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Lecture 6

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Candace Kruttschnitt

Functionalism uses a biological kind of analogy to explain how society operates 2 Versions of Functionalism:  Society as an organism (each have working parts)  thinking of how your whole body works  The family, educational system, economy are parts of the social system and the well being of its members contribute to how society runs  Balance and stability= important  If change occurs in one part of the social system, from a funcitionalisPOV other things have to change as well o Ie. If families produce too many kids, education system have to accommodate o The whole notion is that it’s always changing but it’s always working towards this stability o Radical theorists won’t argue that whole systems work together o Conflict theorists conflict is inherent there are people struggling over power, and that all parts of the system aren’t working as equality for the whole 1. Deviance as Functional  Durkheim acknowledge tremenduous variation across societies, but that all societies label some form ofbehaviors as deviant and no society is crime free  He argued that crime is a social fact (exists everywhere)  What defines an act as deviant in any society ist hat it produces a social reaction (social condemnation)  this should go back to when we talked about defining deviance (audience reactive position)  he also argued that crime could be distinguished from more minor acts of the intensity of social response  Crimes and sanctions are universal nad Durkheim argued that they are functional for society  Why: o It creates a clarification of what is okay behaviour. What is considered acceptable or not acceptable. Ie. What is sexual harassment,, how do we know when it occurred? Remarks, inappropriate touching? A clarification of the reactions of some behaviour is what we define sexual harassment. Clarify between what is okay and hwat is not okay behaviour o It creates social cohesion  when community standsards are violated, it brings about a collective reaction (ie. Neighbourhood watch, get to gether and react) (ie. 9/11 perfect example. It brought together people in the USA for a short period of time, brought US closer to other nations) (ie. (in Toronto) Barbeque shooting in Scarborough, 2005 boxing day, shooting in eaton centre,)  integrate members of society, and bring people together (collective reaction) (and creates scapegoat) o It challenges current social norms  in that sense it can provide an avenue for social change (text mentions _____ someone who talked about marijauana use) o It creates jobs  functional part (ie. Different levels of police, prion guards, food for prisons, prison uniforms, etc.) o It can motivate conforming behaviour (ie. Highway, speeding but lslow down and saw other person get speeding ticket, get happy that you stayed in speeding ticket)  moves you into saying ‘I won’d twnat to be that person who is stopped by the p erson, or audited for income tax, )  motivation o Kai Erikson  historical analysis (herecy and witchcraft contributed to social cohesion and stability in that community) --? In essence he argues that forces operate to recruit deviance. That if we have people who are outsiders and people who are the’insiders’, leads to a question where ‘is good only operative when we think of it as a response to evil’ Do we have to have deviance in society? ==> Particularly in times of crisis we need to have that definition of they are the outsiders, they are the deviants, because it makes us feel safer (we’re on the good side);; the notion of what happens to individuals when social organization breaks down. Ie. Hurricane Katrina (flood, and everything was gone) brings up a second type of perspective: Anomie)  Durkheim argued absolutely. In that group, you’ll find something that isn’t okay behaviour. 2. Anomie  Suicide  Wanted to find out if social forces influences suicide rate (this was very outside the box. Everyone just assumes someone is depressed, and that it’s na individual problem)  We can try to analyze what might be related to differeng aggregate rates of suicide  He began by getting rid of metntal state, heredity, climate, etc. He tried to eliminate these factors. But by extending social factors ie. Religious affiliations, marriage, family, political communities, etc. There are 3 main types of suicide (not four in the textbook) : 1. Egoistic Suicide: o People with low solidarity (people ho aren’t married, weakly integrated into society) o Focused on weak family structure o Protestants have a higher suicide rate than Catholicism --> there were tighter bonds (more roles to adhere to) in catholic churches 2. Altruistic Suicide/Fatalistic o Doing it for the greater cause o Overly commited to some organization o Altruistic= ie. Soldier who gives up his life vs. fatalistic terrorist suicide bomber 3. Anomie o Lack of regulation of peoples goas and desires; thi scan occur in periods of rapid change: it doesn’t necessarily be due to horrible events but also due to good events (ie. Winning lottery (loosened boundaries) o It is the outcome and the rules of what are social norms have been broken down or inoperative Strain Theory and Merton’s Use of Anomie Strain Theory: o Social disorganization  strain  culture culture strain o People are inherently social but if they live in a disorganized area, thn high rates of deviance o At the same time, strain heory departs from social operation by suggesting that North Americans are all alike. And want the same thing rather than assuming cultural conflict. Suggests that crime s is result of frustration and anger over their inability to achieve really financial success o The most famous example of this is Robert Merton o Merton: The reason we have crime, we need to look at social structure which is responsible for crime; derived from Durkehim’s notion of anomie o Reformulated anomie: social structure extets individuals into engaging in deviant behaviour rather than conforming behaviour o Achievement of high social status  at the same time we are infilitrated with money money money. The social structure doesn’t provide everyone equal opportunities for achieving that goal ; in particular for lower class people (what he called culturally induced goals, they lack the means to achieve them) o For Merton think of goals (money) and means to get to that goal o Kids grow upwith laptops, cellphones, etc. But they find that they couldn’t get into college. But need to go to school to make more money to keep up with consumer life. Give up on pursuit or do illegal means. They do illegal means not because they are inherently bad or anti-social. But because of this sociall
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