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Presentation on theme: "DEVIANCE IN SOCIETY."— Presentation transcript:


2 Nature of Deviance Being considered a deviant:
Deviance: any violation of the norms of society There are always individuals who break rules of their society or group What’s considered deviant? Vary based on the situation Robber shoots someone – Deviant Police officer shoots robber – Acceptable Also varies from society to society Being considered a deviant: Dedication to deviant act Stigmatized by society Things that define or discredit someone Being labeled as a: Sex offender Prison inmates Drug dealer

3 How is deviance functional to society?
Causes of Deviant Behavior Viewed through the different sociological perspectives Functions: Clarifies moral boundaries Conforming behavior vs. Deviant behavior Promotes social unity Punishment of deviants fosters “we” feeling Promotes social change Violations that gain enough support become new acceptable behaviors Functionalist Perspective Deviance is a natural part of society Emile Durkheim classified several functions of deviance How is deviance functional to society?

4 Deviant Behavior – Functionalist Perspective
Strain theory (Robert Merton) Difficulty identifying with norms of society One’s goals and his/her means to accomplish such goals do not coincide MODES OF ADAPTATION Ritualists Abandoning goal while upholding norms Going through the motions Teacher who is “burned out” Retreatists Reject goal and means of achieving goal Turn to drugs or alcohol Rebels Similar to retreatist Attempt to substitute new set of goals Revolutionaries – extreme cases Conformists (most common) Acceptance of goals and means of reaching goals – even if unable to accomplish Use socially acceptable means of reaching goals Innovators Seeking alternative means of reaching goal Violating acceptable norms Ex. – embezzlers, robbers, con artists, drug dealers

5 Deviant Behavior - Conflict Perspective
Deviance is explained through power and inequality Competition and social inequality lead to deviance “Haves” vs. “Have Nots” Capitalist class vs. Working class Those in power Commit deviant acts to stay in power Consider acts of others that might challenge power as deviant People without power Turn to deviant behaviors Often out of necessity

6 Deviant Behavior – Interactionist Perspective
Control theory: Deviance is a natural occurrence Focus is on why people conform Dependent on social ties Those with strong community attachments are less likely to commit deviant acts Deviance is influenced by interactions among individuals Involves several theories: Control theory Transmission theory Labeling theory

7 Deviant Behavior – Interactionist Perspective
Control Theory Impacted by learned behaviors and conformity at a young age What causes children to conform? Two control systems work against our motivations to deviate Inner controls: Morals Conscience Religious principles Impacted by societal bonds Outer controls: Family Friends Police

8 Deviant Behavior – Interactionist Perspective
Transmission Theory Deviance is a learned behavior Learned through association with deviant individuals Differential association Deals with frequency and closeness of association Example: Gang membership All individuals conform Difference lies in what they are conforming to

9 Deviant Behavior – Interactionist Perspective
Labeling Theory Focuses on how people come to be identified as deviant Deviance is relative Depends on how society views actions/behaviors Social labels “drunk” “pot-head” “whore” All people commit deviant acts during their lives Two types: Primary deviance Goes mostly undetected Temporary, trivial Secondary deviance Multiple occurrences Individual is labeled a deviant

10 Rejecting Labels How People Neutralize Deviance
Most people resist labels that others try to pin to them. Example: People who vandalize property but consider themselves conforming members of society Techniques of neutralization: Suspension of moral beliefs to commit deviant act Five techniques: Denying responsibility “It was an accident” Denying injury “Who did it hurt?” Denying the victim “He got what he deserved” Condemning authorities “The police are corrupt” Appealing to higher loyalties “I did it to protect my family”

11 Social Control Consists of the forces and processes that encourage conformity
3 Factors: Internalization – process of building conformity to norms and values from our groups into our self-concept Informal social control – self-restraint exercised because of fear of what others might think Formal social control – administrative sanctions such as fines and imprisonment Recidivism – relapse into a previous mode of behavior Being rearrested

12 Rationalizing Punishment Four Primary Reasons for Imprisonment
Retribution To right a wrong by making offender suffer or pay back what was taken Attempt to restore balance Rehabilitation Re-socialize offender to create conforming citizen Deterrence Create fear so that others won’t break the law Incapacitation Remove offenders from circulation


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