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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCB50H3
Professor
Steven Hayle
Semester
Fall

Description
SOCB50H3 [email protected] Sept. 9 2013 Objectivist vs subjectivist approach to deviance Objectivist p.o.v. - deviance is statistically rare, not normal, inappropriate, wrong, whereby majority of society agree it is wrong -concern is that if we can discern why it is deviant how can we use this info to allow others to conform to what is "normal" behaviour, to discourage/reduce crime Subjectivist p.o.v. - deviance is not necessarily what everyone takes for granted or is agreed upon, whereby opinions change overtime Sept 17/13 Approaches to Deviance 1. objectivist perspective -violation of pre-existing and concrete societal norms -social norms are external and given, therefore they are objective e.g. when someone asks how are you, you usually say you're doing okay even if it has not been going well we don’t usually share this -widespread consensus about ideas, behaviours, and characteristics which are either proper and acceptable, or improper and unacceptable Functionalist Theory -the origin of the objective perspective -conscience collective (Durkheim) A set of shared beliefs, ideas, and attitudes that operate as a unifying source in society -social facts: ideas that become real forcing us to do things or not to do things, ideas taken for granted Values, cultural norms, and social structures which transcend the individual and are capable of exercising social constraint Positivism -society operates according to general laws just like physical world -Durkheim -extend scientific principles to human conduct -if we can understand scientifically what cause certain deviance, perhaps is can be cured scientifically Deviance as statistical rarity? -it can be seen as the minority from vast majority, -however thinking of it this was is not exactly correct eg. South African sprint runner with prosthetic legs but possible murderer Deviance as harm? "dumb" laws (e.g in Maine Christmas decorations must be down by jan 14) Covert Institutional Violence -Alexander Liazos -violence is any violation of an individuals lives Most destructive use of violence in the decade before the creation of this concept was the war in Vietnam - -legitimate institutions run by respectable ppl in a capitalist political economy consign ppl to "dead end job", "slum" housing and deny them adequate healthcare -conclusion … institutionalized apart of our laws -get rid of the concept of deviance completely -Instead focus on inequality, oppression, persecution, powerlessness -focus on those who have the power to create and enforce laws and policies that promote inequality, oppression, persecution, powerlessness Subjectivist perspective -rules do not appear out of thin air -people create and interpret the standards upon which behaviours and attributes are deemed to be acceptable or not acceptable -deviance is relative or in the eyes of the beholder -subjectivists are interested in knowing what are our historical origins of what we now view as deviant -change can happen rapidly eg 60 yrs ago with civil rights movement, anti segregation laws put in place although it result in immediate equality everywhere in all matters Social Constructivism The way people assign meaning to the world -this is done using language -language is flexible! We can create new words, or different meanings of words, which can change our understanding of our world -150 yrs ago heroin or cocaine would bring relaxer, medication to mind, today these words illustrate harm Deviance and Social Context 1. definitions of deviance can vary by segments of society 2. definitions of deviance can vary across space 3.Definitions of deviance can vary over time eg. Marijuana was very deviant 60 yrs ago, and although it is still illegal it is more accepted, tobacco was also more accepted before now it is strongly discouraged What is Deviance? Finally a definition -behaviours that individuals or groups in society take offence to and react negativity to -attributes that individuals or groups in society take offence to and react negatively to -informal negative reactions- avoidance, epithets, ridicule, gossip, criticism. This can be both external or internal -Formal negative reactions- official warning, legal punishment, treatments Why should we care? -Mala in se- crimes that enjoy a high level of consensus in societal reaction i.e. Murder, rape, robbery -mala prohibta- illegal simply because the law says it is illegal. There is much disagreement in society over whether these activities should be deemed illegal or not i.e. drug use, sex work, pornography. So-called victimless-crime -over criminalisaton- people lose respect for the law, starts to not make sense Sept 24. (for the midterm-last wks reading and this wk thus far) Mass Media and the Social Construction of Deviance and Normality Social constructionism -the way people assign meaning to the world -this is done using language -language and images are at the core of everything we do as human beings, not able to interact, conceptualize, write -discourse affects how we see everything, certain groups have power of certain discourse -semiotics: the tools we use to interpret the images around