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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 Notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ivanka Knezevic

SOCA01 – Intro to Sociology 1 November 1, 2012 Sociological definition of deviance  Deviance is non-compliance with social norms that provokes a negative social reaction, and an attempt to control the behaviour and/or punish the perpetrator.  Crime is deviance sanctioned by law  Objective and subjective concepts of deviance: moral status accorded thoughts, actions, characteristics, and persons Types of Deviance  Social diversions: harmless non-compliance to social norms: it does not elicit sanction (“fads”)  Social deviations: non-compliance to social norms that elicits an informal sanction  Conflict crimes: non-compliance to law; members of society disagree about its seriousness and the appropriate sanction  Consensus crimes: most members of society agree on their seriousness  Is theft a consensus crime?  Is murder a consensus crime?  Cf. Sacco and Horton: ordinary and extreme deviance Theories of Deviance  Questions: 1. Why do some people engage in deviance? - Structural-functionalist theories: stain, cultural support, differential association - Symbolic-interactionist: transactional, labelling 2. Why don’t all people engage in deviance? - Structural-functionalist: social control 3. How are behaviours defined as deviant? - Structural-functionalist: conservative control theory - Neo-Marxist: radical control theory - Post-modernist: discourse as means of social control – normalized by the powerful; minority views are unheard Strain Theory – Merton  Lack of fit between the accepted cultural goals and socially acceptable means available to achieve these goals  This strain creates four types of copying strategies: innovation (crime), ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion  Critique: fails to account for middle-class and upper-class crime and deviance Merton’s Typology of Coping Strategies Attitude to Goals Attitude to Means Conformity Accept Accept Innovation Accept Reject Ritualism Reject Accept Retreatism Reject Reject Rebellion Accept/Reject Accept/Reject Cultural Support Theory – Sutherland  Subcultural theory  People become deviant because they are exposed to learning experiences that make deviance more likely, i.e. to a subculture of deviance  Rationalisations:
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