Sociology of Deviance: Lecture notes 09/11/2013
- The “perceived” violation of norms
- Perceived is in quotes because everyone has their own definition of norms.
- Perception involves everyone’s individuals idea of what real is or of what perception is.
- The study of crime in society
How are these two different?
- Deviance is not necessarily a criminal act
-All crimes are considered deviant but not all deviance is considered a crime.
- Criminology is therefore a subset of deviance
- Norms change over time and space, one part of the country may find something deviant that another aprt
of the country doesn’t.
-All formal and informal rules of conduct for membership in a group
- Norms can be broken down into sub categories:
a. Folkways: informal rules for acceptable behavior within a group such as etiquette, manners, civil
conduct, grooming, nonverbal behavior etc.
b. Mores: Formal rules of conduct within a group which are usually codified, for example, criminal code.
- Most people conform most of the time - we are here to learn how people have been othered and how that has changed over time, who decided
what is deviant and what is not deviant and what happens to people who do fall into these deviant
- Membership in society is principally a question of acceptance
- Within sociology it is taken as axiomatic (assumed) that most people desire acceptance in some form
Informal social Control:
- Sanctions applied to individuals violating folkways
- Sanctions are rules consequences
- Things such as staring or whispering
- This is not the police but is generally your peers
- how someone is treated as a result of someone’s bizarre behavior
- These are so powerful they can make us change our behavior because we crave social acceptance
Formal Social Control:
- Sanctions applied to individuals violating mores
- Jail time, fines, community service etc.
Agents of informal social control:
- Other members of society, other members of your group
Agents of Formal Social Control:
- Police, military, state, teachers, social workers, psychiatrists… people who have power to decide and
label people in society
- Tolerable differences within society
- Someone being a vegetarian is an example of this - The way people express themselves within clothes and fashion
Saints vs Sinners:
- Deviance can be either “positive” or “negative”, can be either good or bad
- “Stigma of excellence”: Being defined as deviant for being “too Good”… no one likes to be the prettiest
or the smartest… can feel just as bad as being the worst or the ugliest
- Fro example, Mother Theresa
Features od Deviance:
- Varies within cultures, in time and space, it is culturally specific
- Different norms for different members of society, different between the rich and poor
- Deviant subcultures; pot heads, gangs, bikers,
- Degrees of Deviance 09/11/2013
*DON’T NEED TO KNOW CHAPTER 2*
Why Study deviance:
1) the Vicarious Experience
- How we experience criminality and deviance through others
- We make so much money now through vicarious experience, shows such as criminal minds and CSI,
examines the deviant underground behaviours and the audiences find them far more interesting then every
day life. Ratings show for this. We experience the thrills without taking the risk ourselves.
- This however is not a good reason or motivation for research because it distorts the image of deviance
because it focuses on extremes.
- Makes deviance seem like its marginalized but deviance actually happens every day… every part of our
lives includes rule following and rule breaking
- Lately sociology has moved away from the extreme situations and has been looking at the more
normalized forms of deviance, this tells us deviance is not marginalized
- Often falls under policy sociology or people who are looking to change policy and public perception
about some form of behaviour
- People who are interested in reform usually aim to give people a better understanding of why bad things
happen in this world
- Usually people who have had personal experience with what they are trying to reform, usually driven by
personal pain or personal experience.
- Usually with the aim to change peoples minds about a certain deviant population, trying to de-stigmatize
a group of people.
- The search for reform policy’s sometimes outrun tested knowledge, for example, lots of popular
solutions not necessarily accurate to solve crime but have actually been counteractive
-Also the popular belief that if you understand a deviant behavior you will accept or excuse it and this is
not true at all
- Reform also trys to promote that many forms of deviance are not as bad as they are made out to be, the
promotion of harmfulness is done by people who have a vested interest in defining a behavior as
deviant… example the weed publication.. reefer madness, these people almost always have something to
gain from making these behaviors deviant 09/11/2013
3) Self Protection & Sophistication
- Feel better when you know about something and understand something, if you understand something
your in a better position to be less fearful of it
- Can spend more time protecting yourself from things that are actually harmful
- Read the Gift of Fear
4) Understanding Oneself and Others
- Some people enjoy having a deviant image sometimes… or all the time
- when we learn about other peoples choices … our choices become more clear… help us to make our
5) Intellectual Curiosity
- Just being intellectually curious, want to know why people do what they do.
- Depicts how we see the world
- we see the world through our experiences in the world.
- our age, culture, friends, parents etc.
- Social order is a huge part of our every day lives
What is social control?
- Police or criminal justice system
Academic Views of Deviance:
- Prior to the 1960’s academics focused on “outsiders”, people who are more marginalized in society, drug
dealers, prostitutes etc.
- People believed for a long time that there was something inheritantly wrong with people who were
deviant, not something socially constructed, a very positivistic way of looking at deviance
- They focus on these group of people in particular because its easier too, they are highly visible, easy to
access and people with the least amount of power in society
- People who participate in white collar crime have the power and money to keep people away
- If you hold power in society, you are less likely to be affected by its rules and your less likely to be
studied by social scientists
- People with money and power they don’t have to live by the same “rules” as us 09/11/2013
Objective/ Subjective Dichotomy (Gave us a handout)
Objective Characteristics of Deviance:
- Looking at the scientific method or original science
-All the methods people use to study characteristics in the natural world or the natural sciences like cells
or genes in the human body as opposed to the social science this is a scientific method … this is someone
like Emile Durkheim, he is an objective scientist or a positivistic scientist
- This is the scientist who puts on his white lab coat when he goes to work.
- value neutral social science, saying scientists studying this must keep values and social position outside
of research question… doesn’t matter how the scientists feels about this topic.
- This is where Statistics come from
- use methods of the natural sciences
- Positivistic scientists job to discover universal laws that govern social behaviour, used to explain predict
and control behaviour
- Universal laws means that there is something bigger then ourselves that governs our behaviour
- reality is “out there” to be discovered, reality is not something we create through human interaction… it
is beyond someone’s control.
- problem with stats is that they only give you a number… no descriptive element to the number given…
not human quality given
- Deviant labels are never purely objective, often carry negative or moral judgments, made by people with
their own self interests. So defining deviance is always a contested issue.
**PICTURE ON TEXT PAGE 12**
Objective Definitions of Deviance:
- The goal is to find something inherent in a person, behaviour, or characteristic that is necessarily
Most frequently citied:
1) Statistical Rarity
3) Societal Reaction
4) Normative Violation
- Not common in academia but popular in everyday language
- If a behaviour or characteristic is not typical, then it is deviant 09/11/2013
- When you think of your normal bell curve or normal distribution they are saying people who fall outside
of the normal distribution
-Afew problems with this is there is no way to decide where normal starts and deviance ends or what
happens when you don’t have a normal distribution
- if behaviour is not typical then its deviant… then in that sense people with coloured hair are deviant, but
a lot of deviance is hidden
- Normal behaviour may only seem to be common
- Looking at people who smoke weed… so many do it statistically its common but so many people hide
it, but its still marginalized and therefore that is why this method doesn’t work.
- Harm associated with deviance is usually one of the three below
1) Physical and Emotional Harm
- People who hurt people, people who harm themselves
2) Functional Harm
- Safety of society as a whole is what is being safeguarded here
- Disruption of the society you live in
- Shooting at navel base in Virginia is an example, deviance affects the way the system worked
- People no longer feel safe due to this deviant behaviour
3) Ontological Harm
- disruption of the faith in a system
- Good example of this is life after 9-11, terrorist attacks literally changed our faith in our way of life.
- Fear, chaos, unsure about reality
Harm does not distinguish deviance in 3 ways:
1. Evidence that deviance is harmful is often exaggerated or invented by those who want control
2. Sometimes the greatest harm of deviance lies in the cost of its suppression
- Many political activist are tortured or killed in their pursuits and the impact on the people trying to
promote whatever is terrible
- Government in efforts to suppress terrorism might take away some of your rights and freedoms.
3. Many kinds of deviance who are less harmful than other things not so labelled.
- Get ourselves worked up over things when there really is other things we should be worried about that
are more important.
- Using harmfulness to designate categories of deviance is not always effective
Tutorial #1: 09/11/2013
What is Deviance?
- Deviance is the perceived violation of norms
- Deviance is unavoidable, its everywhere in society
*Send email about some ideas of socially constructed deviance
What role does the media play in the social construction of deviance?
Deviance varies within cultures, time and space.
- We have become desensitized to murder because it occurs so often
Wednesday September 25 , 2013
- Formal and Informal violation of norms (folkways and mores) constitutes deviance
- On the surface this seems like a good way to define deviance, except we violate norms everyday, we
stray from the conduct that is given to our social statuses.
