2 What is Deviance? Pages 154-157 Deviance- violation of the normsSociologist Howard Becker (1966) “not the act itself but the reaction to the act that makes something deviant”Relativity of deviance acceptable in one culture is deviant in another- this statement is true within societies. Deviance is relativeSpecific form of deviance is crime- a violation of rules that are written into lawSociologists do not view deviance as a bad thing- it is just acts that people see as negative- all of us are deviant at one time or anotherStigma characteristic that discredits people- includes violations of norms of ability (handicap), appearance (obesity) and being an involuntary member (AIDS victim)Some stigmas can become a persons master status
3 How Norms Make Social Life Possible Norms make life predictable by making behavior predictableWe are socialized to follow norms, play basic roles that society assigns us.Norms bring social order, a groups customary social arrangement.Deviance undermines this predictabilityGroups develop a systems of social control , formal and informal ways of enforcing normsSanctions- expressions of disapproval of deviance bring negative sanctions- range from frowns (breaking folkways) to imprisonment (breaking mores). Positive sanctions are used to reward for conforming to the norms. Most negative sanctions are informal.
4 Other types of sanctions Shaming- effective when members of a primary group use it. Often used to keep children in line and small communities. Shaming can be part of a public ritualDegradation Ceremony- a formal attempt to brand somebody as an outsider. Individual is stripped of their identity as a group member. This dramatizes that the member is no longer part of the group
5 Explanations of Deviance Sociobiologists look for explanations within peopleAssume that people have genetic predispositions. Sociologists argue that genetics have little influence on deviancePsychologists focus on the abnormalities within individuals. Examine personality disorders. Sociologists dispute that deviant individuals fit a particular personalitySociologists search for factors outside the individual. They look for social influences that recruit people to break norms
6 Symbolic Interactionist Perspective of Deviance pages 159-164 Symbolic Interactionists argue that we act according to our interpretations of situationsDifferential Association TheoryEdwin Sutherland developed the theory-we learn deviance from the different groups we associate withGive us messages about conformity and devianceWe receive an imbalance of these messages one way or another that tilts us in one directionFactors that influence us- family, friends, neighbors, subcultures
7 Family, Friends, Neighborhood and Subcultures Family is the primary agent of socialization, difference whether we learn deviance or conformity.Studies have proven that families involved in crime, have lawbreaking childrenNeighborhoods- people want to move our of “bad” neighborhoods keep children away from corrupting influencesSome neighborhoods develop subcultures of violence (gangs, mafia)People have choice in the groups we associate with- we produce our own orientations to life
8 Control Theory Control Theory (Walter Reckless) We have two control systems that work against our motivation to deviate.Inner Control- internalized morality- conscience, religious principles, ideas of right and wrongOuter Controls- consist of people- family, friends, police officers, etc. that influence us most not to deviateThe stronger our bonds are with society the more effective our inner controls (attachments, commitments and involvements)
9 Control TheoryAttachments – feeling affection and respect for people that conform to mainstream normsCommitments- having a stake in society that you don’t want to riskInvolvements- putting time an energy into approved activitiesControl theory how we learn self- control. Learning self control is achieved through socialization
10 Labeling TheoryLabels- names, reputations, etc. we are given, become part of our self- conceptMost people resist negative labels by othersSome people that are deviant do not view themselves that way. The deflection of societies norms are rationalized in the five techniques of neutralization- denial of responsibility, denial of injury, denial of a victim, condemnation of condemners, appeal to higher loyalties
11 Functionalist Perspective of Deviance pages 164-166 Stress the functions of deviance to society (Durkheim)It is essential to the social orderClarifies moral boundaries and affirms normsPromotes social unityPromotes social change
12 Strain TheoryFunctionalists see crime as a natural part of society. Mainstream values generate crimeStrain theory was developed by Robert Merton (1956) to explain this:When society socializes large numbers of people to desire a cultural goal (success) but withholds the means of reaching that goal to many people. An adaptation to meet the goal is crime (outside of the approved system). To attain the cultural goal.
