Deviance is the violation of social norms Key terms are: o Deviance o Negative deviance o Positive deviance o Social control o Social sanctions
Deviance-behavior that departs from social norms. It can range from criminal behavior to wearing heavy makeup (considered deviant by some religious groups). Deviance can be positive or negative. What deviance actually is varies from group to group depending on how they define deviant behavior.
Behavior that fails to meet acceptable norms. People either reject the norms, misinterpret the norms, or are unaware of the norms. Example: Visiting another country
Involves over conformity to norms which leads to an imbalance and extremes of perfection. Idealize group norms.
Deviance is mostly used to describe violations of significant norms. o Significant norms are those that are highly important to most members of a society or to members with the most power. Deviant o A person who has violated one or most of society’s most highly valued norms. o Reactions to deviants are usually negative and involve attempts to change or control the deviant behavior.
Social Control o Ways to promote conformity to norms. o Two types of social control. Internal and external All societies have ways to promote order, stability, and predictability.
Within an individual Developed during the socialization process. Example: When you do something because you just feel it is the right thing to do, you are practicing internal social control Internalization of norms
Based on social sanctions-rewards or punishments that encourage conformity to social norms. Positive and negative sanctions. Positive-awards used to increase a behavior. Negative sanctions-criticisms, fines, and imprisonment. Sanctions may be formal and informal. o Informal-ridicule, gossip, and smiles. o Formal-imprisonment, low grades, and official awards.
Functionalist perspective emphasizes social stability and the way different parts of a society contribute to the whole.
Deviance erodes trust. If not punished deviance can cause others to perform deviant behavior. Deviance stimulates deviance in others. Deviant behavior is expensive.
Society can sometimes benefit from deviance. o When a child is taken away from neglectful parents it provides an example to take care of their children. Deviance can be a temporary safety valve. o Teens listen to music, wear clothes, and watch TV that parents may see as deviant behavior. This minor act of deviance may help students from the many pressures they face. Deviance increases unity within a society or a group. When a deviant behavior reminds people of something they value, it strengthens their commitment. Deviance promotes needed social change. o Example: Martin Luther King Jr., Women’s Rights Movement, etc.
Created by Robert Merton Theory that deviance is more likely to occur when a gap between cultural goals and the ability to achieve these goals by legitimate means. Every society establishes goals and approved ways of reaching those goals. o Example: U.S. goal is wealth and possessions. o Education and hard work are the two means of achieving wealth and possessions
Culturally Approved Goal: Success Socially Accepted Way to Succeed: Hard Work Conformity ResponseDeviant ResponseExamples Accepts goal of successAccepts hard work as the appropriate way to succeed Conformity-Works hard to succeed Business Executive Accepts goal of successRejects hard work as the appropriate way to succeed Innovation-finds illegal ways to succeed Criminal Rejects goal of successAccepts hard work as the appropriate way to succeed Ritualism-acts as if he wants to succeed but does not exert much effort Unmotivated teacher Rejects goal of successRejects hard work as the appropriate way to succeed Retreatism-drops out of the race for success Skid row alcoholic Rejects goal of successRejects hard work as the appropriate way to succeed Rebellion-substitutes new way to achieve new goals Militia group member
There are four responses to The Strain Theory. o Innovation o Ritualism o Retreatism o Rebellion
The individual accepts the goal of success but uses illegal means to achieve it (deviant). Robbery, drug dealing, or other criminal activities. Most widespread and most obvious type of deviant response.
The individual rejects the goal of success but continues to use the legitimate means. People go through the motions without really believing in the process.
Deviant response in which both the legitimate means and the approved goals are rejected. Example: Alcoholics, drug addicts, and drop outs
People reject both success and the approved means for achieving it. Substitute new goals and means (Example: militia group members). Want to change society. Example: Create their own currency, violate gun laws, and threatening law enforcement.
Emphasized the role of primary groups in transmitting deviance. Deviance is transmitted through socialization in the same way that non-deviant behavior is transmitted. Delinquent behavior can be transmitted from gangs to play groups. Deviance is learned from peer pressure.
Three characteristics Ratio of deviant behavior to non-deviant individuals. o Person who hangs with deviants is more likely to adopt deviant tendencies. Whether the deviant behavior is practiced significant to others: o People are more likely to copy deviant behavior that are important to them. The age of exposure of deviant behavior: o Younger children learn deviant behavior more quickly than other children.
Explains why deviance is relative. Deviant behaviors are always a smaller of social definition. Deviance only exists when others label one another as deviant.
Primary deviance: o Person engages in isolated acts of deviance. Secondary deviance: o Deviance is a lifestyle and is a personal identity.
Stigma-an undesirable characteristic or label that is used to characterize an individual. Example: An ex-convict isn’t accepted by society because he is labeled with the stigma as a “jailbird.
Critics of industrial society are considered deviants because of their beliefs challenge its economic, political, and social basis. Because industrial societies require a willing workforce. Those who will not work are considered deviant. Those who threaten private property, especially that belonging to the rich, are prime targets for punishments. People who show a lack of respect for authority are treated as deviants. Violent behavior in sports is accepted because it fosters competition, achievement, teamwork, and winning.
Supporters of the conflict theory of deviance believe that minorities receive unequal punishment and treatment under the law. African Americans and Hispanics are dealt more harshly with than whites. o More likely to be convicted and serve longer time.
Conflict theory suggests: o Minorities generally do not have the economic resources to buy good legal services. o Crimes against whites tend to be more punished more severely than crimes against minorities. o Victim discounting-process of reducing the seriousness of the crimes that injure people of the lower status.
White collar crime-job related crime committed by high status people. Economic crimes such as price fixing, insider trading, illegal rebates, embezzlement, bribery, etc.