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Social Psychology: Sociological Perspectives David E. Rohall Melissa A. Milkie Jeffrey W. Lucas This multimedia product and its contents are protected.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Psychology: Sociological Perspectives David E. Rohall Melissa A. Milkie Jeffrey W. Lucas This multimedia product and its contents are protected."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Psychology: Sociological Perspectives David E. Rohall Melissa A. Milkie Jeffrey W. Lucas This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: ● any public performance or display, including transmission of any image of a network; ● preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; ● any rental, lease, or lending of the program

2 Social Psychology: Sociological Perspectives Chapter 7: The Social Psychology of Deviance

3 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 Deviance in Social Psychology  Deviance, in social psychology, refers to any thought, feeling, or behavior that departs from accepted practices in a society or group  Deviance is relative to the group being studied  Societies divide deviance into more or less serious forms, representing mores and folkways

4 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SI: Interactionist Approaches of Deviance  The interactionist approach to deviance views it as a manifestation of social interactions, like any other thought, feeling, or behavior  Ethnomethodology and labeling theory are two important approaches to studying deviance

5 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SI: Ethnomethodology and Deviance  Ethnomethodology emphasizes how individuals construct and defend their views of social reality  The meaning of a given behavior may be defined as deviant to one person but not to another person through the process of indexicality and reflexivity  A product of this interaction process is the documentary interpretation of actions

6 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SI: Labeling Theory of Deviance  Labeling theory extends the interpretative process of giving meaning to deviance through interaction  Labeling theory argues that deviance is a consequence of a social process in which a negative characteristic becomes an element of an individual’s identity  An individual becomes a deviant through the acceptance of a deviant label

7 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SI: Types of Deviance  Tannenbaum began some of the earliest research in labeling theory by focusing on the process by which juvenile delinquents are “tagged” as deviants  Edwin Lemert extended Tannenbaum’s work by arguing that there are two forms of deviance in the labeling process: Primary deviance refers to the initial act that causes others to label the individual a deviant Secondary deviance occurs after an individual accepts the deviant label and continues to commit deviant acts, thus supporting the initial label

8 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SI: Lemert’s Stages of Deviance

9 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SI: Accepting the Deviant Label  The acceptance of the deviant label may be a result of a number of processes  Agents of social control represent the state’s attempts to maintain social order, to enforce the mores of society; they also stigmatize deviants  The role of the larger society is most present during secondary deviance, when the individual comes to identify herself as a deviant

10 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SI: Moral Careers and Deviant Subcultures  In his famous work, Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance, Howard Becker (1973) elaborated the processes through which: Primary deviance leads to secondary deviance The importance of deviant subcultures in maintaining the deviant self-image  Outsiders refer to people labeled as deviants who accept the deviant labels

11 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SI: Becker’s Stages of Becoming an Outsider  Becker (1973) described a three-stage process by which individuals become outsiders: An individual commits a deviant act (primary deviance) The person begins to accept the deviant status (secondary deviance) The deviant joins a deviant subculture

12 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SI: Stigma and Deviance  Deviance can take many forms  Erving Goffman (1963) defined stigma as “an attribute that is deeply discrediting”  Stigma can take three forms: A physical deformity Being part of an undesirable social group A character flaw

13 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SI: Stigma, Passing, and Covering  Goffman found that individuals with stigma try to cover-up their deviance by passing, ways that people try to make themselves look like “normal” people, and covering, ways of concealing their problems from people  When individuals choose to accept their stigmas, it may lead individuals to retrospective interpretations of past behaviors

14 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SSP: Social Structure and Deviant Behavior  Deviant behavior may be a choice but those choices are made in context of a larger set of factors  Choices are constrained by the information and resources we have available to cope with our situation  Larger societal norms create limitations on how we can achieve legitimate goals in life

15 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SSP: Anomie and Deviance  Durkheim argued that individuals can lose their sense of place in society, especially in times of great social change when norms and values become less clear  Under these conditions, individuals may develop a sense of anomie or “normlessness,” where there is little consensus about what is right and wrong  Without a clear sense of right and wrong, individuals lack the guidance to make clear decisions in life

16 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SSP: Social Strain Theory  Robert Merton argued that deviance is a natural outcome of social conditions in which socially acceptable goals cannot be obtained through legitimate means, serving as the basis of strain theory  Merton developed a typology to outline the relationship between society’s goals and individual deviance

17 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SSP: Merton’s Typology of Deviance

18 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SSP: Deviant Types  According to Strain theory, people fall into one of five categories: Conformists Innovator Ritualists Retreatists Rebellion

19 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SSP: Social Control Theory  Another structural approach to the study of deviance is social control theory developed by Travis Hirschi  According to social control theory, deviance results when individuals’ bonds with conventional society are weakened in some way  Social control theory is related to the proximity principle of the social structure and personality perspective

20 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 SSP: Components of Social Control Theory  Social control theory proposes four ways that individuals are bonded to society: Attachment Commitment Involvement Belief  Hirschi’s (1969) research showed that the number of self-reported delinquent acts went down as communication levels increased between fathers and sons

21 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 GP: Group Relationships and Deviance  Many of the fundamental processes involved in the creation of deviance occur in group contexts  A major deviance theory that employs a group processes perspective is differential association theory  Differential association theory states the deviance is learned through interaction with others

22 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 GP: The Principles of Differential Association Theory  Edwin Sutherland introduced differential association theory to explain the social causes of deviance. The theory is based on nine principles, summarized in these points: Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication in intimate groups A person begins delinquent behavior when she has an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law Differential associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity

23 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 GP: White Collar-Crime  Differential association theory is useful to understanding how people can rationalize almost any form of deviant behavior  White-collar crimes include embezzlement, cheating, and laundering money, among others  These are crimes that are associated with higher-status individuals in the course of their work

24 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 GP: Studying Deviance in a Lab  Group processes researchers have furthered our understanding of criminal behavior in experimental studies  One relevant criminological issue is the high incidence of procedural errors in the prosecution of serious crimes

25 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 GP: Studying Procedural Errors  Lucas and his colleagues (2006) developed a theory to explain why so many wrongful convictions are in cases involving serious crimes; the theory has three parts: Prosecutors will become more likely to think that defendants are guilty as crimes are more severe Prosecutors will view attaining a conviction as more important when they hold a stronger belief in the defendant’s guilt Prosecutorial misconduct to obtain a conviction will increase as perceptions of guilt increase

26 Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007 Chapter 7: Bringing It All Together  Sociologists approach deviance as relative to the norms and values of a society  Symbolic interactionists focus on the construction of deviance through ethnomethodology and labeling theory  Social structure and personality scholars emphasize the ways that structural forces influence our decisions to deviate  Group processes incorporates the role of group interactions in our decisions to commit deviants acts

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