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SOC212H1 Lecture Notes - White-Collar Crime, Premarital Sex, Social Disorganization Theory

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Candace K.

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1. Lecture Notes (9/12/2012) 9/12/2012 12:06:00 PM
SOC 313 is the second part
3 exams, non cumulative
25%- MC- only 2 chapter
50% - Covers 5 Chapters of Reading
25% - November 28, Final Exam
Deviance as a subject matter is interesting but difficult to study, it can be normative in
some countries (even extremes- homicide), it can be completely different in some
Context matters, it can change the nature of act (this is shown thru anthropologists)
IN some middle eastern countries, women who are raped or beaten are not victims but
deviants themselves
At some point, women & children had no rights to themselves, merely just properties
Pre-marital sex/ Giving birthday before marriage/ smoking inside building….etc
What gets defined deviance is the often a reflection of interest of the majority of the
society or the ruling elites,
Audiences is always important- how people view what is going on
Deviant is the one to whom the label has been successfully applies
Is deviance the made by social construction- people’s belief of whether it is rights/wrong
Joe Best: examine why Halloween became fearful holiday? Stranger Danger? Poisoned
Candy? Why is there widespread believe that sadistic people would attempt to kill?
They found 76 reported incidents in total, also reported cases from other regions
(25 yrs period)
Concluded that Halloween Sadism is Greatly Exaggerated, only one death, death
was caused by a man who poisoned his own son
Argued time was right, growing concern with crime, safety of children and etc
Does it foster change? Being homosexual was considered a sickness, but now it no
longer belongs there
Deviance can be undermined and cause social disorganization
Most theoretical explanations for deviance focuses on youth (not murder or rapists)
Differential association: wanted to use it to explain white collar crime, Edward
Attend to fact that lots of deviant behaviors are hardly detached, people engaging in to
do not want to be discovered
Discovery of these sources (discussed next week)
Who Defines Deviants?
5 approaches to this

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Statistical Approach: depending on how many people do it/ just by counting
number of people who engage in particular act, to determine whether it is
deviant or not.
o Advantage- accurately reflects what is going on in society (if everybody is
speeding in 401, then police should not be catching anyone because
nobody is deviant) or (everybody is taking steroid, it is a level playing
field now), notion here is when majority is doing it, how can it be deviant
o Disadvantage- if there is mass amt of people doing it, it might be not be
deviant, cannot count them all because not all people would talk about it,
how would we know how many people do it in many different context
(voluntary, non-voluntary)?, some do not want will want to criminalize
Not difficult to recognize logical end points ***
Absolutist Approach: using this way, we decide what is good/bad, we are
absolutely declaring whether the acts x, y, z are deviant
o Viewed as a social perspective,
o Benefit: focus on fundamental question and focus on social life, what is
okay, what is not
o Problem: it changes over time/place, it is decided by observatory who
make rules for society, there are issues over these matters (guns,
abortions & etc), different perspective creates difficulty
Functionalist: behaviors deemed bad for society would be considered deviant
regardless of how often it is done and it is functional because it establish
boundaries and paves the way for change (to be more tolerant of other activities)
Conflict Perspective (opposite of functionalist): argue against absolute
perspective because who decides the moral standards of behaviors? The elites?
**: behaviors existed before legal definition, definition cannot be real because
people were killing each other before it was labeled as murders, inline with
absolutist, it should be independently definable, must address why people engage
in this behaviors, real definition must incorporate real issues and social wrongs
not determined by state rights & individual rights
o Street pollution, it harm more people but not criminal
o Individual human rights cannot be violated because it constitute greater
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