Presentation on theme: "Crime and Deviance Chapter 5. The Nature of Deviance Deviance: behavior a considerable number of people in a society view as reprehensible and intolerable."— Presentation transcript:
The Nature of Deviance Deviance: behavior a considerable number of people in a society view as reprehensible and intolerable The Relativity of Deviance – Deviance relative and matter of social definition Etoro of New Guinea
Society establishes social norms – When norms violated, behavior considered deviant Definitions of deviance are relative to the values and beliefs of society Defining deviance is a social and historical construct What is an example of a difference in deviant behavior across culture? Across historical time period?
Crime An act, or the omission of an act, that is a violation of a federal, state, or local criminal law for which the state can apply sanctions. – Put simply-Breaking the law and being punished
Crime Universality-Crime is Universal-In all societies Relativity-There is nothing inherent in an act that makes an act wrong, criminal, or deviant. Crimes depend on societal norms – Conceptions of what constitutes a crime varies across time and societies. What is this called?
Significance of Relativity of Crime Understanding what is considered a social problem and how certain problems are constructed as the social structure changes – Changing attitudes – The political nature of defining crime and deviance-Drugs and sexuality- The case of marijuana – The effect of society on the individual The Sociological Imagination
Critical Constructionism – Argues that social problems are constructed, conceived, and presented to the public in ways that reflect the interests of those in power, the elite. – Social Construction of Drugs-Definitions about drugs are based on meanings that people in groups have imputed to certain substances.
Critical Constructionism-Relativity Critical constructionists ask the question, why are some drugs criminalized 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 (Alcohol vs Marijuana)
The Nature of Deviance Dysfunctions 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
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
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