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Deviance and Crime

5 Pages

Course Code
Sociology 1021E

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Deviance and Crime Public protest  mass arrest & detention, weaponization of police  technological spread; twitter; phone cameras (the intrusion of technology) Police actions lead to public inquiry and civil liberties – also helped by technology A sociology of deviance and crime Who decides what a crime is and who’s a criminal? What is deviance?  Norm violations that evoke various sanctions o Stigma o Surveillance  Tied to gender/age/skin colour “You don’t belong here” – Social control o Criminalization  Deviance and forms of social control are relative  Eating grapes in the grocery store is deviance  The response depends on the situation – how violent was it, how strict is the context ↓  this is a threshold point, a dividing line Conformity  Deviance  Criminality Beliefs & Actions Conformity: What is normal here is not normal in other places – we don’t get in trouble Deviance: Norm violating behaviour – this is not a crime Criminality: Codified – law (Getting life for B&E, but 14 years for aggravated sexual assault with a weapon. Perjury is life) Rape of your spouse never used to be a crime Opium used to be the equivalent to red wine today – criminal due to relation to Chinese labour Deviance is Necessary  Durkheim: deviance is universal o “Everywhere and always”  Essential element of collective life  From deviance comes society’s moral conscience  “Nothing is good indefinitely and to an unlimited extent”  The Montreal Massacre – became a statement that said “we are opposed to gun violence” and we got new laws to control the ownership of guns in the hopes to decrease gun crime. But now the long gun registry has been revoked – so we’ve changed our statement in 20 years Strain Theories: Robert Merton  The theory is that we’re lovely and law abiding, but the data doesn’t support that o We seem to see the same groups of people getting punished Classical strain theory: Merton  Poor people more criminalized – why?  Strain: Can’t bridge means and goals (Papers due, partner wants more attention, have to work)  Solution: Adaptation (Take school to work, not do the papers, skip work, reduce sleep, etc.)  Explain elite deviance? Violence? Women?  The less resources means the higher than chance of you being a deviant  This logic doesn’t answer for sexual assault or domestic violence  Single women with children are the most economically marginalized. Prison rates should be gender equal or more women. Different Illegitimate Opportunity Structure  Variable opportunities for different social groups  Block opportunities; rise of illegitimate means (The more legitimate opportunities are closed – university, bank loans, etc. – they will create their own means to get status, power and stuff) o Criminal: alternative economy o Conflict: asserting control over disorganized environment o Retreatist: drugs  Another word for selling drugs or pimping girls is entrepreneurialism, so why is this wrong  Why is owning porn not seen as being equal to being a pimp  Endless blocked opportunities? Just get high. What’s the point. Social Bonding  Attachment: caring and supervision by and for significant others  Commitment: stake in conformity o Loss of opportunities or success if don’t conform  Involvement: time and energy devoted to pro social activities o Sports/work/school o The idea is that if you get young boys involved in school, they won’t become little deviant buggers.
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