of Americans currently support the death penalty for murder. Yet, this decreases to 47% when life imprisonment without parole is an alternative. Between 1970 and 2000, the frequency of U.S. executions spiked. Since 2000, the number of inmates sentenced to death and in turn executed has dropped.

43 Attitudes Toward the Death Penalty and Life Imprisonment without Parole in the U.S.

44 National Death Penalty Policy

45 Crime Control: Domestic and Global
U.S. does not have a consistent commitment to any one of the major approaches. Singapore takes deterrence, retribution, and incarceration very seriously, yet there is a reduction in individual liberty and increased brutality toward prisoners. All countries use incarceration, yet their position on imprisonment varies significantly. Sweden emphasizes rehabilitation, treatment, and job training.

46 Questions for Consideration
Select one of the approaches to crime control that you believe has been successful. Explain why you believe it has been successful. Do you think there are parts of the world where it would not be successful? Why? Elaborate on your position. How have you seen labeling theory demonstrated in society? Provide examples and explain.

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