- This doesn’t work because we all violate norms all the time and we don’t claim to be deviant members
- Example, Tiger Woods was deviant for being the best, deviant for being black
1) Negative Response
- behaviour elicits criticism or punishment and is deviant in the eyes of the people who react this way.
- Ridicule, scorn, exclusion, punishment, discrimination, fear disgust
2) Tolerant Response
- Psychics, tolerated deviance within society
- Think their weird but don’t believe we should send them to jail
-Another example is people who believe in ghosts
3) Denial Response 09/11/2013
- Don’t want someone to be viewed as deviant so we make what their doing okay, we make excuses for
4) Romanticization or Demonization
- In the absence of hard evidence a person can become seen as a monster or a hero
- Example of this is robin hood, hero to the poor deviant to the rich, guy who slid out of air plane
-Another example of this is women who fall in love with serial killers.
1) Evidence that deviance is harmful is often exaggerated or invented by those who want to control it
2) Sometimes the greatest harm of deviance lies in the cost of its suppression
3)Many kinds of deviance are less harmful than other things not so labelled
Subjective Positions on Deviance:
- Focus: Deviance as a social construction
- this position was born out of a rejection of the objectivist position
- Those who follow this position adhere to a different philosophy of reality, they believe reality is
something that is created between people.
- There is nothing inherent in a behaviour or characteristic that makes it deviant
- Born out of a rejection for objective definitions
- Reality is created by human interaction
- Value rich social research
- Deviant only if dominant moral codes of society say the behaviour is deviant
-Abehaviour act or condition is deviant if people with a lot of power say it is. People with a lot of social
power have the ability to create categories of deviance. These people are moral Entrepreneurs.
- The first bring the problem to public attention then convert your views on the subject.
- Example of this is MADD
- focuses on the process of naming certain behaviours and/or characteristics as deviant
Moral Entrepreneurs: 09/11/2013
- Those who manufacture public morality
- Who are these people/groups in our society?
- Rules are invoked when someone with influence feels they are needed, not every time someone breaks
them, when looking at this we focus just as much at the people who create deviance categories as we do
the people who fall into these categories
- It does not matter if the individual is innocent because even if the label is not accurate or real, it is real
in its consequences for the person labelled deviant
- This process therefore focuses just as much on the definers of deviance as deviants themselves.
- Deviance is a descriptive name or label often used to exclude people.
- When people are labelled deviant you start to see moral exclusion, and these people often lack the power
to protect themselves
- Defining someone as deviant is a process and makes us focus on both the lables and the labellers
- Whatever the form of deviance, the designation has been used to describe
1) presumed behaviour that
2) defies social expectations that
3) are made and enforced by with people with influence (power) and
4) have been applied to particular people or groups in particular situations.
- Great definition of deviance from a subjective side of deviance
- When we look at this as a definition deviance is an outcome of a social process, it is created by people…
nothing can be just universal and deviant because the morally excluded changes over time.
-All deviants from a subjective view is that someone said it was deviant, it was created by a person.
Three Characteristics of deviance:
1. Deviance is a universal phenomena, example Durkheim’s speech on a community of saints having a
2.Deviance is a relative phenomena, relative to peoples standards, stand points, cultures etc.
- What’s deviant to one is not deviant to the others
3.Situational phenomena, definitions of deviance come from our own experience and the
When it comes to Deviance:
- There really isn’t a one size fits all theory that explains it all.
- Scientific explanations, empathetic and ideological explanations
- This is the objective positions, positivistic positions
- The idea of discovering the connectedness of all things 09/11/2013
- Empathetic explanations
- Ideological explanations
…. Of deviance
- Use scientific methodology
- We can equate “objective” approaches with this explanation
- Functionalism and its spin-offs
- Scientific explanations, empathetic and ideological explanations
- This is the objective positions, positivistic positions
Critique of Positivism (Scientific Explanations)
- Goal: to explain, predict and control deviance…
- Part of the problem with this explanation is the “Crime Funnel” and the “Dark Figure of Crime”
- Crime funnel used to criticize objective side of research
- Top of funnel you have all crime that occurs all acts of criminal deviance, even deviance that goes
unrecorded “The dark figure of crime”
- Founded crime, a crime police believe actually occurred
- Unfounded, police officer finds the incident has too much going on, doesn’t become part of statistical
numbers… this happens mostly with sexual assault.
- Bottom of funnel is people incarcerated in regular prison system and we expect these people all have a
lot in common with each other
-At the bottom we have a ton of information about a few represented cases of crime and at the top we
have little information about a whole lot of crime.
- Problematic because we have to ask ourselves are we measuring what we think we are measuring …
studying people in prison is not a rep of all crime.
Crime Funnel: 09/11/2013
- Attempt to understand deviance as a “human” thing
- Mainly via symbolic interactionism and interpretation (interpretive sociology)
- Best way to study people is in their own environment whether its covert or overt
- Subjective perspectives/theories
- Based on a system of ideas that are held as irrefutable doctrine…
- Not really open to new ideas
- not used much, not scientific
- Based on system of ideas that are held as irrefutable doctorate
– religious authorities who demand obedience.
- Usually religious based and passionate belief
- Not open to new ideas 09/11/2013
- reality is socially constructed
- Uses interpretive approach on order to explain deviance
- People have “Agency”
- Deviance is created through a power imbalance in society; this means that the more powerful people
label the less powerful as deviant, people with power create laws that make others actions that are not the
same as their own deviant.
- Those with power have ability to apply deviant labels
- While those with little power have limited ability to reject deviant labels
- Deviance as an object to be studied
- Reality is something to be discovered
- Positive perspective;
- Deviance can be measured
- Once measured deviance can be explained
- Once deviance is explained it can be controlled
How is deviance socially constructed?
1. BodyAlterations: tattoos, scarification, branding, cosmetic surgery
2. Sexual expression and gender ideals
3. Fashion- punk rock, glam and corsets
4. Family Violence
6. Marijuana or other currently illegal drugs
7. Suicide- Ritualistic, medically assisted altruistic
Does deviance vary historically, cross culturally and across space? 09/11/2013
PrescientificApproaches to Deviance:
- Myths, Parables, and Stories about Deviance
Trickster Legends and Contemporary Legends
Demonic Perspective: First Causal Explanation of Deviance
Witch Craze: Amodel for Moral Panics
Moral Panics: Holocaust, Red Scare, Satanic ChildAbuse Scares
Satanism: as a Moral Panic, Role-Playing, and Metaphor
The Devil made me do it:
- Prior to the Enlightenment, deviance was thought of as both causal and supernatural.
- People understood life and reality (including deviance) in terms of myths, parables and stories….
- They explained experiences and often were created to help people conform… in terms of social control,
regulation and the consequences of non-conformity
Eve: Expelled from Eden
Lot’s Wife: turned into the Pillar of salt 09/11/2013
Secular and Magical Stories:
- Many stories during this time were geared to children….
-Teaching children about the consequences of deviant behaviour.
-Slovenly Peter: Translated from German by Mark Twain
-These stories are considered too harsh for children now…
Slovenly Peter: Poor Grooming
- Little girl playing with matches and her dress catches on fire
- Kid who wants to suck his thumb and the guy cuts them off
Slovenly Poem: 09/11/2013
- Edward Scissorhands was inspired by Slovenly Peter…
Konrad: Thunmb sucking
The Boy Who Cried Wolf:
- Denied help when he really needed it
- Other examples are the little red riding hood, Pinnochio and the emporers new clothes 09/11/2013
-Ambivalence about deviance and control is reflected in the culturally universal trickster
- Trickster: common archetype in folklore and mythology….
- Often: a comedic figure who breaks rules to achieve his or her own ends (predominantly male), smart
little guy outwits the stupid greedy guy
- Tricksters actions are commonly permeated with laughter, irony wit and deviance.
- Trickster embodies paradox of deviance.
- Still very common in modern culture/media/entertainment
- Varies in conception
Harmless Practical Joker
Deviant in the name of greater good:
WestAfrican Mythology: 09/11/2013
- Most prominent trickster was ANANSI
- Spider + Man
From Popular culture:
- Michael Jackson
- Claim to be based on facts rather than fiction or fantasy
- Though they are highly believable they are based on hearsay instead of facts.
- Can be humorous or horrific with a moral twist.
- example of this is poisoned Halloween candies that stir up parental fears in October.
- Often Designed to express fear or desire for more social order (or just funny… example in your text)
Proctor and Gamble (Logo)
-Associated with Satanism
- Church of Satan
Early Explanations of Deviance: The Demonic Perspective
- Deviance was EXPLAINED (rather than described) as being caused by SUPERNATURAL FORCES.
- Deviance thought to be caused by forces of the supernatural realm
- when bad things happened in society like floods or crops failing No one looked to physiology, medical,
environmental or natural reasons for “bad” things.
