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SOC100H5 (944)


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Suzanne Casimiro

SOC100 October 7 th Deviance What is Deviance? - deviance is behaviour which violates social rules and cultural norms o how we view people as “outsiders” - the process of defining certain activities or individuals as deviant requires analysing the distribution of power and the activities and values of various interest groups, not just a consideration of the person or groups subjected to the application of norms - the recognized violation of cultural norms o about social inequality as well - crime: the violation of a society’s formally enacted criminal law o recognized violation of cultural norms - social control: attempts by society to regulate people’s thought and behaviour - criminal justice system: a formal response by police, courts, and prison officials to alleged violations of the law Different “kinds of people” Theories - early theorists of deviance and crime attempt to explain why some people violate rules by distinguishing the deviant’s characteristics from those of the non-deviant o characteristics of the person – non-deviant being the norm - seek to locate the “causes” of deviance within the individual o deviance being within the individual Religious People Societies from ancient Greece to the Middle Ages considered deviance to be a manifestation of evil, or in Judeo-Christian tradition – original sin - focus on the role of evil or the devil in causing the rule-breaking behaviour, often defined as madness or lunacy o early explanations of deviant behaviour Greeks had a supernatural explanation that madness was a possession caused by the Gods - justice emanated from Zeus – the “supreme court judge” – to punish people o supernatural explanations – caused by the Gods – tempted people Witchcraft - witchcraft was a result of an individual entering a pact with the devil thus obtaining supernatural powers for un-Christian ends o England and Europe – everyone that practised witchcraft had to be punished – get rid of the devil  European torture until confession  English – physical appearance would render them a witch – mole Biological Approaches - Cesare Lombroso, Italian physician - 1870 study on inmates of Italian prisons and a post-modern of a famous bandit named Villela - criminals were victims of atavism - a reversion to evolutionary primitive traits of an ape o lower jaws, cheekbones, thickness of skull – resemblance of animals/ape ancestors – indication  you were going to a savage and thus a criminal - to be born a savage is to be a born a criminal - if you were born looking a little odd – tortured, thrown away, arrested - the born criminal descended from a family of epilepsy, Opposing Views th - Charles Goring (20 century), an English physician - compared large samples of prisoners in England - distinct criminal type do not exist o the criminal type is not characteristic of animals – have to do with cultural and biological issues – injustice - believes that the cultural and biological superiority of white Europeans influence lines of inquiry Recent Biological Explanations - pre menstrual syndrome (PMS) - insufficient amounts of progesterone (hormone) causes psychological problems such as: o depression o irritability o reduced concentration o impaired judgement resulting in a loss of self-control o linked to behavioural outcome - 1980 British trial courts – guilty of manslaughter instead of murder on the grounds of severe PMS - no evidence that biology plays any role in deviant behaviour Psychological Approaches - focus on defining, identifying and classifying behavioural abnormalities and personality disorders - abnormality: behaviour or feelings which are statistically infrequent and that occur at the extremes of a normal curve (normal is the bell curve) Sigmund Freud - unconscious, or inner feelings, explains behaviour o EGO and ID – superego was created to balance the two - when incompatible personality elements exist, mental conflict occurs in the subconscious Seeking a Balance - superego: arises out of relations between the ID and EGO and manifests group mores and norms shaping the individual’s social experience - when they’re not balanced, we go out of control – deviant o provides an individual with a moral awareness and capacity to evaluate actions as good or bad, according to social ideas Kinds of people theories: seek to account for differences in individual’s behaviours by identifying differences between people In contrast, sociological ex
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