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Lecture 5

SOC*2070 Readings Week 5.doc

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University of Guelph
SOC 2070
Linda Hunter

The Social Organization of Deviance: Youth, Deviance and Crime The Social Organization of Deviance (Adler Intro Part 6 pg. 381- 388) - 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- bership 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 - 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- dures - 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 money - 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 - 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- bourhood - 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 - at the same time, members recognize they may be targets of rival gangs members and were expected to “be down” for their gang at those times even when it meant being physically hurt - intimation rituals and internal rules were structured in ways that required individuals to submit ti, and be exposed to violence - initiation involved the individual submitting to victimization at the hand of the gang’s members - members were expected to adhere to the gang’s internal rules e.g. not fighting with one another, being true to the gang, respecting the leader, not dating members of rival gangs - breaking the rules was grounds for physical punishment - because of its structured nature, this victimization risk may be perceived as more palatable by gang members - does not involve the random vulnerability that being out on the street without a gang might entail Gender and Status, Crime and Victimization - all women reported having established leader sin the gang who was almost exclusively male - characteristics of a good leader were perceived as masculine - young women had fewer expectations placed on them in regard to involvement in crim- inal activities such as fighting, using weapons, and committing other crimes - this tended to decrease girls’ exposure to victimization risk - girls could gain status by being particularly hard and true to the set - young women also had a second route to status that was less available to young men, this came through their connections as sisters, girlfriends and cousins to influential high status young men - young women were perceived as less threatening and thus were less likely to be tar- geted by rivals and they were not expected to prove themselves in the ways young men were - gender inequality could have a protective edge for young women - young women are expected to fight the girls from the other gang - young women are less likely resort to serious violence, such as that involving a weapon - victimization lessened further - young women were about to get out of committing serious crime because a girl shouldn’t have to “risk her whole life” for the gang - girls could engage in more routine activities such as hanging out, listening to music and smoking marijuana Girls’ Devaluation and Victimization - girls also faced exclusion at the hands of young men or the gang asa whole - 2 types of crimes mentioned most frequently as off-limits for girls were drug sales and drive-by shootings - men don’t want the females to go to jail or get hurt - girls exclusion also served to perpetuate the devaluation of female members as less significant to
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