- Looked to socerers, witches and demons to explain these events.
- No coincidences either…
The Pagans as Deviant
- Dominant Religions have done their best in the past to discredit other religions… turning their gods and
rituals into demonic entities and practices….
- The Burning Times
- witches Sabbath, when witches gathered to engage in sex with the devil, this is what the Christians told
people about the pagans
- Other parts of the pagan religion included things such as elves, fayns, trolls, fairies, werewolves,
dragons etc. 09/11/2013
Pantheistic World View
- The doctrine that regards the universe as a manifestation of the gods
- Deviance (and all “bad” things) are the acts of gods and/or hostile spirits
- Deviance is not predictable or preventable
Monotheistic World View:
- Belief in only one god, deity or spirit….
- Ie: Judaism, Christianity, Islam
- Deviance of all forms has some human accountability …. For giving into the forces of evil.
- 2 Pathways: Temptation and Possession
Social Control of Demonic Deviance:
1) Exorcism: Cleansing the body of demonic influence
2) Destroying the demonic influence via purifying the individual through extreme suffering or death
- Still preformed in groups to this day and are led by a priest
- Can result in death from over cleansing
- Exorcisms can also be preformed by psychologists or psychiatrists to rid obsessive compulsive
- Techniques range from prayers, holy water, laying of the hands, dances, trances and burning of animal
The Witch Craze: 1400- 1700
- Prior to C.E. 1000 or the witch craze: Those who practices witchcraft were tolerated, misunderstood,
respected at times, and viewed suspiciously at times.
- Church cannon law: believed it was un Christian and illegal to believe in the reality of witches
- Believed women who thought they were witches were implanted with delusions from the devil
- Between C.E. 1000 and 1480: Witches were redefined as agents of the devil rather than harmless and
- Witch craze described as collective psychosis or mania
- Events such as plauges, wars and famines were likely to be followed by witchhunts
- Between 100000 and 200000 executions took place and up to 9000000 have been cited
- Only about 1% of women were targeted
- Witch craze seen as a symptom of the new dualist or monotheistic way of looking at the world.
- Witch craze began with Roman Catholic Inquisition 09/11/2013
- missionaries, healer and preachers sent to fight heresy
- Resistance to control of the feudal authorities
Heinrich Kramer and Jakob Sprenger:
- played major role in the recognition of witchcraft as a conspiracy.
- Wrote the treatise on witchcraft called the Malleus Maleficarum, translated to the hammer of the witches
- Witch hunting received considerable boost from the Franciscan and Dominican brotherhood
- First book to codify all that was know about witchcraft
- First set of standards about the persecution of witches
- One of the first books to be printed in the new printing press
- part 1: witches were a huge danger, real danger laid in their alliance with satan
- part 2: how to identify a witch by devil marks and other criteria
- part 3: methods to prosecute, torture, etc
Treatment of the Accused:
- Torture used to get a confession from the suspected
- Two eye witnesses or a confession was needed to produce a conviction.
Six main Methods of Torture:
- Ordeal of water forced to ingest large quantities of water
- Ordeal of Fire; forcing feet against burning coals or roasting them before a fire
- Strappado; prisoner hung from wrists behind the back and hoisted and dropped by a pulley system
- The wheel; prisoner tied to a large cartwheel and clubbed until all their bones were broken
- The rack; the body is stretched out on a frame with rollers at each end, tightening the rollers stretched
body beyond endurance
- Sivaletto; boards tied as tightly as possible encased each leg and then an then wedges were driven
between the boards and legs splintering or crushing the bones.
“The witches themselves have often been lying on their backs in the fields or the woods, naked up to the
very navel, and it has been apparent from the disposition of those limbs and members…. they have been
copulating with Incubus devils”.
Characteristics of the accused:
2. In conflict with other women
3. Women who gave birth to deformed babies
4. People seen in the dreams of others
5. Men or Women who claimed to occult powers
6. People believed to be involved in treason conspiracies
7. People who got in the way
8. People who did not fully accept the churches dogma
9. healers, herablists and naturopaths
10. People blamed for the misfortunes of others
11. Exceptional People
12. People named by accused witches under torture or persuasion
13. People named by those suffering from illness or hardship
14. People with mental illness
“As soon as the child is born, the midwife, if the mother herself is not a witch, carries it out of the room
on the pretext of warming it, raises it up, and offers it to the Prince of Devils, that is Lucifer, and to all the
“But no one who reads the histories can doubt that there have always been witches, and that by their evil
works much harm has been done to men, animals, and the fruits of the earth”
Superiority of Men – women as sexual deviants.
“It does not appear that men thus devilishly fornicate with the same full degree of culpability; for men,
being by nature intellectually stronger than women, are more apt to abhor such practices”
Modern Beliefs about Demonic Deviance
- The Anti-Christ…. 09/11/2013
Examples have included: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Harry Potter, Bill Gates, bar
codes in the grocery store…
- “Satanist” rather then “witchcraft”
- Much of which is formulated in the bible belts
Modern Versions of Witch Hunting
1) Holocaust- Hitler
2) The Red Scare- Senator J. Maccarthy
3) Child Molestation and abuse in day cares
The Red Scare:
- Red menace was the idea that there was a large number of people secretly trying to enforce communism 09/11/2013
Classical Theories of Deviance: (Chapter 4)
Enlightenment= empirical view of the world
- Slow and contested change in thinking
- From supernatural beliefs about deviance to the notion of deviance as a rational calculation (the deviant
is a rational actor)
- By the early 18 century people are exploring more and there is the development of science, explore
exploring and seeing worl differently
- new philosophies emerging and challenging religious world views
- Looking at deviance as a rational calculation, people have the choice to be deviant and break the law …
no longer believe that people are internally bad
Thinkers of enlightenment:
- Deviance: behaviour that eroded the greater good of society, greatest happiness for the greatest number
- Torture was futile – not a means for salvation, couldn’t save deviant beings in this way anymore
- Deterrence was emerging as the new way to control deviance
- Religion and science fought each other during this time
- Swift and certain punishment is what we got out of the enlightenment era
- Cost of deviant behaviour must be higher then the pleasure someone gets out of being deviant.
Punishment should only be enough for people to chose conformity.
- development of a system, a way to treat people who didn’t conform in society. Believed punishment
should fit the crime, did this so people who didn’t conform didn’t stand alone against a very chaotic
- This is where the idea of a right to a fair trial came form, a more systematic way of dealing with people.
The Classical Paradigm: 09/11/2013
Assessment of probablyrisk
Decisionto conformor offend
- hedonistic is people who seek pleasure and avoid pain
- Perception of opportunity is a person either conforming or not conforming
-Assessment of probably risk is the chance of a person getting away with being deviant.
Demonic and Classical Perspectives Compared:
Time of dominance 1400-1700 1700-1800
Conception of deviance Evil Violation of Social Contract
Explanation Moral Weakness (open to Free will and Hedonism
Remedies Exorcism, extreme torture, deaImprisonment 09/11/2013
5 Central Tenants of the Classical View:
1) People are hedonistic; chose deviance or conformity when trying to meet their needs.
2) People have free will
3) Society represents a social contract
4) Punishment: sufficiently severe & predictable
5) Goal of Society: the greatest good for the greatest number
Social Justice In the 18 Century:
- Change in thinking was spurred by several factors:
- Law and punishment were arbitrary, unpredictable, tortorous, etc, often because judges could do
whatever they wanted… they were also underpaid and could easily be bought off by those with a lot of
money making the system unjust and unfair
- Operated at the whims of judges
- Life was chaotic, social order was out of control, lfe was unpredictable and hard for most people…
many people got away with their crimes
- if you did get caught you were made a terrible example of because punishments were public, sever and
- if public didn’t believe the person being hung should be hung they took them down and hung the
executioner… just complete chaos
- People drank a lot during this time… it was cheap and helped us get through the harshness of life.
- This didn’t cause people to behave… social disorder was pretty prominent, war disease and hunger were
strong factors 09/11/2013
“Gin Lane” – Hogarth
- The picture above depicts what life on the street was like
- Response by agents of social control was just more and more punishment.
- main thinkers of the time used france the as the Hub
- Mostly French thinkers
- Tried to apply reason to all aspets of life… if the accepted ways of doing things don’t make sense then
these things should be changed
- Opposed the clergy and divine right… didn’t like these things because these people were the richest in
franc and didn’t pay any taxes to begin
- Most philosophers turned away from traditional religious beliefs and looked towards reason.
