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SOCIOL 1A06 (735)

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Sandra Colavecchia

4/2/2013 3:08:00 PM Deviance and Crime Continued: How we understand crime and deviance is tied to how we measure crime and deviance The social construction of crime and deviance is tied to methodological issues  We can measure it through police statistics o However, it is limited. How?  Crimes that are reported o Not reporting to the police, why?  Fear  Racial profiling Example: Intimate Partner Violence:  Underreporting o Violence between two partners  Criminalization of intimate partner violence  1993 Violence Against Women Survey (Stats Canada) o involved random survey of thousands of Canadian women o most important conclusion:  sizeable number of Canadian women had experienced violence from a current or previous partner Police:  Police tend to focus on street crime  They avoid Suite crime – corporate crimes in businesses  Police data is impacted by their surveillance practices  Example: o In examining the racial profiling debate in Canada, Wortley and Tanner o B. Find evidence of racial profiling o C. Conclude that racial differences in police contact can be explained by differences in social class, education, and other demographic variables – these variables do not explain racial differences in police contact o D. Both age and social class protect whites and blacks from police contact – age and social class only protect whites from police contact (not blacks) o E. when criminal activity, drug use and gang membership are statistically controlled, the relationship between race and police contact disappears - when these, and other important factors are considered, in fact the relationship between race and police contact gets stronger o Whites and blacks being stopped by police:  Information about age, socio-economic status, involvement in gangs, drugs, criminal activities Theoretical Perspectives: 1. Structural Functionalism 2. Symbolic Interactionism 3. Conflict Theory 4. Feminist Theory Q. How would each of these theories understand prostitution? 1. Structural functionalism and Emile Durkheim: Crime and Deviance what function might public punishment serve?  The societal reactions to deviance and crime that are important  crime: the reaction to it is important to consider, what people are thinking and feeling in reaction to the crime  social reactions are important: o help to define what a societies values and norms are o We are not going to stand for “X” and if you do “X”, we shall respond this way o Solidarity is created when people are coming together and saying “yeah that guy deserves that” o When someone violates the rules that everyone has agreed upon, the response by everyone else in society helps reinforce the standards o Crimes can lead to reactions that create other benefits to society:  Montreal massacre:  14 women killed at a university  every year the massacre is commemorated  how is this commemoration functional for society?  Resulted in greater awareness against the violence of women  It is interpreted as functional for society because it drew attention to violence against women  It lead to greater supports for groups that were against violence against women Recognize that society undergoes change Benefits of crime or deviance:  Societies change and evolve, then rules must change and evolve Prostitution Society defines its moral code:  We decide to define prostitution as criminal, this means we are defining a certain moral code.  On the other hand, we could define prostitution as de-criminalized, then we are articulating a different moral code.  Functionalists might ask what the functions of prostitutions are provided in society: o Sexual outlets for those who do not have sexual partners o Economic outlets for those who are involved in prostitution 2. Symbolic Interactionism:  micro-level interactions, subjectivity (how meaning is created), symbols  deviance is an ongoing creation o what is deemed to be deviant is constantly being negotiated Is the work or sex act considered as disempowering or something else?  Some prostitutes may feel victimized, but others may challenge these views and say that it is voluntary.  Sex worker – as a term: has been adopted by advocates of sex work and many feminist groups who support the activity and argue in favour of laws and policies to keep them safe and unpunished and to improve their working conditions. Language is hugely important.  Variation in meanings attached to this is something that you would study and explore  They would try to understand the variations in meaning held by the sex worker and the one who is purchasing the sex  Micro-level interactions o Street prostitution:  Observing street level interactions
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