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SOC2070 CHAPTER NOTES.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 2070
Professor
Norman Dubeski
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 1: Social Deviance Deviance: Behaviours, beliefs or characteristics that many people in a society find or would find offensive and which excite, upon discovery, disapproval, condemnation, hostility or punishment. The process by which the actors, the believers and the possessors character is tainted, stigmatized, and inferiorized. Denying the reality of deviance is entirely mistaken for three reasons: We can find widespread agreement that certain acts and beliefs are wrong What is regarded and reacted to as wrong is not simply about firm society-wide consensus, but also about how certain social circles of people feel and what they do in specific situations and contexts Some disagreement prevails even about widely accepted norms There are 4 necessary ingredients for deviance to take place A rule or norm must exist Someone must violate that norm An audience must be presont, someone who judges the normative violation to be wrong There must be a measurable likelihood of a negative reaction by that audience (criticism, disapproval, censure, stigma) When we say that in American Society, generally, prostitutes, political radicals, and atheists tend to be looked down upon and regarded as deviants, this does not mean that we necessarily agree with the judgement. It means that as sociologists, we recognize that certain negative consequences are likely to result from announcing this to a cross section of society The terms deviant and deviance are absolutely non-pejorative: the are descriptive terms that apply to what others think and how they react. Deviance is an analytic category: it applies in all spheres and areas of human life: it is a trans-historical and cross-cultural concept Societal and Situational Deviance Societal Deviance: composed of those actions and conditions that are widely recognized, in advance and in general, to be deviant (hierarchical) o High degree of consensus o Hierarchical/Vertical: The people with the most power get to say what is deviant and what is normal. Certain acts, beliefs and traits are deviant society wide because they are condemned by the majority, the post powerful members of society This raises the question of the dominance of one category or society over another. Some groups are more powerful, influential and numerous than others Social scientists say that a dominant belief or institution is hegemonic: it holds swat over beliefs held or institutions supported by less powerful social groupings Situational Deviance: does not exist as a general, society-wide quality, but in actual, concrete social gatherings, circles or settings. o A given act, belief or trait can be a normative violation in one group/society, and conformist in another. o Mosaic/Horizontal: society/societies are mosaics of separate and independent collectivities of people who do not influence each other. This is compatible with the situational definition of deviance Low consensus deviance: what fetches condemnation in one social circle produces indifference or even praise in another ABCs of Deviance Attitudes: unpopular, unconventional beliefs that may or may not manifest themselves into actions o Holding unconventional, unorthodox, or unpopular beliefs may be regarded as cognitive deviance Behaviour: any overt action (including the failure to act) that is likely to attract condemnation, hostility or punishment. o Actions speak louder than words. A dishonest character is revealed or manifested mainly by dishonest behaviour, a weak will and an inability to resist temptation. Conditions: physical characteristics or traits that likewise, make someone the target of an audiences disapproval. o Possessing unconventional, unacceptable physical traits is deviant. If the disabled receive negative social reactions from the abled, they are deviant o Achieved Status: some statuses are achieved, like graduating college o Ascribed Status: statuses which are not achieved, but are thrust upon an infant at birth. Being born into a certain family is an ascribed status Tribal Stigma: a form of deviance that automatically discredits someone because they belong to a racial, national or religious category of humanity. Relativity: The sociology of deviance is relativistic. Deviance changes based on who the audience is, what time period it is and where you are. Essentialism: sees deviance as a specific, concrete, phenomenon in the material world. Implies positivism, the belief that we can answer a question scientifically, with empirical or observable data Constructionism: answers the question what is to be explained by saying that it is thinking about and reacting to rule violators that is crucial. This approach argues that it is the rules, norms, reactions, and cultural representations of certain behaviour, beliefs and conditions that needs to be looked at and illuminated To sociologists, deviance is relative, contextual, contingent and probabilistic Relative: members of different societies and social circles, as well as periods of historical eras, define good and bad, true and false, in different ways, and reward or publish different behaviours, beliefs and physical characteristics Contextual: peoples definition of wrongdoing depends on the physical or social situation or context within which behaviour takes place, beliefs are expressed, or characteristics appear Contingent: whether someone is punished, rewarded, or ignored for engaging in an act, expressing a belief or possessing a given trait is dependent on a variety of factors independent of the act, belief or trait itself Probabilistic: condemnation and punishment do not inevitably follow discovery. We could draw a spectrum or continuum from acts, beliefs and conditions that are extremely likely to draw negative reactions at one end, over to those that are unlikely Unit 1: Defining Deviancy Down by Patrick Moyniham By defining what is deviant, we are enabled to know what is not, and hence to live by shared standards. The criminal plays a normal role in social life Durkheims notion that the number of deviant offenders a community can afford to recognize is likely to remain stable over time, proven. Erikson: the rate of deviation found in a community is at least in part a function of the size and complexity of its social control apparatus (prisons, police, hospital beds, courts etc.) Durkheim and Erikson: suggest that, with deviance, as with most social goods, there is the continuing problem of demand exceeding supply Erikson: deviant people can be said to supply needed services to society. The number of deviant offenders a community can afford to recognize is likely to remain stable over time There are circumstances in which society will choose not to notice behaviour that would otherwise be controlled The among of deviant behaviour has increased beyond the levels the community can afford to recognize and that, accordingly, we have been re-defining deviancy so at to exempt such conduct previously stigmatized Three categories of redefinition Altruistic: deinstitutionalization movement within the mental health profession that appeared in the 1950s There is no reason to believe that there was any real increase in mental illness at the time deinstitutionalization began, yet there was such a perception, and this enabled good people to try to do good, however unavailing in the end Opportunistic: seen in the interest group rewards derives from the acceptance of alternative family structures 1 in 5 White Children are raised by single parents, 2 in 3 Black Children are raised by single parents. The united States is paying dearly for its social and behavioural problems When families disintegrate, children often end up with intellectual, physical and emotional scars that persist for life: drug crisis, education crisis, teen pregnancy problem all trace back to one source: broken families Normalizing: observed in the growing acceptance of unprecedented levels of violent crime Most directly corresponds to Eriksons proposition that the number of deviant offenders a community can afford to recognize is likely to remain stable over time. This would be considered denial because: A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken homes, dominated by women, never acquiring an stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future, this will bring chaos. The crime level has
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