- Faith in reason rather than church
- Looked at jesus as a great moral teacher instead of the son of God
- Most 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 09/11/2013
- The most brilliant and influential of the philosophes
- Fought for tolerance, reason, limited government & free speech
- He made targets out of clergy, rich and government
- “I disapprove of what you say but I defend till the death your right to say it”
- Wrote a book called Leviathan; great big sea monster
- Social Contract
- He live through the horrors of the civil war and convinced him that people are mean and rotten and if
they aren’t governed this is how life will be
- Hobbes argued that to escape this life people have to hand over their rights to have law and order
- Believed you needed a strong body… sort of like a monarchy
- Believed the best government would be one that had the power of a levianthon… demanded order from
Voltaire and Cesare Beccaria:
- Wrote a book together.. below are the six main points
- Believed crime was a reasonable behavior, waned to make crime less rational by changing social
- Social contract is workable when laws are universally enforced and clearly stated.. this shows them
trying to get rid of that unsystematic way of dealing with crime.
1)All people are motivated by pain and pleasure
2) The basis of all social action should be the greatest good for the greatest number
3) The greatest happiness is ensured by the social contract
4) The social contract is workable when laws are known, clear and enforced
5) Crime must be considered an injury to society
6) Punishment: justifiable only to prevent criminal conduct
-AUtilitarian… obsessed with changing society as is was
- Utilitarian= greatest good for the greatest amount of people
- he saw society was a complete mess and law needed to be completely reformed.
- Control deviance by changing the rules and showing that conformity was the best way to happiness, not
by hurting people for their choices. 09/11/2013
- He had formulas for how to punish people. If you get X units of pleasure for breaking the law your
punishment should be X+1
- believed punishment should only ever be used to stop further non conformity
- Developed the Panopticon prison, all seeing place and the philosophy of surveillance.
-At the time prisons were only a holding cell before being punished, Bentham thought this should be the
extent of the punishment that they would reflect on what they did this is when prison became the
- “ He is seen, but does not see; he is the object of information; never the subject of communication”
- Symbolic representation of society
- idea of constant surveillance, possibility of being watched is always there.. this cuts down on staff
- Put these in very heavily populated arrears to remind people what would happen if you break the social
- idea of this prison never caught on though Bentham tried
- Fouco used the panopticon as a representation of society, we are constantly being watched by others to
see who’s being deviant, idea that in modern society we surveil people and we are surveilled all the
time… Prime example is Facebook 09/11/2013
- Classical theory in application was too rigid
- Systems were gradually modified
- Judges needed a little more power to consider circumstances in which crime and deviance were
- 3 new concepts: mitigating factors, past record, differences in free will
- found once they applied everything it was too rigid, neoclassical thinkers modified it…
- Mitigating factors are factors that make crimes more acceptable, taking into consideration the
circumstances in which the crime occurred.
Classical Theory: The modern Legacy
1)Absolute deterrence- Penalties that are so sever and quick that no crimes are committed
2) Relative deterrence- Frequent and serious enough that encourage people to make other choices
3) General deterrence- We see others getting caught and don’t want to do it because of this
4) Specific deterrence- Direct personal effect, actual personal experience of getting punished encourages
you to make the right choice next time. This usually works better with reward… sometimes punishment
works in the opposite way.
5) Restrictive deterrence- people are deterred from doing things selectively, selectively avoid doing what I
do based on who’s around
- Fear of being caught redirects peoples activities.
- Deterrence only works for people who are not committed to a life of time.
The Death Penalty as Deterrence:
- Does the death penalty work as a deterrence?
- Most experts say it is not
- 35 American states have the death penalty 09/11/2013
Biological & Physiological explanations of deviance:
- Looking at the idea that maybe the body is responsible for criminal behavior, and not rational decision
- Positivism This was a time for the emergence
- Scientific explanations of crime and deviance
- Biological Determinism; essentially mean behaviour is determined biologically
- Yet another paradigm shift from the Classical Era
- Constitutional inferiority mean mental inferiority… people who are not that bright
Demonic Classical Positivist
Time of Dominance 1400-1700 1700-1800 1800-1900
Conception of Deviance Evil Violation of social contract,Pathology, constitutional
crime inferiority, sickness
Explanation Moral weakness (possession),Free will, hedonism, Biological determinism,
temptation symptoms of constitutional
Remedies Exorcism, execution Imprisonment Treatment, separation,
(swift, certain, graduated elimination
Born Criminal Theory
Emerging: Criminal Anthropology
- What we know now is that no one is born a criminal or evil, no one is pre-determined to be a deviant
- criminal anthropology was developing, deviance is not just inborn but can be determined by someone’s
Physiognomy: study of facial features, this was when someone’s facial features was associated by
personality and someone’s behaviour
Phrenology: mapped the brain – identified areas related to personality & behaviour, example, if the front
of your brain means the violence section and there was a lump there that would mean that your are violent
Craniometry: classifying human types by brain size and skull measurements, if size was too big or too
small then it was a sign of criminal behaviour or deviance. Had strange tools that precisely measure your
Lombroso: Criminal Anthropology
- Italian psychiatrist
- Credited as the father of criminology
- Focus: Biological causes of deviance & crime and biological determinism.
- Looked at physical and biological determinants of crime
- BiologicalAtavism: criminals were evolutionary throw-backs or degenerates
- This theory relied on strange physical characteristics and abnormalities of people like bushy eyebrows
- His work was pretty off scientifically
- We still do this socially, make assumptions on what or who people are based on what they look like.
Sheldon: Body Types
- said they were three different body types, Mesomorph more aggressive and Ectomorph more introverted
- Said the muscular aggressive guys (Mesomorph) were most likely criminal
- In the 60’s when applying to elite universities you’d have to send in a full body shot so they could see if
you looked like the type of person they wanted at their campus
- These fail to take into consideration environmental and social factors, defense attorneys are linking
biological factors such as nutritional deficient diets being inked to anti social behaviour 09/11/2013
- The evolution of human societies from “primitive” to “civilized”
- The criminal, the poor, the mentally ill, the less intelligent, those with low morals… would die out.
- Herbert spencer applied concept of evolution to an understanding of history ad society and coined the
term survival of the fittest
- If people within societies weren’t adapting as well as others they would die off but what was considered
superior unfortunately that was the British
- This was justification for a lot of nasty things to happen by more advanced societies (Example,
civilizing the savages, because they believed themselves to be more superior.)
- This thinking is dangerous because it can reduce the life chances of those seen as less fit
- Believed more fit people should pro create and those less fit should be sterile and die off.
- Believed they natural process would kill off the bad people and small minorities
- Gregor Mendal; started out working with seeds in plants
- This eded up having a huge impact on the study of deviance in humans
- Believed that deviance was genetically inherited; when this is the case its also inevitable… you don’t
have a lot of control over what kind of person you will be because its already determined.
- Deviance was inherited and therefore inevitable.
- Not only was it assumed that the fittest would survive but the determining factor in who was fit was
- These beliefs and assumptions led to the idea of the hereditary degenerate and degenerate families which
caused a lot of discrimination and policies to eliminate inferior beings.
Eugenics & Theories of Deviance:
- Francis Galton 09/11/2013
- This means good birth
- Habe very similar principles applied to it
- Little bit more micro, looking at specific groups of people in society
- Popularized by Social Darwinism
- Some social groups are more evolved than, and therefore biologically superior to, other groups.
- Result: programs & policies to increase reproduction in “superior” groups and decrease reproduction in
- Example of this is the holocaust, hitler being a big proponent of Eugenics.
-Another example is the Lebensonborn project; the idea of a master race program
Leilani Muir & the Sexual SterilizationAct (Alberta)
- 1928: Sexual SterilizationAct act passed in albert
- People who were seen to be a moron or morally defective were be allowed to sexual sterilize them
-Anyone who didn’t exemplify proper social norms
- Evaluate and involuntarily sterilize “mental defectives” and “morons” at puberty.
- Leilani’s mom dropped her off at the red deer training school and never came back, it was more of a
child prison then a school
- Shortly after she was assessed and labelled a mental defective without her knowledge or permission she
- Years later when she left the school she tried to go about a normal life got married and she couldn’t get
regnant and the doctor told her she looked as though she had been though a slaughter house.
- Then when her and her husband couldn’t get preggo they wanted to adopt and she couldn’t because of
the stigma of being a resident at the red deer training school; perfect example of labelling affecting your
-After all this she sued the province of Alberta and she was awarded 740000 in damages and 240000 of
legal costs, then the government of albert made it illegal to sue the province
- This protected them from getting sued by any of the thousands who lived in this school
- This also is a good example of someone fighting their label and winning
Leilani Muir: 09/11/2013
Who was a “mental defect”?
