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Crime and Deviance Chapter 5.

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Presentation on theme: "Crime and Deviance Chapter 5."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crime and Deviance Chapter 5

2 Crime and Deviance: Discussion Outline
I. The Nature of Deviance II. Theories of Deviance III. Crime and the Criminal Justice System

3 I. The Nature of Deviance
Any behavior that violates a norm-Folkways, mores, or laws Norms vary from society to society, as do reactions to deviance In analyzing deviance we must consider two important points 1. Whether something is deviant depends on who is evaluating it Deviance is what people say it is-based upon one’s value system 2. When important norms are violated, social control mechanisms function to maintain order

4 The Relativity of Deviance
The Nature of Deviance The Relativity of Deviance Relativity-There is nothing inherent in an act that makes an act wrong, criminal, or deviant. Social definitions of deviance are relative to the values, beliefs, and norms of a society Defining deviance is a social and historical construct, varying from: Time to time Place to place Group to group Examples?

5 Significance of the Relativity of Deviance
When the social structure and culture change, what is considered to be deviant/criminal changes How does culture change? The political nature of defining crime and deviance Politics?... I.e.: The case of Homosexuality What cultural changes have taken place? What political changes have occurred? Time? Culture? Group?

6 Is what comes to be considered deviant or criminal based upon the overall harm done to American society? Murder->Harmful?: >Criminal?: Child abuse->Harmful?: >Criminal? Marital sexual abuse->Harmful?: Criminal?: Racial discrimination in hiring->Harmful?-> Criminal? Alcohol/cigarettes->Harmful?: Criminal? Texting while driving->Harmful? Criminal? Marijuana-Harmful-> Criminal->

7 Why is the use of some drugs considered deviant/criminal, while others are not? Is it based on relative harm done? Does drug policy and concern about drug use make sense when looking at objective reality? I.e- Statistics regarding the harm done by certain drugs

8 Relativity and Drug Use
Objective component is physical, psychological, or social evidence of harm Subjective component is people’s perceptions about the consequences Example: Marijuana vs. Alcohol Subjectively our society believes that marijuana is harmful and should remain illegal, while alcohol is relatively harmless and should stay legal Objectively there is little evidence that marijuana is harmful but much evidence of alcohol and tobacco and associated dangers. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

9 The relativity of deviance and drug use
These subjective definitions have very real consequences According to the FBI in 2008, "Law enforcement made more arrests for non violent drug abuse violations (an estimated 1.8 million arrests, or 13.0 percent of the total number of arrests) than for any other offense in 2007." “Marijuana arrests set another all-time record in 2007, totaling 872,720 — that’s a marijuana arrest every 36 seconds.” “Arrests for marijuana possession totaled 775,138, greatly exceeding arrests for all violent crimes combined, which totaled 597,447” When and why was marijuana made illegal?

10 “The Power to Make Definitions Stick”
Who and what are defined as deviant or criminal depend on who is doing the defining and who has the power to make definitions stick I.e.: The case with illegalizing marijuana I.e.: White Collar Crime-How often do we hear about corporate crimes and when we do, how much time do the very wealthy often spend in prison? Americans are more likely to be victims of white collar crime than street crime, but what do we fear most? Hear about every night in the news? Who are we scared of?

11 The Nature of Deviance Dysfunctions of Deviance Functions of Deviance
Interferes with institutional life Can lower morale of non-deviants Erodes societal trust Functions of Deviance Promotes conformity Clarifies boundaries Strengthens the censuring group Warn non-deviant majority

12 Social Control and Deviance
Social control regulates behavior within a society Functionalists see it as indispensable Conflict theorists see it as tool of powerful groups Internalization of norms Formal vs. Informal Sanctions

13 II. Theories of Deviance
Why do people become deviant and commit crime? Definition of theory?

14 Theories of Deviance Anomie Theory
Durkheim’s anomie: social condition in which people find it difficult to guide their behavior by norms that they experience as weak, unclear, or conflicting Anomie occurs when peoples expectations about what they deserve are not met What happens when the economy collapses?

15 Anomie Theory How is the American dream possibly connected to crime?
How might anomie and the American dream be connected to the formation of large gangs?

16 Anomie Theory Structural Strain Theory-Robert Merton
What are the acceptable means to achieving the American Dream (worldly success and material wealth)? Securing a good education and obtaining high paying jobs-Merit hard and hard work Americans internalize goal, but may not have access to acceptable means People adapt to inconsistency between means and goals in society. Structural limitations  Strain adaptation(Crime) Innovation The drug dealer The corporate executive??

17 Can children and adults learn deviance?

18 Theories of Deviance Cultural Transmission Theory
Youths become delinquent because they associate and make friends with other delinquents Youths learn and may be pressured into deviance Socialization into a deviant subculture Gang activity Why do many argue against jail or juvenile hall for a first time drug offender or low level criminal? Sutherland’s Theory of Differential Association Differential association: individual’s cultural conditions help determine his/her likelihood of and attitudes towards deviance Parole rules or a parents requests

19 Theories of Deviance Conflict Theory
Individuals victimized by capitalist oppression are driven by their struggle to survive to commit acts that the ruling class brands as criminal A focus on social class and criminal activity; How does poverty contribute to crime? How does poverty contribute to alcoholism, drug abuse, prostitution, and family violence? The legal system reflects interests of the rich Laws created to protect privilege and property Differential punishment for business and street crimes Corporate crimes cost society more$$$ What gov’t agency keeps track of corporate crimes? Video: Many economists proclaim that White collar crime is closely connected to the financial crisis, yet people are seldom prosecuted for it. The FBI focuses very little attention on white collar crime

20 Theories of deviance To some theorists, white collar criminal activity be best be understood through rational choice theory. People are inclined to engage in deviant behavior when it has significant rewards and limited costs Yet conflict theorists contend that because we are not aware of the extent and costs of white collar crime, rarely do we call for measures to “get tough” on white collar crime, and when there is a call to do so, powerful industries engaged in activities will find ways to defend against new laws they see as regulations that limit their profits.

21 Does a student who is labeled as deviant by his teachers more likely to stop acting deviant or continue acts of deviance?

22 Theories of Deviance Labeling Theory
Labeling people as deviants has consequences for them Primary Deviance: We all engage in deviant behavior; but are we caught and labeled as deviants?? Secondary deviance: deviance individuals adopt in response to the reactions of other individuals People labeled “deviant” typically find themselves rejected and isolated which can result in a self fulfilling prophecy

23 Theories of Deviance Control Theory-Why don’t people deviate?
Even most deviants conform to society most of the time Control Theory-Why don’t people deviate? Hirschi: Elements of the Social Bond Societal bond is crucial Attachment to others Involvement in the society’s conventional activities Commitment to other people Belief in host society’s values

24 III. Crime and the Criminal Justice System
The land of the free?

25 Crime and the Criminal Justice System
Prisons Population steadily increasing U.S. has highest incarceration rate in world Why?

26 The American Punishment Frenzy
Punitive policies Imprisonment of non-violent offenders 1980’s-The drug war Mandatory minimums Three strikes laws Plea bargains In 2007, the United States had the highest incarceration rate in the world Over 7 million people in prison, jail, or under correctional supervision

27 The American Punishment Frenzy
The Prison Industrial Complex Correctional expansion continues not because it decreases crime and creates a safer public, but because it serves the interest of certain powerful groups that benefit from tough on crime policies and continue to push for punitive policies through lobbying political leaders and running million dollar ad campaigns Private prison corporations Prison guards Union Prison labor benefits government, corporations and a variety of businesses with vested interests in correctional expansion I.e.: Video


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