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DEVIANCE Deviance is a recognized violation of cultural norms

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Presentation on theme: "DEVIANCE Deviance is a recognized violation of cultural norms"— Presentation transcript:

1 DEVIANCE Deviance is a recognized violation of cultural norms
Question: How do Sociologists look at deviance?

2 CRIME AND CRIMINALITY When we think of deviance we often think of crime and criminality

3 Cesare Lombroso and the biological roots of criminality

4 William Sheldon body structure as a predictor of criminality

5 Major Theories in Sociology
Functionalism Symbolic Interactionism Conflict Theory


7 Emile Durkheim deviance affirms cultural values and norms
-condemning something as “deviant” clarifies moral boundaries -constructing an act as deviant can unify social groups -what is constructed as deviant may often be reconstructed as a social or commercial good

8 Robert Merton’s Strain Theory
Deviant behavior arises from social realities in which few opportunities or “means” to an end exist to achieve cultural goals ?what is “innovation, ritualism, retreatism, rebellion” for Merton?

9 Strain Theory Conformity-embracing the society’s definition of success and adhering to the established and approved means of achieving success

10 Strain Theory Innovation-refers to used of illicit means to reach approved goals

11 Strain Theory Ritualism- involves strict adherence to the culturally prescribed rules, even though individuals give up on the goals they hoped to achieve

12 Strain Theory Retreatism-giving up on both the goals and the means to achieve them

13 Strain Theory Rebellion-rejecting the socially approved ideas of success and the means of attaining that success but replacing them with alternative definitions of success and alternative strategies for attaining the new goals


15 Deviant Subcultures ?why should the notion of a “deviant subculture” be understood as relative (meaning it depends on who is making the assertion of deviance)?

what we understand to be deviant is nothing more than a function of perspective examples: “crimes” such as murder, theft, statutory rape

17 Deviance and Conflict Theory

18 Conflict Theory This approach links deviance to social inequality
Who or what is labeled “deviant” depends on which categories of people hold power in a society

19 Deviance, Conflict Theory and Capitalism
Deviant labels have often been applied to people or populations that are perceived to have no or little use in a system of industrial or capitalist production

20 Erving Goffman and Stigma
Stigma: culturally negative label that greatly alters or shapes ones self-concept/identity

when behavior constructed as deviant becomes medicalized, the notions of objectivity and legitimacy associated with science and scientific inquiry alter the construction of the behavior; ?What is the difference between behavior that is “biologized” versus “medicalized”?

22 Travis Hirschi: Control Theory
four types of social control attachment opportunity involvement belief

23 attachment Attachment to other people who respect the values and rules of the society; individuals do not want to be rejected by those to whom they are close or they admire

24 commitment Commitment to conventional activities (schools and jobs) that they do not want to jeopardize

25 involvement Involvement in activities that keep them so busy with conventional roles and expectations that they do not have time for mischief

26 belief Belief in the social rules of their culture that they accept because of childhood socialization and indoctrination into conventional beliefs.

27 Differential association theory
Refers to the difference in people with whom members of a society interact; some people learn to conform and other learn to deviate, depending on their associations

28 Differential association theory
This theory focuses on the process of learning deviance from family, peers, fellow employees, political organizations, gangs etc…

29 Differential association theory
According to this theory, the possibility of becoming deviant depends on four factors: Duration Intensity Priority Frequency

30 LABELING THEORY Labeling theory focuses on how people define reality or what is or is not “normal” No behavior or individual is intrinsically deviant Behavior “is” deviant because individuals label it deviant Members of a society create deviance by defining behaviors as deviant; they then react to the deviance by rejection or by imposing penalties

31 LABELING THEORY Labeling theorists define 2 stages in the process of becoming a deviant: Primary deviance-a violation of a norm that may be an isolated event Secondary deviance-continuing to violate a norm and taking on a deviant identity

32 ANOMIE Anomie or “normlessness” describes the breakdown of norms caused by the lack of shared, achievable goals and lack of socially approved means to achieve goals

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