- Low IQ
- Those deemed immoral; bc according to the board only a mental defective person would chose an
- Immigrants unable to speak English
- Impoverished people
- Poor women who had children
- Those with physical or mental disabilities
- In most cases, those who violated social norms
Glen Sinclair 09/11/2013
- abandoned at the school as well
-Abusive parents and arrived at the school at the age of seven
- Sterilized at the age of 13
Provincial Training School in Red Deer, Alberta:
- board set up that evaluated mental dfects when they reached puberty
- after a few minute interview they would make the deciscion
- Board at this school went from a couple cases a day to dozens a day, never turned down the chance to
- This place was the hub of red deer, children were slave labour and was the highest employer in red deer
- Because it was the hub it was normalized 09/11/2013
Bedroom: Red Deer Training school
- You were exempt from all this if you came from a really rich family
- Not repealed until the 1970’s – nearly a quarter of a century after involuntary sterilization was labeled a
crime against humanity
- This lasted far longer then other nations that used eugenics
- Doing this long after we demonized Hitler
- 4 278 sterilizations took place
- Germany: 400 000 b/w 1933-39
Twin andAdoption Studies:
- Identical twins separated at birth, one to a rich fam one to a poor fam and they get them together to see
the difference between the two.
- There are reasons to believe that traits can be passed down like impulsivity, mental illness, alcoholism
etc. but heredity alone is not the answer.
Modern Biological Explanations of Deviance:
- 1) XYY male; Super human, prison in scotland there was an unsual number of males in the prison had an
extra Y chromosome which made them super hype and therefore they were in jail
- Women are XX and males are XY and Super men are XYY
- Made assumption this was why they were in jail but then they figured out it wasn’t true 09/11/2013
- Nixon wanted all boys to be test for this so they could send them to therapeutic camps… never
- 2) Bell Curve Argument; Rushton was the guy who did the intelligence thing with the races between
Asians, blacks and whites… scientific racism
- 3) Socio-biology and the Selfish Gene; focuses on individual’s personality characteristics like
selfishness and altruism and says there is a biological aspect which dictates that men have a genetic need
to spread there seed to as many women as possible… men cheat and rape because they cant help it
- 4) Genetic Loading; the one with the most credibility to Neisha, suggests that the hypothesis some sort
of criminal behaviour or episodes of violence that a person who is not normal engages in… says a person
can be born with an abnormality in the brain that you would never know about but they look at that
abnormality as a gun… environmental factors end up being the trigger to that gun. Stressors can include
things like alcohol, pornography etc. 09/11/2013
Theories of the Body and Mind & The Social Disorganization Perspective
- Psychological explanations of Deviance, focus on the mind of the individual
- small section of the medicalization of deviance in text that we don’t have to read until the new year, only
need to know like two pages of chapter 6 for today
- Sigmund Freud
- Founder of psychoanalytic school of psychology, these had a large impact on the study of deviance
- Major contributor to the world of the unconscious mind
- Freud never claimed to be any kind of philosopher but had some pretty good ideas about how people
think and look at the world.
- One of his positions was the ID EGO and SUPER EGO
Human Psyche: 3 Parts
- First had this idea in the essay beyond the pleasure principle and then again in the ego and the id
- Said these three portions make up our personality
The ID: pleasure principle, think of children as little walking ID’s , the part of us that wants and that can
be greedy… the only part of the personality Freud said we were born with the other parts are from
- Purely the manifestation of the pleasure principle, hedonistic element to this, the part of ourselves that
remind us we are animals…. Also the impulsive part of us
- Part of Psyche that can be emotional and is our survival instincts.
- It is biological and rooted in the mind at birth
The SUPEREGO: holds your morals, judgy, moralizing and encompasses all the things we know to be
right and wrong
- The part that lets us function and be a functioning member of society… the job of the super ego is to
suppress the wants of the ID… it is our conscious
- Developed through socialization and incorporated societal expectation.
- Part of ourselves that feels proud and ashamed
- Its about being socially appropriate
The EGO: The Reality Principle, the mediator
-Allows you to let out the wants of the ID but at socially appropriate times
- what’s interesting about this is that its useful because it shows how biological and social forces come
together to explain the process of the human mind. 09/11/2013
-Acriminal may lack the strength of the EGO or SUPEREGO to keep the ID in check
- Deviant behaviour can be blamed on any of the three parts
-Aggressive behaviours show a transformed death wishes of the uncontrolled ID
- narcotic behavior is an unsuppressed SUPEREGO, explains things like nervous habits or self mutilation
- Some juvenile delinquents are love deprived and fail to develop a strong superego, whereas people who
are spoiled develop too strong of an ID and it cant be controlled properly
- Says people who come from criminal families can develop a criminal SUPEREGO
Life Instinct versus Death Instinct
- Looking at the continuous conflict between the life and death instinct.
- Life instinct: Eros/libido: sex drive, self preservation
- Death instinct: our impulses towards self destruction, acts of aggression or violence.
- Said these two forces are in constant conflict and sometimes in our attempts to deal we can develop
- Freud called this deviant adaptations.
- Said if they are hard to manage people will have additions etc.
- Psychopaths tend to be egocentric and superficial
- Many psychologists began referring to psychopaths as sociopaths so as to acknowledge the importance
of social components in the development of personality disorder
- 1% of the population is said to have passed the psychopath checklist
- Some think the idea of the psychopath is a neurological thing or some say its environmental
- No for sure answer of where this kind of thing comes from but the environment likely plays a factor
- Psychopath is deficient of interpersonal relationships, emotion and self control, can all be present
- often gain satisfaction through anti social behaviour
- Lacks shame or guilt
- Many don’t recognize the risk of being caught for the deviant behaviour they are engaging in
- Just because you have a tendency doesn’t mean you’re a psychopath 09/11/2013
- Test is called the Hare personality test
- Many times people are considered predators because they blend so well with the population and can
mimic normal human emotions properly
- Two good exmaples are Colonel Russel Williams and Paul Bernardo
- Williams is interesting because he was so high profile and at the same time engaging in such violent
behaviour is a sure sign of psychopathic tendencies, no sense of actually being caught.
- he meticulously catalogued all photos of him which is another psychopathic tendency
- he started with pictures then escalated to sexual assault and then murder. –After watching the video we
don’t see an guilt towards having killed and raped all these women but we do see some empathy towards
The Social Disorganization Perspective
- Born out of The Chicago School, actually is aa school in Chicago
- Hugely popular inAmerican sociology and is the birth place ofAmerica Sociologist
- Developed because of money donated by the Rockefeller family
- Suggests social disorganization is indicative of social sickness, or societal sickness
- Positivistic approach to Deviance
- Emphasis: Social Pathology
- Deviance: stems from the instability resulting from rapid social change, when you have all kinds of
people moving in who speak all different languages and all kinds of things are happening so the people
from the Chicago school believed that this rapid social change contributed to deviant behaviour and it was
the recipe for social sickness or pathology
- Should always look at history and environment at the time a theory was developed
- Chicago at this time there was a lot of industrialization and immigration
- deviance stemmed from failure or breakdown of the social order. Causes increase in crime and murder
rate as well as vandalism and suicide according to the theory
- Social Disorganization: the most dominant perspective in the study of deviance from 1890’s to the mid
- Industrial revolution, immigration, migration = rapid social change.
- Emile Durkheim: major influence on this perspective
- Emile is often found the father of sociology from a positivistic approach
- Industrialization created social classes and one of those classes was a very poor under class of people
who were immigrants who didn’t speak the language 09/11/2013
- Like many early sociologists he was influenced by Darwinist evolutionary theories, Darwin saw society
as an organism that adapts and evolves from simple society to more complex society.
- They didn’t think deviance was a biological part of a person… believed it was either a natural part of
society or a result of social sickness.
- Functionalism is the idea that everything in society has a function
- To Durkheim most deviance was natural and helped society function naturally.
Mechanical and Organic Solidarity
- This talks about the evolution of society
- Said the nature of deviances determined on societies place in evolution, if society is complex deviance
will be complex
- The nature of deviance depends on where society is in terms of it’s development – simple to complex
- Common Conscious- held together by mechanical solidarity
- Organic Solidarity- when societies become more complex and increased division of labour
- In more simple societies of pre industrialization there was no hierarchy in terms of the labour force and
most people were all equally valued in your society, when people are deviant in a society like this people
are all equally effected and punished is sever and agreed on by everyone I society… very little
-After the industrial revolution, there is more of a division of labour and an increase of population. This
all creates social classes and people no longer share a common conscious… varying different belief
systems and different ideas of how the world should operate. When deviance happens now the society
wont be outraged until there is a big sensational case for society to be together in upheaval
- Durkheim believed the idea of societies developing is a good thing, people have more freedom of
expression and are free to be more creative but the danger is when people are too free ad there is too little
social control… its good to have a balance.
- Evolution of society is a good thing… but change that happens too rapidly created the conditions for
-Apathological society is one where norms are either too strong or too weak…ANOMIE vs. EGOISM
-Anomie and egoism should always be looked at in connection with Durkhiem
-He was the first too look at societal reasons for suicide
-Anomie societies is a society that lacks integration and lacks group morals holding people in solidarity
- Egoism is a lack of regulation by the group, too much freedom and not enough social control.