us in order to understand their meaning Reading "Signs" -e.g. St George campus -denotative meaning (literal meaning): basics of what you're seeing looks like a campus, religious building, very old building -Connotative meaning: what that image is saying e.g. that UofT is old, been around for many years, representing tradition -Myth- old traditional institutions must be of value, larger than life, above and beyond other things. Older traditions that have withstood the test of time are valuable, history and understanding of history is important (myth does not imply that it is false, it is beliefs and values that is held in a society that is not necessarily held by everyone, they may contradict each other) -e.g. cheerios commercial: denotative daughter misinterprets mother's advice, connotative bi racial families myth- interracial couples in society are a norm -connotative meanings are not always clear, when we take in meanings of what is normal (seeing them and not even realizing we're seeing them) -the colour pink represents femininity, delicate flowers -connotative meanings that we take for granted as children and remain there Law and Order News e.g. lady and the tramp -denotative meaning the Siamese cats with Asian accents (during Vietnam period) -connotative meaning is that they are mischievous October 1st Midterm -6-8 short answer Readings to review -Media discourse deconstruction of myth -Practices of looking -stranger danger -our own master race… -key concepts definitions from lectures -main ideas, main points, how does it relate to how we understand deviance and normality -denotative and connotative meanings -give examples -major debates in readings, what is the author trying to tell Lecture Cigarette ad -denotative is simply what you see in the ad the ad is made for women (slimmer cigarette vs "fat" cigarette for men) -connotative meaning (underlying message) is that the ideal body image for women is to be thin, and a larger cigarette would be too 'large" for her (thus something more slim and mild would be more appropriate for her. Ideal male body is the muscular, built physique -myth is that men are physically superior *myths can make connotative meanings appear to be denotative -icon: is an image that you may see in an ad that transcends its image. It is often interpreted/believed as being generalizable, universal (doesn’t matter what country, society or time period) which is problematic. Icon is something is widely accepted in society examples. In Practices of Looking reading e.g smiling as an icon of happiness - semiotics is all about looking at how images project meanings or constructions of deviance Media Frameworks -Framing.. Law and Order News -steve chibnall -grabber : story introduced by dramatic example eg. Headlines -we must remember newspapers/media are businesses, private enterprises that need to make money in order to stay in business -thus their primary goal should be reporting the facts -***sensationalization of crime and deviance used as effective strategy -misrepresenting and distorting of the facts Media coverage of Lee Bonneau -media presents crime as something unexplainable -media also decontextualize a crime, taking it out of its socioeconomic context (it actually took place on a reserve, where aboriginals live in poverty, poor conditions, etc; this reality is omitted from news articles) -theme is that the youth criminal justice change should be amended e.g. the way magic mirrors reflects you in one way, but it also reflects a distorted media of you, is very similar to how the media distorts and sensationalizes stories The Role of 'Science' in the Social Construction of Deviance and Normality (the case of the 20th century eugenics movement) -eugenics was a racist and elitist movement based on pseudo science (scientific theories that at the time were seen as true, but are proven false) -preventing procreation of people with certain characteristics deemed as inferior -maintained by professionals, experts -became medicalized, thus it was seen as legitimate course of action, became normalized. This was changed by the Holocaust, "eugenics" become reconstructued -many scientists, politicians, academic scholars followed suit in movement Example, H.G. Wells - Time Machine -denotative meaning : science fiction, time machine -connotative meaning : reflecting beliefs of eugenics October 22 Police and the Social Construction of Deviance and Normality: The Case of Racial Profiling and the KKK in the US and Canada Critical race theory -racism and racist practices can be engrained in structures of society, have become institutionalized. -These institutions act on their own and reproduce these racist policies even though the people at the head of these institutions may not hold these beliefs themselves Criminal Justice Actors -"dark figure of crime" -criminal justice statistics are socially constructed in themselves -police seen as gatekeepers, who have the power of processing people through criminal justice system, they have enormous discretion in determining who the people are that they process Racial Discrimination - Some concepts -direct discrimination (de jure)- racial discriminatory practices enshrined in law e.g. slavery, rights denied due to skin colour -direct discrimination (de