SOC 2390 Lecture Notes - Murder 2, Social Protection, Burglary

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28 Jan 2013
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Deviance refers to behavior or characteristics that violate significant social norms and expectations and
are negatively valued by large numbers of people as a result. Deviants are those who violate these
shared expectations.
Conformity refers to behavior that is universally accepted, approved, or expected within society.
Norms, which guide action and behavior, help to ensure conformity.
Social Controls
Social controls are mechanisms for maintaining social norms. They may be either:
1) Informal (internal) social controls include significant others and relies on successful socialization.
These are generally effective and inexpensive.
2) Formal (external) social controls include structures or institutions that enforce norms or laws of
society (e.g., police and courts). These are generally ineffective and expensive.
Formal social controls can be either:
a) repressive tend to have extraordinary powers to detect and enforce a wide range of behaviors or
conduct (common in authoritarian societies)
b) restrained permits social control agent less power and authority in regulating behavior (common in
democratic societies)
Crime Classifications
Crimes refer to violations of norms that are formally enacted into criminal law by local, state, and
federal governments.
Criminal justice system refers to the formal system that responds to alleged violations of the law using
police, courts, and punishment.
• The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) is the major source of information on crimes reported in the
United States. The UCR focuses on eight major crimes, called index crimes:
1) Murder
2) Rape
3) Robbery
4) Assault
5) Burglary
6) Motor Vehicle Theft
7) Arson
8) Larceny
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