Chicago School 09/11/2013
- Rapid Social Change
- One of the driving forces behind the success of the Chicago school was Jane Adams Hull House,
developmental in how we develop policy to this day
- Social Pathology was hugely formed by Jane Addams
- Jane was a little girl in the 1860’s,travelled around with her dad a lot because mom dies, she’s rich, goes
to college full of ambition by institutions don’t accept women so she goes to England to visit Tw
something hall that takes care of the poorest people
- Comes to Chicago and decided she wants to do the same thing, rents a huge mansion who used to
belong to Charles Hall, ton of immigrants who were poor in this area, did factory work that barely made
them enough money to feed fam, no schooling
- First thing she did with the Hall house was a day care, started programmes for children and youth and a
coffee shop for adults so their was a place in the community where these immigrants could come together
- She then went on to be a huge advocate for child labour laws
- In 1893 there was a bill banning exploitation of children in factories
- started a juvenile court system, if poor children caught stealing food or coal and she didn’t want them
being thrown in jail
-Also a big advocate for women’s right to vote and by the time of hear death Hall house filled an entire
Chicago city block.
-Rapid social change leads to the breakdown of norms
- Nursed sick, prepared dead for burial… pretty much enhanced lives of immigrants
-All male scholars at the Hall house used her information for their work and she had a great impact on
American sociology today and at the time she wasn’t given any credit… she later won the Nobel peace
- Hall house was the beginning of the social welfare system we have today.
- 5 Kinds of Change that cause deviant producing social organization: Urbanization, migration,
immigration, industrialization, technological change*****
- Human ecology: views all users of social space seeking individual and group survival in a competitive
- Still out of the Chicago school
- new groups coming in trying to fit into new neighbours hoods and there is a competition for social space
-Ahuman ecology theory of urban dynamics
- 9 ecologically based concepts to examine the survival strategies of human communities, in textbook,
1. Invasion: New group going into already established group 09/11/2013
2. Segregation, separation of these groups
3. Natural areas, unplanned products such as neighbourhood that just pop up
4. Conflict, competition over territory or resources
5. Dominance, strength of one group exerted over another group.
6.Accommodation: Different species adapting to cohabit with one another
7.Assimilation, absorption of ne group by another group… not conflict.
8. Succession, urban neighbourhood taken over by new group
-Also came out of Chicago school
- Zoned cities
Zone 1: Middle loop is like the city center, downtown core… large businesses banks etc. very busy
during the day and deserted at night … few criminals or deviance
Zone 2: Zone of transition, the deviance zone, where all the bad things happen… rooming houses in that
zone and hotels which are home to unskilled workers and students… business zone can spread to this
zone.. a lot of marginalized sub cultures living in this zone as well as immigrants… criminal activity
occurs here because there are not many chances of detection in this zone
- This part of the city will deal with things like high infant mortality, poverty, suicide etc.
- Social order is continuously disrupted
- The more you move out the more settled the area
Zone 3: Second generation immigrants
- Zone of working men’s houses
- Small well kept houses
- Pretty steady
Zone 4: - suburban, white collar executives
Zone 5: Computer zone
- Really rich people live here 09/11/2013
- Don’t look at the stats stuff
Deviance: The perceived violation of norms
- Know the difference between the objective and subjective theories of deviance
Pre scientific approaches to deviance:
- The trickster
- What is the Malleus Maleficarum; identified through three parts how to take care of the witch problem
- Ordeal by water: Bound person by hands and feet and if they sink they aren’t a witch and if they float
they are a witch either way they die
- Moral Panic; H1N1, prohibition etc. When peopled fear outweighs the actual problem
- The red scare; US senator who basically created the idea that there were communists everywhere and
anyone who projected any communist idea could have been jailed or looked at badly being constantly
Three Elements of Deterrence:
3. Certainty Social Deviance and Control 09/11/2013
Functionalist and Strain Perspectives of Deviance
- Got popular in the 50’s and lasted until the 70’s
- Dominant Paradigm until the 1970’s
- Emile Durkheim, founding father
- The View of Society: Asmooth running machine
- Deviance: occurs when something in that smooth running machine breaks down
- Functionalist perspective is one of the first sociological perspectives of deviance
- View of society from functionalist perspective is that it’s a smooth running machine, sees all parts of
society as an important part of the machine working
- Functionalists believe that deviance is an important part of society working
- Moved from being descriptive and moved to being more theoretical
- Believes that deviance is something in the good smooth running machine breaking down
- …. Was viewed as a natural product of the social order and symptomatic of a problem that must be
- Solution to deviant behaviour: Treatment and Rehabilitation, this is important because it says to chnage
the person and not society or the system
- Change the person and not the system, societies job to take any element that doesn’t fit in and change
them because individuals should be a reflection of society and what it stands for
3 Main Points of Functionalism:
1. Consensus, functionalism runs on this ideas, the assumption about society is that what’s good for some
is assumed to be good for all
- what is assumed to be good for some is assumed to be good for all and when the people who are making
the rules are middle class men the consensus is a reflection of that standpoint and leaves out a lot of
2. Equilibrium, system must maintain balance, deviance in society is like access heat in your house, and
your air conditioning is kicking in to cool down this period.
- If there is too much heat in society there will be a response, this also works if there is too little deviance
in society, they will adjust to make more crime in society.
3. Status Quo, there is an interest for functionalists to maintain the status quo and keep things the way
- They believe we shouldn’t fix things that are not broken, very opposed to change Social Deviance and Control 09/11/2013
- Society is the way it is because its good the way it is, it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t good
- Have to ask society is good for who? The powerful and influential
- People who believe in this are those who benefit from the way society is
- When we think like a functionalist it is difficult to see any other cultures as good as our own,
How early functionalists saw change in society:
- If change occurs in the social environment then society adapts to protect themselves and may evolve
internally over time
- Parts of society that no longer serve a purpose they will eventually die out, very Darwin
- This view looks at deviance very much so as an illness.
View of The individual:
- Fucntionalism looks at people as little pieces of the machine, playing their own role … in harmony
- People are imminently perfect-able through the process of socialization (moulded), the individual is
moulded to be a reflection of the values of society, people are expected to conform and its societies job to
shape all people after themselves.
- Society’s job: to shape each person after itself
-ANOMIE: a state of normlessness
- Durkhiem believed we need moral regulation OR society will be chaotic, this is like Hobbes idea of
people being chaotic without government.
-ANOMIC SUICIDE: “normal” response to a lack of moral regulation.
- Durkheim: we need rules and regulations – they are part of the process that holds the social system
- Prior to Durkhiems work on suicide, it was looked at as an individual problem, durkhiem was the first
theory that stepped away from the individual and looked at societies role in suicide.
- Functionalists believed rules were needed to hold the whole together
- Unlike classical theory, functionalism rarely focuses on crime. This is more about keeping people in
society in line
- The structure of society and its systems produce structural strain that cause deviance Social Deviance and Control 09/11/2013
-Attempt to show that social conditions are frequently structured in such a way that they unintentionally
- Exmple, medical schools produce too many doctors that think they will live in a high paid urban life and
really all doctors cant do that so it created competition and this produces strain
- Things such as unnecessary surgery and unnecessary visits misuse of the system for personal gain for
- The structure of how people are socialized in medical school produced this deviant behaviour
- Social conditions are frequently structured in such a way that they UNINTENTIONALLY produce
- Doctors are pushed to making deviant choices because of the way cultural expectations are engrained.
- Subcultural Solutions to strain (ie: police), police subculture
- The strain of serving protecting and controlling is that its not always possible to please everyone, not
always compatible with protecting society
-All officers share stress of having control and trying to keep people in society happy; seen as a juggling
- Creates a sub culture while working in this type of a culture and people see this as deviant (Idea of
police supporting each other within their actions)
- This theory believes this to be a way for police to deal with the strain in their worlds.
- Medical interns at hospitals are expected to work ridiculous hours and such… you’re a doctor and
teaching good health but interns are not practicing this good health in order to be successful, this is a good
example of cultural strain that may create deviant choices, taking drugs to get themselves through all of
- Subculture applies to family strain as well, parents trying to have kids and put them in all these things
the other kids are doing
StrategicAssumptions of Functionalism: NOT ON EXAM
1) Functional Requirements of system survival
2) To look at deviance that has persisted and try to find out what effects it produces that would explain its
contribution to the survival of the system.
