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Lecture 9

SOCI 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Demonic Possession, Social Control, Human Behaviour

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Sara Cumming

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Deviance and Crime
What is Deviance?
“Deviance is in the eye of the beholder”
Sociology of Deviance
-Defining Human Behaviour
-Culturally, Historically and situationally specific
-Deviance as a social construction
Social Deviance
-Any acts that involves the violation of social norms
-Appearances, relationships, sexuality, where we live (on the street vs. in a home), our jobs,
how we treat our bodies (alcohol, smoking, drugs or working out) ETC.
-Howard Becker (1966)
-Not that act itself, rather peoples reaction to the act that makes it deviant
-Who defines deviance?
-politicians/governments, scientists, religious institutions, media
-Social control agents
-Informal and formal social controls
What is Criminology
-The body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon. It includes within its scope
the process of making laws, breaking laws and reacting towards the breaking of laws
Crime and Deviance
-Actions that violate social norms, not always defined as criminal
-Behaviours/actions that require social control and social intervention, codified in law
-Not all crimes are perceived as deviant and not all deviance is perceived as criminal
Theories on Crime Causation
-A framework for understanding criminal behaviour that can be tested
-Provide us with an indication of how we can prevent, treat or reduce crime
-Translated into policy and laws
A brief history
-Middle Ages: Prior to 1700 A.D.
-Contributed to supernatural forces
-Emphasis on witchcraft and demonic possession
-Response based on social status of offender
-Extensive use of torture, death penalty
Classical Criminology
-Rational choice theory
-movement to balance crime fairly
-behaviour not the result of supernatural forces, but rather purposeful
-Key Question: Why Do Particular people commit crimes?
-Beccaria and Bentham
-If crime results in some form of pleasure for the criminal, then pain must be used to prevent
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