Sociology Part 2 Lecture 5
Term exam: Friday Feb 15 , 3-5pm – Up to end of week 6. 103 multiple choice
Room number: AA112
Deviance + Crime
Poker prodigy, degenerate gambler, drug abuser – Ungar’s life was jam-packed
with high risk action from start to finish.
For most poker players and fans Ungar is the best no-limit Hold’em player of all
time, having won the World Championship a record three times. Son of a
successful bookmaker, gambling was a part of Stu’s life from a young age. At 10
he started playing Gin Rummy, winning $10,000 in a competition at just 15. A
flawed genius, Ungar had an unparalleled ability to put people on hands and
calculate with absolute precision his chances of winning. Died from coccain
overdose. – lost all his partner since he beat them all
Deviance is a core concept in sociology . Crime and deviance is not the same
1. Rule making- have to have rules that are deviant
2. Rule Breaking- causes of deviance/crime. Why people conform?
3. Rule application: “social reaction” –cheated on exam. Didn’t get caught.. are
you deviant? No one caught you thus you can live with it
People take drugs but not in front of the police but rather In your basement.
Rules (need be made). If there is a social reaction – that means you’re deviant.
rule breaking Unnoticed/not responded to “normal”. Rule breaking
social reaction deviant label
A lot of rule breaking is not responded. – social reaction
There’s a fair amount of rule breaking. Deviance as contingent. Much of it doesn’t
get noticed. Rules rule breaking noticed. –even if its noticed it may not be
responded to responded to. labeled deviant – only few people are labeled
deviant. Murder’s are the worst ones.
Deviance is a lot of the definition are essentialist. You may bang your head
against the wall but people don’t know about it.
Rule breaking + social reaction. What other model can you make combing these
We have no rule breaking but a social reaction. I.e. falsely accused – Innocent
(example). The ally police – overturned 700 conviction they thought police have
done wrong things that lead to conviction without doing a proper investigation.
“he may be part of the gang” – not having real evidence but making false
Deviance as harmful: Destructive outcomes. May not be destructive. Picking your
nose is not harmful anyway. D. O : problems : some deviance is not harmful.
victimless crimes? E.g. marijuana, prostitution- that’s been argued against, the
prostitutes are the victim in terms of human trafficking ., soft drugs, gambling. Is But gambling became legal! Cheating on exams specially cheating on med school,
people wouldn’t be happy.
Definition of harm varies across time and place – E.g. gambling. It changes over
Biggest part of deviance is rule making – you can’t just take the rules that are
given. Acts that are inheritly deviant? Is murder always deviant? – it is in the
society. Pakistan and Afganistan – getting killed so many people , without any
reason. Rape is an example of inheritely deviant. It was mainly a part of war
crime but now became common. It’s hard to prosecute. Conflict theory works
better than functionalist theory.
Who makes the rule? – the powerful, elites and dominant class (Marxian).
Economic problems – they are no being sued. Bonds that are based on junk, it
was worthless. They are not being prosecuted. . These are criminal acts but does
not get punished. The powerful people do influence the laws in a way. Rich
powerful lawyers. Poor people don’t get the same resources as the rich.
Types of Deviance and Crime: look at the chart in the book.
Dying your hair purple. . In Berlin, they create a huge hole in the ear. Consensus
crime – everyone agrees. E..g Child pornography. . Conflict crimes: drug use [soft
drugs], we disagree. Crimes can move from one to the other. Drunk driving used
to be social deviation – happened all the time. The real alcoholics can walk the
line. Then it became a conflict crime and now it became consensus crime since
there isn’t much to do about. Abortion? – at one point it was consensus crime.
Then it became a conflict crime. In Canada now, its gone, its not a crime a lot. But
in U.S its still a crime. Another example of consensus crime : homosexual- was a
crime, then moved toward a conflict crime and now it more or less disappeared
as homosexual fought for the rights. Note: shifting boundaries between the two shifts depend on the relative power
of contenders,. Crimes can also be de-criminalized. Walking in a straight line –
then the breathelyzers came in. This goes on over time
Durkheim : not loved in sociology in general since he’s conservative. According
to him deviance is inevitable- even in a society of angels. His arguments works
fairly well. How do you know you’re good? Finding out the goodness and
badness? – there can’t be a good if there can’t be a bad. The whole idea of the
gossip is to identify the things that people aren’t suppose to do. His notion is, you
have the angels, they make the rules more and more tough that eventually some
angels end up breaking the rule. Thus, society need deviance at time.
Drukheim: functions of Crime: it increasing social solidarity.
(1) increases social solidarity through collective expressions of outrage.
[reminding people of their common values]
(2) clarifies the group’s boundaries- people would have done certain things and
people wouldn’t have- two distinct groups.
(3) may challenge the rules – rules change, allowing them to be changed. E.g.
homosexuality. Conflict theory
rule breaking Is inevitable
BUT: is the deviant really different?
Deviant vs. “us” They are not really separated. Or ‘he got caught I didn’t” Or :
when bad guys Wear badges.
White collar crimes
Claim: We all violate norms…But get noticed?
Serious enough for
If you’re thrown out of the law school cheating, you won’t get in to any other law
school. Stealing at walmart the first time you don’t get a jail time.
Social reaction: Is a variable process, discretionary, related to power. There are
rules that we don’t tend to break. Reaction doesn’t always