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Lecture 5

SOC 2070 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Recreational Drug Use, Asbestosis, False Advertising

Course Code
SOC 2070
Linda Hunter

of 6
WEEK 5 READINGS SOC 2070 ADLER 381-388, 419-432 BERESKA 138-154
- relationships among deviants can follow many models
o vary along a dimension of sophistication, involving complexity,
coordination and purpose
- membership rituals may vary from none to highly specific acts
- some groups its hard to get into, others its uncounted and/or monitored by
no one
- groups of deviants vary in their organization sophistication, with the more
organized groups capable of more complex activities
o these groups provide greater resources and service to their members
- loners are the most solitary, interacting with people, but keeping their
deviant attitudes, behaviours, or conditions secret
o lack the company of other deviants who share the same interest
o rise of internet communities loners realizing they are not alone
o chat rooms, discussion boards, etc. can be negative or positive
o serve several unintended functions that have significant
consequences for participants:
they transmit knowledge of a practical and ideological sort
among people, enabling them to more effectively engage in and
legitimate the behaviour
they tend to be leveling, bringing people together in a common
discourse regardless of their age, gender, marital status,
ethnicity, etc.
some people go as far as meeting their ‘real’ friends face to face
- colleagues represent the next most organizationally sophisticated
associational form
o deviants organizing as colleagues include the homeless, recreational
drug users, and con artists
o they may interact and perform their deviance with non-deviants
- peers engage in their deviance with others like themselves, but have no more
than a minimal division of labor
o neighbourhood gangs who congregate with their friends generally
engage in all of the same types of activities
- crew form where groups of anywhere from three to a dozen individuals band
together to engage in more sophisticated deviant capers than less organized
deviants can accomplish
o fascinate observers because their more sophisticated division of
labour usually requires specialized training and socialization, giving
them a more professional edge
- formal organizations which are much larger than crews and extend over time
and space
o may stand alone or be connected to similar organizations
- white-collar crime is a more socially injurious amount of deviance that
occurs at the top, in the suites
o we often tend to associate white-collar crimes with strictly financial
activities, but they extend to bodily injury and death as well
WEEK 5 READINGS SOC 2070 ADLER 381-388, 419-432 BERESKA 138-154
o 56,000 Americans die every year on the job or from occupational
diseases such as black lung and asbestosis
- occupational crime is pursued by individuals acting on their own behalf
o employees at all levels of organizations steal from their companies,
and we have also seen the rise of embezzlement
- organization crime, committed with the support and encouragement of a
legitimate formal organization, is intended to advance the goals of the firm or
o environmental crimes top the list, doubling the next closest offenders
o many instances of false advertising where products are misleadingly
allege to do one thing and either fail to do or have the reverse effect
GANGS [PAGE 419-432]
- gangs made a rebound in American society in the late 1980s, fueled by the
drug economy and the increasing economic plight of urban areas
- while women gain status, social life, and some protection from the hazards of
street life in joining gangs, they exchange this for a new set of dangers
- strong evidence that delinquent lifestyles are associated with increased risk
of victimization
- gangs are social groups that are organized around delinquency and
participation in gangs has been shown to escalate youth’s involvement in
- research on gang violence indicates that the primary targets of this violence
are other gang members
- recent research on girls in gangs has examined these young women’s
participation in violence and other crimes as offenders
- one thing they get out of the gang is a sense of protection, gang membership
itself means exposure to victimization risk and even a willingness to be
- a number of girls suggested that being a gang member is a source of
protection around the neighbourhood
o people inside and outside of the gang know you and respect you
they won’t bother you
- being in a gang with young men means at least the semblance of protection
from, and retaliation against, predatory men in the social environment
- members recognized that they may be targets of rival gang members and
were expected to be down for their gang at those times even when it meant
being physically hurt
- initiation rites and internal rules were structured in ways that required
individuals to submit to, and be exposed to, violence
- intiation involve either taking a fixed number of ‘blows’ to the head and/or
chest or being ‘beat in’ by members for a given duration
- breaking the rules within the gang was grounds for physical punishment
- being a gang member also involves a willingness to open oneself up to the
possibility of victimization
WEEK 5 READINGS SOC 2070 ADLER 381-388, 419-432 BERESKA 138-154
- autonomous female gangs may be shaped by different gender relations, we
well as differences in orientations toward status and criminal involvement
- all the young women reported having established leaders in their gang, and
the leadership was almost exclusively male
- number of young women stated explicitly that only male gang members
could be leaders
- leadership qualities being tough, able to fight, and willing to do dirt
- status in the gang was related to traits such as the willingness to use serious
violence and commit dangerous crimes and these traits were viewed
primarily as qualities more likely located among male members
- young men’s perceptions of girls as lesser members typically functioned to
keep girls from being targets of serious violence at the hands of rival young
men, who instead left routine confrontations with rival female gang members
to the girls in their own gang
- in comparison with young men, young women were less likely to resort to
serious violence like using a weapon
- young women could use gender as a means of avoiding participation in those
aspects of gang life they found risky, threatening or morally troubling
- young women able to get out of committing serious crime, more so than
young women because she shouldn’t have to risk her whole life (girl
- the two types of crime mentioned most frequently as ‘off-limits’ for girls
were drug sales and drive-by shootings
- although girls’ exclusion from some gang crime may be framed as protective,
it also served to perpetuate the devaluation of females members as less
significant to the gang not as tough, true or ‘down’ for the gang as male
- devaluation of young women could lead to the mistreatment and
victimization of girls by members of their own gang when they didn’t have
specific male protection (boyfriend or brother for eg.) in the gang or when
they were not able to stand up for themselves to male members
- when women posed as a threat to men, they could be punished even more
harshly than young men, not only for having challenged a rival gang or gang
member but also for having overstepped appropriate gender boundaries
- an additional but related problem was when the devaluation of young
women within gangs was sexual in nature girls could be initiated into the
gang by being sexed in’ – having sexual relations with multiple male
members of the gang
- the dynamics of sexing in as a form of gang initiation placed young women in
a position that increased their risk of ongoing mistreatment at the hands of
their gang peers
- the fact that there was such an option as ‘sexing in’ served to keep girls
disempowered because they always faced the questions of how they got in
and of whether they were ‘true’ members