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Lecture 3

Week 3 Readings Part II.docx

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University of Guelph
SOC 2070
Linda Hunter

Part I – Bereska 35-73 – Week 3 Readings – SOC 2070 Chapter 2: Explaining Deviance: The Act WHY DO PEOPLE BECOME DEVIANT? Using Positivists Theories - interest in explaining why people act in particular ways - seeking to understand why deviant people act that way triggers subsequent attempts to prevent other people from becoming deviant Functionalist Theories - society is seen as being comprised of various structures, each of which fulfills necessary functions for the smooth running of the social order (e.g. family, education system, political system) - some are manifest functions: o intended and recognized - others are latent functions o unintentional and unrecognized - example: o manifest function is of university it to train young adults for employment but university does even more – its latent functions may include providing individuals with social networks and even the formation of romantic relationships - Durkheim: Anomie Theory o Notion of deviance address in two ways:  He suggested that a certain level of deviance is actually functional for society  He address deviance in the context of pathological levels of deviance that occur when society changes too quickly and anomie (normlessness) emerges  Deviance is functional in that seeing someone break the rules allows for the rest of us to see how important those rules are – increases social solidarity – society determines what its moral boundaries are – reduces societal tensions o Durkheim focused on the ways that society’s structures had changed with industrialization and the impact this had on people’s behaviour  Before industrialization = mechanical solidarity  Mechanical solidarity = society was bonded together by likeness or by a collective commitment to conform  With industrialization = organic solidarity  Society was bonded together by difference or interdependence through a highly specialized division of labour - Merton: Anomie and Strain Theories o Merton suggested that deviance originates not only from the individual, but also from the structure of society o Merton said that in North America, the goals we are to aspire to include wealth, status/power, and prestige – the American Dream Part I – Bereska 35-73 – Week 3 Readings – SOC 2070 o He suggested that just as our culture is characterized by institutionalized goals, it is also characterized by legitimate means of attaining those goals o Anomie and strain have come to characterize American society o Context of anomie as emerged – an imbalance between culturally prescribed goals and legitimate means o People who can adapt to this lifestyle between goals and means in 5 different ways – some of which result in deviance  1) conform ( accepts goals, accepts the means they have)  2) innovation (accepts the goals, rejects the means)  3) ritualism (reject the goals and accept the means)  4) retreatism (reject the goals and reject the means)  5) rebellion ( new goals and new means) - Cloward and Ohlin: Differential Opportunity Theory o The way society is structured results in differential access to legitimate opportunities o They propose that the way society is structured also results in differential access to illegitimate opportunities – some people have more access to illegitimate opportunities like living in neighbourhoods that may have street gangs, drug dealers or sex trade workers o They suggest that some people are more like than others to become participants in deviant behaviour - Agnew: General Strain Theory o Agnew proposes that strain can be produced by a variety
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