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Lecture 5

SOC 2070 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Gang, Counterculture, Corporate Crime

Course Code
SOC 2070
Linda Hunter

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The Social Organization of Deviance: Youth, Deviance and
The Social Organization of Deviance (Adler Intro Part 6 pg. 381-
-there are several ways of looking at how deviants organize their lives
-we start by looking at the relationships among groups of deviants, focusing on the
character, structure, and consequences of different types of organizations
-there encompass the structure or patterns of relationships in which individuals engage
in when they enter the pursuit of deviance
-relationships among deviants can follow many models
-the more its members withdraw into a social and economic world of their own, the
more they will develop norms and rules to guide them
1. Loners - more solitary, interacting with people, but keeping their deviant attitudes, be-
haviours, or conditions secret
-lack the company of other, similar deviants with whom they can share their interests,
troubles and strategies
-e.g. serial rapists, embezzlers
-not alone on internet communities - self-injurers, anorexics, bulimics, computer hack-
ers, pedophiles
-whether these sites reinforce or discourage the deviance, they serve several unintend-
ed functions: (1) transmit knowledge of a practical and ideological sort among people,
enabling them to more effectively engage in and legitimate the behaviour, (2) they tend
to be leveling, bringing people together into a common discourse and (3) they bridge
huge spans of geographic distance
-these interactions form deviant communities
-they reinforce continuing participation in the deviance as a way of maintaining mem-
2. Colleagues - participants have face-to-face relationships with other deviants like
themselves but do not need to cooperations of fellow deviants to perform their acts
-mutual association brings the possibilities of membership in a deviant subculture from
which people can learn specific norms, values, rationalizations, helpful information, spe-
cialized terms or vocabulary

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-e.g. homeless, recreational drug users, and con artists
-may interact and perform their deviance with non-deviants
3. Peers - engage in their deviance with others like themselves, but have no more than
a minimal division of labour
-e.g. neighbourhood gangs generally engage in all the same types of activities and only
see role specialization when it comes to the leader
-may traffic in a black market of illegal goods and services such as guns, drugs
4. Crew - groups of 3-12 individuals band together to engage in more sophisticated de-
viant capers than less organized deviants can accomplish
-more specialized division of labour usually requires specialized training and socializa-
tion, giving them a more professional edge
-depend on their leader who organizes and recruits them, sets and enforces the group
rules, plans their activities, and organizes travel and lodging
-usually commit intricate forms of theft, but also may smuggle and hustle
5. Formal Organizations - much larger crews that extend over time and space
-may stand alone or be connected to other similar organizations
-e.g. mafia families, Columbian drug cartels
-may have 100 members or more so that when their leaders are killed the group en-
-ethnically homogenous, these organizations trade in a currency of violence, are verti-
cally and horizontally stratified, and have the resources to corrupt law enforcement
White-Collar Crime - price-fixing, corporate fraud, pollution or public corruption
-black lung, pollution, contaminated foods, hazardous consumer products and hospital
malpractice can cause death as a result of criminal recklessness
-the cost of white-collar deviance to the average citizen of the US is much greater than
that of so-called street crime
-the perception of many is that we are at greater risk because of street crimes
-the average sentence for bank robbery if 7.8 years and only 2.4 years for embezzling
-white-collar crime can be divided into 2 main subsections:
1. Occupational Crime - pursued by individuals acting on their own behalf e.g. stealing
form the company, embezzlement, computer crime, evading taxes
2. Organizational Crime - committed with the support and encouragement of a legiti-
mate formal organization and is intended to advance the goals of the firm or agency e.g.
environmental crimes, false advertising, fraud, unsafe working conditions
-cheaper to settle law suites than to fix their goods

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-pharmaceutical companies, automobile and tire industry and medical manufacturers
-a disturbing amount of government activity falls into this category - politicians abusing
the public trust, manipulating informations, and breaking laws to advance their adminis-
trations - third most common area of corporate crime
-all white-collar crimes lead to greater cost, loss of life, forfeit of international prestige
and violation of conventions norms and values than the sum total of conventionally rec-
ognized crime and deviance
Gender and Victimization Risk Among Young Women in Gangs
(Adler Ch 35 pg. 419-432)
-glimpse into the contemporary urban world of street gangs in the analysis of the role
and dangers faced by female gang members
-gang members need each others’ participation in the deviant act to function
-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
-they are exposing themselves to violence, both from rival gang members as well as
their own homeboys
-gang participation can be recognized as a delinquent lifestyle that is likely to involve
high risks of victimization
Gender, Gangs, and Violence
Gangs as Protection and Risk
-the irony of gang involvement is that although many members suggest 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 victimized
-girls suggest that being a gang member is a source of protection around the neigh-
-some women articulated a specifically gendered sense of protection that they felt as a
result of being a member of a group that was predominantly male
-gangs operate within larger social milieus that are characterized by gender inequality
and sexual exploitation
-protection and reutilization among predatory men in the social environment
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