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SOCI 2445 Class Notes.docx

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Carleton University
SOCI 2445
Darryl Davies

SOCI 2445 Class Notes September 11-2012 What is deviant behaviour?  Look at behaviour within context.  Behaviour going against society/norms.  Demonological explanations: o Viewed deviant behaviour as those behaviours shown by those who were possessed, practiced magic/sorcery, evil spirits.  Lombroso: Anybody that has a physiological difference (missing arm, differently shaped head)  Statistical definitions: Look at numbers—minority is usually deviant.  Pathological Behaviour: o Disease like behaviour o Durkheim—crime is normal—what makes it pathological is when crime rates exceed the state’s ability to control it.  Relativistic behaviour—rule breaking.  Dangerous behaviour—direct threat to society’s stability. o People are perceived as harmless or dangerous. o Determined by how someone acts. o Defense mechanism.  Not just negative; also has latent functions. o Clarifies rules—reactions aren’t immediate. o Maintains rules. o Modifies rules—making something illegal legal and vice versa. o Reinforces boundaries for the status quo—we only take action when the behaviour exceeds what we can handle/tolerate. o Promotes solidarity and cohesiveness—reinforcing certain behaviours and bringing people together when committing the same behaviour (i.e. smoking weed)  The way we respond to deviant behaviour changes over time.  What is classified as deviant depends on who the victim is and who the offender is and who observes it.  Rules are only enforced when there are certain consequences.  Positive aspects of deviance: o Deviance tests rules and tests validity. o Can elicit unwanted attention from authorities. o Provides a safety value. o Promotes solidarity. o Scapegoating: as long as someone gets convicted—i.e. if you take the fall for something you didn’t do and are used as an example. o Raises the value of conformity—you’re more inclined to follow when you see others do it. o Early warn
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