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Influences on the Study of Deviance(Week 1).docx

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SOCY 275
Stacey Alerie

12/21/2012 9:44:00 AM Influences on the Study of Deviance  Politics  Institutional traditions  Human nature Different Types of Deviance  Deviance o Actions not conforming to group values o Defined by the reactions of others o Conformity  Behaviour that is in accordance with social norms  Agreeing with social values or fear of being punished  Crime o Act that goes against the law o Dictated by authority o Subject to punishment  Ambiguity o Deviance has more than one meaning o Different interpretations for one event o Can be vague o Collection of theories  Can involve philosophy and politics o Diversity  People of power are less deviant  When behaviour becomes common, it becomes less deviant  People’s judgement of deviance is dependant on o Context o Circumstances o Personal biography o socialization  Deviance as a last resort o If there are no other possible explanations for behaviour it is labeled deviant  Theories of deviance are influenced by other theories o Deviance stems from the construction of moral rules  Deviance is not a single problem with a single solution o Deviance is connected with exercise of power and application of rules o Study of deviance leads to formation of policies  Marxist View o Rules are broken because of suppressed under life of society o The actions of those who are voiceless o Those who are dominated and exploited  Eg. People started stealing when class system emerged because there was no free market o Deviance is resistance from those who do not have power o Moral Entrepreneur  A person in a position of authority who defines deviance  Relativity o How deviance is different throughout cultures and historical periods  Diachronic  Definition of deviance changes across time  Things that were once deviant can become acceptable  Synchronic  Definition of deviances changes across cultures  Deviance is Political o Challenging state rule o Inferior groups are deviant because superior groups with power develop judgements  Inferior groups have no power or control  Deviance is based on social reaction o Social control  Creative deviance o Behaviour that is normally forbidden but it is accepted only at certain times and certain circumstances  Eg. Mardi gra  Negative deviance o Not conforming to rules, negatively evaluated  Rate busting o Over conforming, exceeding expectations, but negatively evaluated (gifted students)  Deviance admiration o Under conform to norms but are positively evaluated (robin hood) (Galileo)  Positive deviance o Over conforms, positively evaluated (volunteers)  Extreme deviance o Strong negative reaction Reasons For Diversity in Deviance  Sociological theories have fed on ideas that originated in other fields  Sociologists have different goals when they study deviance  Theories can be combined with other theories  Sociologists each under go different circumstances that shape their way of thought  Different traditions Implications of Studying Deviance  Have to be open minded and charitable to other theories of deviance o Must appreciate an idea from an authors perspective  Sociologists even become deviant themselves o The become involved with matters that most people shun  Harms can be exaggerated (eg alcohol and smoking vs heroine, both are bad but government sells alcohol and cigarettes)  By punishing deviance we can cause more harm  Less harmful deviance is not labeled as deviant (eg corporate criminals compared to drug dealers) Defining Deviance  Illustration o Listing behaviours that qualify as deviant  Depends on who makes the list and what they personally think is deviant  Dependant on personal biography  Where an
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