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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 Classical Theory

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Sociology 2259
Pamela Cushing

Soc 2259 Lecture 4: Classical theories of Deviance 1700-1800 Slow and contested from monotheistic to classical period By the early 18 century – scientific revolution, new philosophies were beginning to emerge. The idea of deviance as a rational calculation began to emerge' What does this mean? This is a person who makes calculated decisions. Rational Actor Seen as selfish – not for the greater good of society. Thinkers of the enlightenment thought that this was not good for society or greater good. Exorcism/ torture – was seen as futile and not a means for salvation. Instead- there is a switch towards deterrence. Deviance would be deterred through swift punishment through the court system. Wanted deviance to be controlled through something that was orderly and consistent – “Punishment should fit the crime” Right to a fair trial The Classical Paradigm Rational, hedonistic actor with free will Perception of Opportunity Assessment of probably risk Decision to conform or offend Person | Rational, hedonistic actor with free will | Perception of Opportunity (Choose to break the law or not) | Assessment of probability risk (what are my chances of getting caught) | Decision to Conform or offend Now Remedy for Deviance – Deterrence or imprisonment Central Points of Classical view 1)People are hedonistic (engaged in a pursuit of pleasure) 2)People have Free will 3)Society represents a social contract 4)Punishment: Sufficiently sever and predictable 5)Goal of Society: the greatest good for the greatest number Immanual Kant quote – It is an age of these ideals but that had not achieved those ideals yet How can you balance this with religious views? - That was a problem for some people. th Social Justice in the 18 Century ⁃ Change in thinking was spurred by several factors ⁃ 1) Law and punishment were arbitrary, unpredictable tortuous ⁃ 2) Operated at the whims of judges ⁃ Remember life was chaotic, social order was out of control Executions were public Prof makes a note that a lot of people drank. (Safer then water and helped with the hard life) Think of the painting of Gin Lane – Hogarth The Philosophes ⁃ French social critiques ⁃ Met in parlors ⁃ Did not like divine right – monarchy ⁃ Turned away from the church – put their faith in reason ⁃ Some of them were atheists but some were deists – They believed in god as the creator of the universe but rejected church rituals and the authority of the clergy ⁃ Their philosophy: The greatest happiness for the greatest number Voltaire ⁃ Most brilliant and influential of the philosophes ⁃ Fought for tolerance, reason, limited government & free s
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