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Lecture

ch14.doc

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Department
Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SA 150
Professor
Amie Mc Lean

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Ch.14: Crime and Deviance 2:42 PM • Sneetches-- Allegory to the stars that the Jewish used to wear Story book project • Sociological grounded rational and demonstrate the sociological perspective • Draw connections to relative course content • Need to cite and reference pictures, content etc.. Don't have to include in text citations in the story book Deviance • The recognized violation of social norms. Any behaviour that deviates from social norms o Important to distinguish btwn deviance and crime I. Deviance- behaviour that people find offensive. Behaviour that is outside the bounds of what is "normal". Range of behaviour from annoying, threatening, dangerous or disgusting II. Something considered deviant but not criminal.. Chewing gum in certain situations o Crime: violation of society's formally enacted criminal law. Biology and Deviance • Lombroso argued that this is used to predict whether people would take part in criminal activities o Believed he could predict deviance based on body and skull types --> but his ideas have been strongly disproven • Most acts considered to be deviant are committed by people who are seen as biologically normal The Social foundations of Deviance • Assume that the norms of our society are normal and natural • Recognizing the right and wrong gives us an insight on ones character 1. Deviance varies with cultural norms, What is deviant in one society, it may not be in another o No one act that is considered deviant in one society o Cultural universals: traits that are a part of everyday society ( funeral rights, taboos against incest, marriage etc..)  Humour for e.g., what may be considered funny in one society may be seen as offensive in another society  Incest--what considers to be incest may not be in others. Among Lakur of Burma, they don’t consider the mother to be blood related to the child  Historical examples--royalty were encouraged to get together with their siblings/ cousins, in order to keep royalty within their blood line ο Deviance is really in the eyes of the "beholder" I. KKK: engages in terrorist activities to advance the white supremacy  Used to be deviant if you were not part of the KKK  KKK seen as a counter culture II. Nelson Mandela • Labelled as an international terrorist but also known as freedom writer • Pursued a strictly non-violent approach • Someone labelled as a criminal, deviant and freedom fighter All examples that deviance varies due to cultural norms and historical context 2. People become deviant as they are defined that way 3. Norms and deviance involve social power • Relates to how norms can reflect social inequality Structural Functionalism • Really focused on the preservation of social order • Structural functionalist take a macro level approach in understanding the society • With deviance, they look to understand deviance as being a part of the nature of society 1. Durkheim o Analysis of social order o Argued that deviance can reaffirm cultural values and social norms. Increase social cohesion by a particular crime or act of deviance o Believed that deviance helped to clarify the norms of our society 2. Merton and Strain theory o Strain theory: structural functional approach in describing crime o Merton argued that deviance really arises from the strain. Contrasted with the lack of opportunity of actually being acceptable. That strain may encourage them to engage in criminal behaviour o Strain theory good for explaining some type of crime(ex. stealing..etc) but hard to be used for crimes of passion o Strain theory also suggests that everyone sees success the same way o E.g. corporate crime Social conflict theory • Concerned about issues of power and inequality related to deviance o Deviance is a phenomenon rooted in power o "losers" are ones labelled as those being sick and crazy o "winners" control and are in power positions ,"losers" treated as abnormal and stigmatized: powerfully negative label that can change personal self concept and social identity • Social conflict theory says that deviance acts as a function of social control • Social conflict theorists bring issues of deviance to power • The different insights into Social conflict theory : 1. Norms/laws reflect the interests of the rich and the powerful o In a capitalist society, the poor are far more at risk to be labelled as deviant o Rich people who take advantage of poor ppl are far less likely to be labelled as deviant 2. Powerful can resist deviant labels o White collared crime: crimes committed by people of high social position (e.g. fraud, embezzlement) o e.g. HSBC ..laundering huge amounts of money. Punishment--pay a fine of $2 billion. The bank is termed as being "too wealthy" and" too powerful" to be held accountable by the law (no criminal charges being laid on the bank) o Eg .Case of Stephanie George -- sentenced to life in prison for having an unknown lock box of cocaine that was said to be planted there by an ex-bf. • HSBC and Stephanie example shows there is a misunderstanding due to discrepancy • Donald trump --Corporation had discriminated against black ppl, tat charged more and different terms than those who are white. In settlement he agreed not to discriminate, however it was not to agree he was wrong • Rich and powerful people have the ability to avoid deviant labels. 3. Norms and laws are political • Blacks are arrested in disproportionate numbers and are treated more aggressively • Even when crimes or situations are similar, aboriginals are more likely than others to be arrested and denied bail • Across Canada, Aboriginal women are most at risk than any other group of women Symbolic interactionism • This takes a micro-level orientation--takes a look at society on a smaller scale • This contrasts with structural functionalists and social conflict theorists which both take a macro-level orientation • Symbolic interactionists say that we created society from the ground up (works from bottom to top) • Symbolic interactionism is tied to social construction • Idea of social construction was put together by Berger and Luckton • If some aspect of society is argued to be socially constructed.. Making the argument of how the aspect got there. Society itself is produced by human interactions • This perspective is arguing that ongoing interaction btwn people is how we create society • Focuses on the meaning and interactions • Human beings act toward things on the basis of • Thomas Theorum: "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences." (W.I Thomas) • Classic example of the toilet paper panic. Rumour going around saying that there will be a shortage of toilet paper due to the oil shortage. Because of this rumour, everyone bought up and stock up on the toilet paper. This then related to an actual shortage of toilet paper. • Whether or not a rumour is true, it can still have a significant effect on people'
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