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Lecture

deviance.doc

3 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Ivanka Knezevic

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Sociology notes Deviance Sociological definition of deviance • Deviance is non-compliance with social norms that provokes a negative social reaction and an attempt to control the behavior 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 noncompliance to social norms; it does not elicit sanction (“fads”) • Social deviations: noncompliance to social norms that elicits an informal sanction • Conflict crimes: noncompliance to law; members of society degree 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: Why do some people engage in deviance • Structural-functional theories: strain, cultural support, differential association • Symbolic-interactionist: transactional, labeling Why don’t all people engage in deviance • Structural-functionalist: social control How are behaviors 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 by Merton • Lack of fit between the accepted cultural goals and socially acceptable means available to achieve these goals • This strain creates four types of coping strategies: innovation (crime), ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion • Critique: fails to account for middle-class and upper-class crime and deviance 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: deviant people learn to believe that their behavior is morally acceptable • Knezevic: a weak critique: tautological (values are inferred from behavior, behavior is explained by values • Differential association theory: stronger association with deviant than to norm-abiding persons lead to higher likelihood of deviance Social control theory-hirschi • Deviance occurs because people have opportunities to deviate and they find such opportunities rewarding • Those who have weak social bonds (i.e. are subject to
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