20 September 2012
Norm violating behaviour comes in degrees of seriousness. It can be defined as a continuum of
seriousness. As you move along the continuum you are moving from more serious types of crime to
least serious crime. The difference from 2-3 is that there is a difference between crime from deviance.
There are a number of acts and conditions that are not illegal or regarded as diligent
Types of Crime and Deviance
1. Consensus Crime
Very high levels of agreement with the act of the crime. It is painful for not only the victim but the wider
community as well. These are the types of act that have severe consequences. People are sent away to
jail for these types of crimes. Talking about murder, burglary with assaults of weapons, mass killing, child
killing. Legal status used to call it “Crime mala in se (wrong in themselves)” Acts which are inherently or
2. Conflict Crime
Large amount of behaviours that we say are conflict crime. Most important point it is not referring to
interpersonal crimes or assault. The use of the term is to suggest that it is a kind of crime that is loaded
with controversy. Ex. Euthanasia, Some people regard it as a little more than legalize killing, others say
that it is mercy killing. In Canada, there is a case of “Latimer to join U.K. debate. There was a
Saskatchewan farmer who had a daughter that suffered very badly from a disease. He ended up killing
his daughter because she was suffering so badly. He argues that people shouldn’t have to be tortured to
maintain life. That he had a legitimate reason for killing his daughter. There are some people that
support him and others that say that the law clearly states that you shouldn’t kill. Another example of
this type of crime is the use of marijuana. Some people especially young people say that they should
legalize it while others are in disagreement. Pornography is another example, we have laws against
pornography. However there are extensive dispute over this topic.
3. Social Deviance
In the legal textbook you will define it as “Crime mala prohibition (it is wrong by definition)”. . Although
these acts are not currently criminal, they might have been criminal in the past. The point is that it is not
a crime to be mentally ill, however there is a lot of stigma and shame associated with mentally ill.
Suicide is another example, it is not illegal to kill yourself, however those who do so, are stigmatized
with a certain degree of shame associated with it. There are studies done with ex convicts trying to get a job and those people that are known to be institutionalized. It is not surprise that trying to secure
legitimate employment is harder when you have a criminal conviction. In addition those people that
have mental illness also have a lack of opportunities in finding secure employment.
4. Social Diversions
First type of social diversion; They are minority sexual practices. They entail such things as bondage SMS,
Phone Sex, Internet Sex.
Second type of social diversion; they quite often involve young people. Involves forms of cultural
expression. Can be referred to as symbolic expressiong, things such as the clothes you wear, the
hairstyle you have, the music you listen to. These types tend to attract some sort of ridicule of
condemnation. Dying your hair green, listening to mental rock or wearing your pants low. Lead singer of
Green day was removed from the airline in the US because of the type of pants he was wearing. There
are occasions where these actions are labelled as deviant behaviour.
These types of crimes and deviance are not carved in stone, things change. In other words there would
be some examples of what we would not regard as conflict crime being not to long ago described as
consensus crime. Ex. Marijuana, for much of the 20 century, throughout North America, Marijuana use
was regarded as a serious offense. Those people that broke this law, received very serious offenses.
One thing is that the legal state of the drug is determined by who uses it. During the 20 Century
Marijuana was illegal because it was used by a racial minority, they were at the bottom of the hierarchy.
However by the 1960’s the use of Marijuana became more popular, especially around college people.
Marijuana use has shifted from consensus crime to more conflict crime. Thus the debates of whether it
should be legal or not. These days, the p