**SEND HER EMAILABOUT WEEDS FOR PARTICIPATION MARKS IN CONNECTION TO
STRAINAND THE FAMILY**
Manifest and Latent Functions:
- Robert Merton idea of functions Social Deviance and Control 09/11/2013
- Manifest Functions: Those that are visible, comprehensible and overt, the first function of something,
help us see the world in black and white
- Easy to pass judgement, they might create a level of morality
- Latent Functions: Those whose consequences are less obvious and often unrecognized, the grey area
- Example, the idea of school manifest function would be to learn and be babysat and the latent function
teaches people to be compliant and become good factory workers. Now manifest function is kids sent to
learn and latent function is to make conforming people in our system.
Function and Dysfunction:
- Eufunction: the positive consequences of deviance, theory is that deviance contributes to social order
10 Eufucntions of crime or good functions:
1. Clarification of the rules; deviance can force an unknown or unclear rule to be made more clear,
example, sexting or bullying online, are these things illegal? If not we should look into them being.
2. Testing Rules; Deviance may break rules in order to challenge them, not all rules are necessarily good
3.Alternative means of Goal attainment; Example of how Neishas friends gets his ids in hockey,
organized crime, sometimes this is the only way to get people out of the ghetto to climb up the latter of
4. Safety value; another way of saying a time out from the demands of conformity, example is violence in
hockey or Mardi Gras which is a cultural example… the idea of the safety valve is where deviant
behaviour is acceptable for a time frame.
5. Tension Release and solidarity; groups with high stress tend to always find one deviant member this
makes it more cohesive and integrated when you have a shared enemy
6. Boundary maintenance; deviance may provoke a response that helps integrate society, one example of
this is the witch craze.Another example of this is mens Olympic hockey, so much trouble in Canada but
once something like this comes along there’s a sense of unity to beat the USA
7. Scape Goating; using or blaming someone for all the ills of society, example, Marilyn Manson
8. Raising the value of conformity; when we identify and punish rule breakers we simultaneously feel
really good about ourselves in relation to the person being punished, we feel a bit more worthy, feels good
to be you because your better then that person
9. Early warning system; deviant behaviour in society can be an early warning system indicating that
there is something wrong, something needs to be addressed or controlled.
10. Protection of vested interests; deviance has a very good function I that it keeps our justice, mental
health systems going and we can in the way society is made now focus on poor crimes and keep our
hands and eyes off CEO’s
Kingsley Davis: Sociology of Prostitution (1937), Social Deviance and Control 09/11/2013
-Idea is that family is good, marriage is the norm, heterosexuality is the norm, men need more sex then
women, emotional commitment to the family is good and because prostitution is a profession there is no
emotional commitment there and its strictly an economic exchange
- idea of male domination
The Systems Approach:
- Stresses that society has borders and conflict between groups always seems to solidify these boundaries.
- When there is an enemy, the boundaries become very clear (Us vs. Them)
- Enemies within a society can lead to civil war, doesn’t have to be on a national level
- The negative functions of deviance like abuses we talk about today
- When equilibrium is off and things contribute to stress and strain in society
- Saying if we have too many of those breaking the law then we have a problem.
-All the things that contribute to stress and strain rather than the smooth operation of the whole.
- Social Control can be negative too, functionalists say too much social control and too much regulation
of people is bad too… police asserting their control too much would cause the population too arise
because they are being oppressed, example is police chief in London now… profiling by police onto
Ideology of Rehabilitation:
- Basis for the criminal justice system, moral evaluation.. are you a good person or are you a bad person
- Individual can be “fixed” , if what we have in the system doesn’t work then u are labelled un-correctable
- When the system gives up, the deviant is labelled incorrigible (uncorrectable)
- From a functionalist perspective we never take in any of the social perspectives that deviant people have
in their lives, no accountability to the social conditions one is subjected too.
- Robert Merton
- The Strain between aspirations of the individual and the expectations in society
- when he developed the strain theory he based it on theAmerican Dream, writing in the 40’s and 50’s
whereAmerican dream was a huge motto
- Talks about achievingAmerican dream and the restrictiveness around achieving the American dream
and how this strain can create deviance.
- He makes assumption that everyone ahs the same goal which is money because this means success.
- Says there are legitimate means and illegitimate means of achieving. Social Deviance and Control 09/11/2013
-Assumption: Money = Success
- Involves conforming, achieve goals through hard work.
-There are only certain legitimate means to attaining these goals
- Hard work
- Pay your dues
- Use of illegitimate means puts one in the category of deviant
- Using illegitimate means to achieve goals
- This reflects back on to all those stories myths and parables which teach children to be conforming little
- Deviance is a form of adaptation to the strain that exists between “culturally prescribed aspirations and
socially structured avenues for realizing these aspirations”
- Cultural prescribes aspirations have the assumption that money equal success
- Deviance comes from the idea that we are socialized in all classes and we want the things only
privileged people can get
Modes of Adaption (Merton)
Conformity + +
Innovation + -
Ritualism - +
Retreatism - -
Rebellion +/- +/- Social Deviance and Control 09/11/2013
- Goals are the things you want, means are your way of achieving
- Conformity ++ Is that you believe in the goals and achieve them a certain way
- The innovator believe s in the goals and will achieve them not necessarily by the book, cheat on exams
of take enhancing drugs
- Ritualists, don’t believe in the goals but have the means to achieve them,
- Retreatism, don’t have the goals or the means, don’t achieve anything, don’t go about life in most legit
- Rebellion, goals and means equally come under attack in society, many times this is minorities, idea that
there is a rebellious adaptation to the strain
- example of this is RCMP officer who wanted to carry his sword, achieved goals but wanted to change
rules in the process, this is many times to accommodate cultural or religious beliefs
- Deviance is produced by social inequality
- Capitalism makes deviance inevitable, we need to ask who’s society functional for?
- We need to ask: Functional for whom?
- The Tyranny of the Majority, idea of assuming what’s good for some is good for all
- Functionalism: as long as the majority is happy, that’s all that matters, been replaced by a lot more
reflective theories. Social Deviance and Control 09/11/2013 09/11/2013
Subculture & Social Learning Theories of Deviance:
Subculture & Social Learning Theories…
- Explain deviance as “behaviour or ideas that are produced in subcultures and are transmitted through
- The emphasis is that they are produced in subculture and transmitted through learning , we learn
conformity… says deviant behaviours are not inborn or not biological… deviance is learned.
- Subcultures are groups of people who reject in many ways the influence and norms of the dominant
culture. Co- exist within dominant cultures.
- Some examples of subcultures are gangs, Amish, hippies, goths
In Terms of Deviance…
- Subcultures often involve values and norms that are deviant from the perspective of the wider culture.
1) Argot; the way the group communicates with each other, an insider language and what the language is
designed to do is to show insider status as well as keeping the outsides out and the outsiders from
knowing a groups business.
- used for cohesiveness amongst the group and strengthen the groups identity… created boundaries
2) Vocabularies of motives; Justifications or excuses for the behaviour within the subculture itself,
neutralizes the demands of dominant culture, this is commonly about survival … being a part of the gang
to stay alive in the community
3) Clothing and body language; distinctiveness in clothing and body language,
4) Beliefs and norms; often different in sub cultures and diverge from dominant of mainstream cultures.
Beliefs and norms are different enough from main culture that they set them apart from dominant culture.
5) Mutually supporting networks; important in terms of deviance as well, the assumption that subcultures
are developed through repeated contact and maintained through mutually supporting networks. People
become depend on sub culture for needs and support
- For example, Prison, supporting network becomes other inmates
Amplification of Deviance:
- When you come of out prison and its harder to become a part of main stream culture again because
people don’t trust you the same way and people who do accept you are those who share in the stigma you
Blaming Subcultures and Stereotyping
- Stereotyping exaggerates cultural differences and treat whole groups as deviants 09/11/2013
- Some examples of this are Muslims being terrorist,Asians not being able to drive, Italians being in the
- In most cases, the stereotypes are poor representations of the real behaviour of most members of the
- This can and does impede on the notion of a fair hearing even in a court of law
- Stereotyping in our country about being a native in Canada is that your drunk and violent and lazy. This
does have an impact 09/11/2013
- Example in textbook about Donald Marshall in the textbook in the 70’s was charged for stabbing and
killing another youth, spent 10 years in prison, found innocent but investigation of trial found there was
systematic racism at every level of the trial… communicates to these Natives that they are lesser then
Differential Association (Learning Theory)
- Edwin Sutherland, from the Chicago theory
- Theory used to explain why some become criminal and some don’t and he liked to look at people who
came from same families and same communities.
- Question: Why do some people become deviants and some not?
