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Deviance Lecture #1.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Nicole Myers

Deviance and Social Control Lecture #1 [email protected]  Defining Deviance  Tattoo’s, the baby smoking cigarettes, G20 protests in Toronto  Unconventional in some way  Some might say walking in elevator and staring at all the people could be deviant  The ambiguity of Deviance  Is killing deviant?  Demolishing a building filled with people?  Organ trafficking?  Is killing in war deviant? The state told you too?  What about manslaughter? Is that deviant? It is accidental  9/11 was a deviant act, but what if the state told you to blow up a building for war purposes  What make something deviant, which decides, and is it universal?   While some consensus may form around definitions of deviance, it is often found in the “eye of the beholder”   Deviance is often temporally and culturally situated  - 90,000 were charged with simple marijuana  - How do you define deviance?  - 1. Statistical Model: Common conditions determine what is normal or deviant, Statistical minority represents deviance (Most teens drink and commit crime, teenager who does not drink alcohol or non-criminal teens are deviant)  - 2. Absolutist Model: Deviance results from a value judgment based on absolute standards, Absolut moral order- normal is good, and there is something obviously bad in each deviant act (Religious proscriptions against homosexuality “Its just wrong”)   Getting a divorce is locked upon as deviant: Now almost 50% of people get divorce is it not deviant anymore?   Not defined by the social norms but there is a universality about deviance   Durkheim used this approach: Reveals a truth about the society and what was considered not deviant was what bonded people together (Brought people together and defined a community)  3. Relativist Definition: Deviance is understood to be a social product, whatever people react to and label as deviant becomes deviant (MADD- Drunk driving as a serious social ill)  Make rules and create definitions and apply these rules to a particular group of people as deviant  Marijuana: how is that different from cigarettes? How did we arrive in this place of smoking cigarettes be okay?  4. Normative Definition: Deviant label depends on what the group thinks should and should not occur, Can change from situation to situation, and over time, Values are plural-not absolute  Definitions of Deviance  1. The violation of social norms- behavioral codes that guide people into actions and presentation of self that conform with social expectations  2. Agreement about norms may not be universal but a clear and vocal majority must agree  3. Violating norms draws reactions and sanctions   Particular groups and friends are into body work and someone thinks it is absolutely crazy but in a society where a lot of time is put into art work they will not think it is strange  Explaining Deviance  1. Prescientific Approaches  - Parables and Myths  - Supernatural deviance  - Demonic deviance  - Sin  -Witchcraft/paganism   Contemporary examples of witchcraft/paganism  -Evil, the taint of Satanism and the occult  - McMartin nursery s
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