13 Strain TheoryPeople who experience the strain feel anomie (a sense of normlessness)Mainstream norms aren’t getting them anywhere, find it difficult to identify with these norms, feel wronged by the system, rules are illegitimatePeople match their goals to their means through five ways- conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreats, rebellion where they accept, reject or replace cultural norms
14 Four Deviant PathsInnovation- accept goals but use illegitimate means to reach themRitualism- give up on achieving goals but survive by following rules of their job (job burnout)Retreats- reject cultural and societal goals and the means of achieving them- alcoholics, drug addicts and nuns that enter convents are examplesRebellion- reject societies goals . They seek to give societies new goals. Revolutionaries are an example
15 Social Class and CrimeSocial classes have distinct styles of crime because of the unequal access to institutional means.The illegitimate opportunity structure is the term given to the opportunity for crime woven into the texture of life
16 Street CrimeIndustrialized societies socialize all classes into the desire for material possessions (all Americans can afford society’s goods and services)Education the most common route to success, not an option for the poorSchool system is out of touch with the poor- closes the door to them as a legitimate avenue to successUrban slums there is an opportunity –crime (drug dealing, prostitution, burglary, gambling)The “hustler” is viewed as a role model- the image of easy money, only ones seen as coming close to the ideal of success
17 White Collar CrimeMore privileged classes have different opportunities for crimeWhite collar crime (embezzlement, money schemes opportunities encountered by these classes)Another form is corporate crime committed by executives to benefit their corporationWhite collar criminals rarely spend a day in jail even though it costs more than street crimeMost Americans are concerned with street crime and the disruption it will cause in their lives.
19 Conflict PerspectiveConflict theorists- power and social inequality as the main characteristics of society.Power elite that runs society also runs the criminal justice system.Division between the haves and have notsThose at the lower end of the scale are at the highest risk for poverty, prison
20 Conflict Perspective on Deviance “Justice for all” myth promoted by the elite. Conflict theorists see the law as an instrument of oppression designed by the elite to maintain their position.Criminal justice system does not focus on the corporate criminals, directs energies toward the working class.When the corporate class is prosecuted and the case receives attention- stabilizes the justice system and provides evidence of “fairness”To a conflict theorist this is a cultural device that the power elite uses to carry out self protective and repressive policies
22 Decline in Crime and Recidivism Reaction to deviance from minor sanctions to death penaltyPast 20 years more and more people have been put in prison and three strikes laws have reduced early release.At the same time the crime rate has dropped sharply.Sociologists question if this has caused the drop in crime ratesStatistics demonstrate prisons fail to rehabilitate criminals.Recidivism rate (prisoners that are rearrested) is high.If the purpose of prisons is to keep people from being criminals, and to teach those that crime does not pay; are the prisons failing?
23 A Profile of A Street Criminal 14% of US population between ages of 15 and 24, account for 40% of violent crimes and 45% of property arrests65% arrested are maleMost are poor36% of those arrested for violent crime are African-American even though they are 13% of the populationRace is closely related to social standing which affects the likelihood of engaging in street crimeAfrican American family patterns – most grow up in single parent homes (66%)Prejudice leads to more arrests of African Americans (they are over criminalized)
24 Death Penalty and BiasCapital punishment is the most extreme measure the state takes against criminals.It is a very divisive issue on moral and philosophical groundsThe death penalty is not administered evenlyFactors like geography, social class gender are factors in who is given the death penalty
25 Punishment Why should society punish wrong doers? Four basic reasons Retribution: oldest form of punishmentAct of moral vengeance, makes offender suffer as much as those they harmedDeterrence: attempt to discourage criminality through use of punishmentOriginally used to reform retributionRehabilitation: reforming offender to prevent later offencesLeads to prisons as places to teach proper behaviorMotivates offender to reformSocietal Protection: renders offender incapable of further offences through imprisonment or executionLed to US incarcerating a higher percentage of its population than any country in the world except China
26 Mental Illness and the Medicalization of Deviance Shift in the way society deals with devianceMental Illness is when society “medicalizes” itMedicalization of deviance created when psychoanalysis was founded in the late 1800’s,deviance related to mental illness was seen as a medical condition that needed to be treatedSome mental illness is organic and chemical (depression). Some are defined by society (ADD)When something becomes deviant in ways that disturbs others and a satisfying explanation can’t be found to explain it, mental illness is seen as the causeThomas Szaz describes these as behaviors not mental illness. Szaz thinks that mental illness as an explanation is a myth to get nonconforming , or deviant individuals to conform, to accept societies definition of “normal”Szaz explains that deviant or bizarre behavior depends on a person’s particular experience in life, not an illness in the mind.Szaz’s research demonstrates the power of socialization and social structures that underlie deviant behavior
27 Mental Illness and the Medicalization of Deviance When deviance is defined as a medical issue it has three consequencesFirst who responds to deviance- medical label places situation under control of doctors and psychiatrists, not law enforcementSecond is how people respond to deviance- medically they become patients that need help not punishmentThird is the label that explains the personal competence of the deviant person- medical definition takes responsibility from the individualIndividual seen as unable to control their actions