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Lecture

Defining Deviance and Crime

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCI 325
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
Society prepares the crime, the criminal commits it. (Henry Thomas Buckle) The subject of inquiry: • Like the concept of crime, deviance is a social construction. Defining crime: Historically, criminologists defined crime as “behavior in violation of law”  Our modern understanding of law is based in classical theory. It suggests that laws should be  established when social harm occurs. The concept of crime  In Canada, Marital rights were extended to gays and lesbians in 2005. In Iran, those convicted of  homosexual acts are lashed or even executed.  Definitions of what is deviant behavior or deviance vary across space. The concept of crime  Canada’s criminal laws have changed dramatically since 1960’s. We can conclude that definitions of crime change dramatically in the same space over time.  DSM  (Bible of psychology) In DSM homosexuality was an illness (Version 3)  Version 4:stated it was no longer a mental illness In version 4 they stated remaining closeted could create long standing illness. Crime: Gottfredson and Hirschi (USA)(1990): define crime as the use of force and fraud. Downes and Rock (UK)(2003) : intentionally avoid a precise definition. They do refer to banned or  controlled behavior which is likely to attract punishment or disapproval Deviance Many authors maintain that sociologists need to look beyond the state’s definition for crime and  consider deviance. Becker (1963): suggest that deviance has nothing to do with the quality of behavior, it is merely a  label successfully attached to another. Deviance 2: Pfohl (definition used in class, 1996): and many suggest that deviance is a violation of a social  norm. It is apparent that a social norm has been broken because there is a reaction to the behavior  in question. This is true for hidden behavior that would elicit a controlling reaction from others if  they were aware of the behavior. Positivists  Constructionists Absolutism (Intrinsically
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