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Lecture 9

SOC100H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Ritualism In The Church Of England, Endangerment, Labeling Theory

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Jayne Baker

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SOC100: Crime and Deviance
Chapter 5
Norms are guidelines for behavior
Norm breaking is not always negative
For example Bill Gates and Miranda who are both millionaires and have planet of wealth
decided to give a majority of their money away to charity
Example: Mother Teresa
Ppl break norms on a daily basis
Norm breaking happens frequently and happens without anyone reacting
“Occurs when someone departs from a norm and evokes a negative reaction from others.”
Norms: vary in degrees of reactivity
- Folkways: inviting your self over someone’s house
- Mores
- Taboos
Deviance is when someone breaks a norm and brings a negative reaction
It’s a sub set of norm breaking
Crime versus Deviance
Crime is about a behavior that has been violated a lot and has been enacted by a govt body
The norm being broken is a law and there fore it’s a crime as one has just broken a law
They vary in culture to culture
What is considered a crime in some times and places is considered perfectly normal in other
times and places. For example historical figures like MLK, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and etc. are
considered heroes bc they broke the norms in society and helped bring positive change. But
even though ppl like the Nazi’s are considered evil criminals, there actions were defied as law
Types of deviance and crime vary in terms of the severity of the social response, which ranges
from mild disapproval to capital punishment. They also vary in terms of the perceived
harmfulness of the deviant or criminal act. Perceived harmlessness is also involved too. Like
Coco Cola was very popular before since it contained some cocaine but now coke is an illegal
drug as ppl’s perception of it’s harmfulness changed
Crime and deviance vary in terms of its degree of public agreement about weather an act
should be deviant or not. Even the definition of murder varies over cultures and societies. For
example back then Inuit ppl froze babies to death bc community members agreed that investing
scarce resources in keeping the baby alive could endanger the lives of others
Sociology, Deviance, and Crime
Deviance and crime are socially-defined
Depend on the context (historical, location)
Deviance and crime are NOT characteristics of individuals or actions
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Sociologists and Criminologists define deviance and crime as relative in a particular context,
and are socially defined
What makes certain things deviant is the norms or guidelines that surround it
It’s the social reactions that make a particular behavior a crime
Thus deviance and crime can change over time
Example: Marijuana
Marijuana wasn’t widely used before, was seen as an obscure drug
Typically used by Hispanics in the south
Making marijuana illegal was about removing a part of the pop. who were using them
Was influenced by racism
there were concerns over the use of marijuana
There was this racist and historical background with the use of marijuana
Moral panic (pg.122): widespread fear when many ppl believe that some sort of behavior is a
threat to society
A population wide concern over this drug
Btu by the 60’s marijuana was seen as a safer alternative to other dangerous drugs but as more
ppl used it, it became a moral panic bc it was the youth that were consuming It
The believe that it was going to corrupt youth
Marijuana hasn’t really changed
But the way ppl (like govt bodies, society etc.) react to it and change our perception of it
Those certain times it may be seen as deviant, criminal or totally fine
Doesn’t include medical marijuana
Sanctions are the reactions to deviance and crime, indicate disapproval
Deviant acts that go unnoticed or are considered too trivial to warrant negative sanctions
Informal punishment
- Its mild which may involve raised eyebrows, a harsh stare, an ironic smile, gossip,
banishment, shaming or stigmatization, the process of negatively evaluating ppl bc of
something that distinguishes them from others
- Example prostitutes in 80’s were stigmatized as women who spread disease and crime in
public places. But in 90’s and early 2000’s prostitutes were seen as victims of ruthless
pimps, violent clients and the global sex trade. Even though the stigma changed, negative
evaluations prevented the serious discussion of how prostitution could be regulated as to
decrease the risk to sex workers and their clients
- Tend to be associated with deviance and folkways. Example: using cellphone during lecture
Formal punishment
- Judicial system
- Criminals are usually punished by having to serve time in prison, pay a fine, or perform
community service
- Sanctions administrated by judicial systems, results from ppl breaking laws
- Example: plagiarism and forging a medical note
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