facto)- forms of discrimination that continue to occur in spite of laws that prohibit it -indirect discrimination - e.g. a policy that give favour to those with more experience, which can unintentionally be biased against younger candidates that do not have the necessary training as yet -institutional racism - institutions/organizations/governments can be racist and discriminatory but those at the head do not necessarily hold the same values -contextual discrimination- racial discrimination likely to happen under certain specific conditions but not others Police and Racial Discrimination: Racial Profiling -police officers will make decisions on how to deal with suspects based, in some part, on their skin colour (may also include where they live, who they know), which is illegal -multivariate analysis -when examining the statistical relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable, we control for other variables that might explain the relationship i.e. age, gender, subjective class, living circumstances, everyday leisure activities here, behaviour is statistically controlled for -after statistically controlling for relevant variables and performing multivariate analysis… -black youth are 4.14 times more likely to be stopped by the police compared to white youth -black youth are 6.38 times more likely to be searched by the police compared to white youth -good behaviour does not protect you from being racially profiled, if anything t increases your chances -social construction of skin colour as deviance -master status -Everett Hughes. Primary identifying characteristic of an individual -auxiliary status- other statuses that become secondary or subordinate to the master status determining trait First KKK -founded by six confederate veterans on December 24th, 1865 during the reconstruction of the south after the civil war -wanted to control the dramatically changed social situation in the south and restore white supremacy -used public violence against black people as a form of intimidation -many states responded to the violence by passing anti KKK Legislation -Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871- federal law enacted that was used to enforce civil rights provisions under the constitutions -1870- federal court deems the KKK to be a terrorist organization -state a d local authorities rarely against the clan -black people were being denied seats on juries; white juries rarely convicted clansmen; either out of fear or retaliation Second KKK clan -1915- film Birth of a Nation is released -"Clan Craze" -lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish business man -New anti-immigrant, anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic, prohibitionist and anti Semitic -after this, membership rose significantly -membership reaches 4, 000, 000 by 1920, or 1 in 5 Americans Film clip -kkk portrayed as heroes, as knights on horses -black being portrayed in a negative light -reinvigorated an interest in the KKK, making it seem like a positive organization though it was a lawless, vigilante organization KKK and Politics in the US -membership comprised of both democrats and the republicans: KKK candidate endorsement -1924-Clan member Edward Jackson is elected Governor of Indiana - Post WWII KKK -dubbed "bombingham"- clan established in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s to resist social change and the improvement of black peoples lives. Rash of homes of black people were bombed -Bull connor- police commissioner of Birmingham, Alabama who was closely allied with the klan. Allowed them to operate with 'impunity' Racial Segregation -de jure racial segregation- lawful segregation of black and white people in all facilities. i.e. Jim Crow Laws e.g. billiards that said "whites only" -de facto racial segregation e.g. freedom riders, testing laws that enforced non-segregation De Facto Segregation- Arrival in Birmingham October 29 News Media and the Social Construction of KKKK Activity as 'Normal' -Canada and the US were the only states where KKK flourished -Canadian newspapers approved of the actions taken by the KKK in the case of Ira Johnson -illustrates how police can construct deviant normality (chief in the case recognized and described many of the members of KKKK in high regard, as respectable men) - when in a particular position of authority, many things are left to their discretion e.g. police who chose who to arrest, who to warn, etc Moral Panics The Moral Crusaders in the Social Construction of Deviance 1. Salem Witch Trials -Feb 16 , 1992 -started with weird behaviour among few people that spread over town -people tried, accused, convicted, executed of practicing witchcraft (1636-1754) 2. Ritual Abuse - McMartin preschool 3. Don’t take candy from a stranger -halloween -all three classified as moral panics, coined by Cohen, 1972 -Folk Devils- the mods and the rockers Over-reporting of by the media -distortion- when the news media exaggerates grossly the seriousness of the events, in terms of criteria such as number taking part in, the number involved in violence, and the amount of any effects of damage or violence -i.e. sensational headlines, melodramatic vocabulary Moral Panics and Rapid Social Change -cohe
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