- Main idea according to Sutherland is that deviance is learned, you can either learn to be a conforming
person or a non conforming person
- Deviance is learned… as is conformity
- People like this because it’s a very sociological explanation for deviant behaviour, there is some real
substance to this theory
- What is differentially associated is not people but definitions
- Is a normal part of being a member of a subculture where there are “excessive definitions favourable to
violations of the law”
- Definitions are normative meanings assigned to behaviour, this means they define an action or pattern of
action as either right or wrong and those are the things we are differentially associated with
- Depends how many times people are exposed to definitions of things that are either criminal or not
- They define an action or pattern of actions as either right or wrong…
Definitions Can be:
- Favourable to actions that violate the law
- Unfavourable to actions that violate the law
-And they can also come in the form of non-verbal expressions of approval or disapproval 09/11/2013
- What were looking at is … while growing up in your house you have the tv on and you hear your
parents reactions and opinions to what’s right and what’s wrong … your learning based on your parents
reactions what is right and wrong behaviour… subconscious learning.
- It will depend on how many definitions your exposed to to figure out what was right and wrong
- Most of us are exposed to both kinds of definitions
- Sutherland uses what looks like the justice scale on page 301 to show a scale of definitions in favour of
deviance and crime and definitions not in favour… showing most of use being exposed to law abiding
definitions so the scale tips to that side and we become law abiding citizens.
- Key word for Sutherland is opportunity, one must have the opportunity to engage in deviant behavior
why will some engage and one wont
According to Sutherland…
- We are shaped by the preponderance of one or the other kinds of definitions in our lives.
- Preponderance means the most, we are shaped by the most kinds of definitions we are exposed to in our
- KEYWORD: for Sutherland… OPPORTUNITY
- One must have the opportunity to engage in deviant behaviour; therefore, the question is “why will
some engage in deviant behaviour and others not?”
Sutherland’s 9 Postulates…
1) Criminal behaviour is learned; this sets the particular theory apart from all other explanations of
deviance and negates and explanations that are not socially learned.
2) An individual learns criminality through interaction & communication with others; during Sutherlands
time he was talking about face to face interactions but now all other kinds of immediate communications
are included… communication doesn’t have to be consciously providing someone with a definition it can
be verbal and unconscious
- We get these messages from how people who are close to us talk about certain things, either positive or
3) The kind of interaction that matters most takes place within small, intimate groups; This is why the
family is so important and the peer group Is also very important. Friends are also very important
socializing agents for us. This should make us question censorship, kids more exposed and affected by
their closer more intimate social group then the public.
4) What is learned in intimate interaction includes both the techniques of the crime and the motives for
the crime; basically he is saying your not just learning techniques or how to commit a crime but your are
also learning the motives and the rational. 09/11/2013
5) Motives and/or drives are learned from definitions of the legal/moral codes as favourable or
6) Deviance comes from excess definitions favourable to violation of the law over unfavourable; the idea
of the scale Neisha drew on the board… this is the centerpiece of the argument
7) Certain variables affect the impact of favourable and unfavourable definitions
-frequency; how often exposure happens, how frequently are you exposed to the definitions
-duration; how long of a period over your lifetime are you exposed
-Priority;Associations you make early in life are more important than the ones you make later in life…
have a stronger impact on your decision making
-Intensity; how much of a vested interest do you have in the person providing the message, more likely to
take more seriously something by your mom or dad
8) The process of learning criminal behaviour involves all of the processes involved in any other
learning; only difference between someone who is conforming or not conforming is what they learned …
not how they learned it . Could say criminals are normal people who learned the wrong lessons.Aperson
who is capable of learning conformity is capable of learning deviance and vice versa.
9) The criminal is not exceptional in what he/she wants; deviance don’t have different needs then
everyone else they just satisfy their needs differently.
- Face to face interaction does not account for “non-interactive role modeling” , theory was updated by
Daniel Glaser and he said differential identification simply identifying with someone can create the same
affect like people we idolize.
- DifferentialAssociation: simply identifying with someone can create the same effect (Daniel Glaser)
- If Sutherland is right, is there a central contraction between putting people in prison and the goal of
rehabilitation? The answer is yes, because if we are learning in our peer group bottom line is people may
come out the other end of prison even more criminal.
Techniques of Neutralization:
- Sykes and Matza, built on Diff.Association theory
- The definitions in favour of norm violation becomes techniques of neutralizing the wrong that is done
They outline 7 techniques to neutralize behaviours
1. Denial of responsibility
2. Denial of Injury
3. Denial of the Victim; that person deserved it
4. Condemnation of the condemners; saying the laws are stupid, break laws because I don’t believe the
law is right 09/11/2013
5.Appeal to Higher Loyalties; Doing it for a cause, suicide bombing is a big example of this.
6. Necessity; Stealing because your family has nothing to eat.
7. Everybody does it; under this could fall things like… “Well rich people get away with it why cant I do it” 09/11/2013
Interaction Theories of Deviance:
-Also a lesson in labelling theory in addition to a lesson of discrimination and how some people create
labels and others fall into these labels.
For Other Theories:
- Looking at the ideas of social control creating categories of deviance… social control comes first
- This emerged in the 70’s
- Common to interaction theories deviance was explained as a violation of the criminal code and there
was something inheritantly wrong with the deviant being and ignored the people who create the category
- Jane Elliot from the movie created the categories of deviance. Dynamic of the classroom changed
- Once kids were labeled they acted as those who were less then… they took on the behaviours of those
who were less then.. example of the card pack
- Looking at the idea of social reaction to deviance.
Social Reaction to an individual will produce deviance…
- labeling has to do with societal reaction to particular behavior, and the subsequent reaction of the
labelee to the label
- The reaction of the people who were in the lesser than category to their label… when the brown eyed
kids preformed less than when they were labeled less
- labeling someone or some behavior as deviant is a process involving interpretation, meaning and the
attribution of deviance.
- Interpretation: How a situation or behavior or act or characteristics is interpreted will determine how we
react to it, reactions are based on standpoints, cultural settings and characteristics of people involved.
- Jane Elliot proves that deviance is situational, what’s deviant in one situation may not be deviance in the
others and she proves this by looking at the kids being deviant one day and not deviant the other day.
- Meaning: Meaning of what we attach to people provide us with a foundation of how we create the
identities of people and how they behave
- Many times this is self fulfilling, we see this that when kids are told they are lesser they preform less 09/11/2013
- Impacts the identify not just from that who’s labeled perspective but also how we view the person
- Attribution of Deviance: Attributing something to someone, example, oh your blond haired and blue
eyed… you must be a dumb blond… attributing characteristics to people based on the label. 09/11/2013
- Point here is that deviance is a social construction that emerges from interaction and the meanings we
apply to certain behaviors, it affects real lives and has real consequences
- When there were no categories created the kids didn’t see each other any different… the minute we did
the kids saw and treated each other differently.
Foundation: Symbolic Interactionism
- Charles Horton Cooley: The Looking Glass Self, a theory of the self from 1902, basis of the theory is
that the development of self is based on three main things
- 1) How individuals imagine they appear to others
- 2) How they believe others judge their appearance( Based on reactions we get from other people)
-3) How they develop feelings of shame or pride based on these
- Says the social self is the root cause of all social behaviour weather you are deviant or conforming…
based on if you develop a positive or negative looking glass
- George Herbert Mead: Our social SELF is developed through the interaction between the “I” and the
- Based on the idea that we are able to see ourselves as both a subject and object, being able to see
ourselves through the eyes of our significant others.
- When we initiate conversation we see ourselves as the I and when we respond we see ourselves as the
- Work heavily influenced by Cooley
- This is based on the notion that we are able to see ourselves as both SUBJECTAND OBJECT.
The “I” and the “Me”
- when we initiate social action – the self operates as a subject (“i”), present at birth, always stays the
same (One I, unique part of us)
- when we take the role of the other – the self operates as an object (“me”) (Many me’s)
- Develop me as you socialize, being a student is a me, being a lawyer is a me being an employee is a me,
constantly changing, not present at birth
- This theory also implies that we cant have a social self without society, self is not possible without
- Knowing someone’s mood from word comes from the ability to take on the role of the generalized other.
Meads 4 stages of socialization:
- Thought socialization was fun 09/11/2013
1. Imitation- When your young your imitating what older people around you are doing… use of language
and symbols like waving is imitating important people in your lives
2. Pretend- 4,5,6.. When you play house, pretend to do things important people do in your lives. Ideas that
kids get for these roles come from their own social experience from their own family or based on what
they see on tv.
3. Game- around 7, 8, 9… when your learn to play games that are a little more complex.. baseball is an
example, you need to understand your position but also all the other positions of those on the team…
more complex then pretending. Being able to take on the role of several other people other then yourself
4. The Generalized Other, when your fully socialized you can take on not only several other roles but also
the cultural standards from which you live in. What does the society you live in view, taking on the bigger
picture. This is when you know for example, most people find you funny.
The dramatization of evil”
- Focus not on deviance as a whole but focused on juvenile delinquents
- Suggested a community cant deal with people it cannot define because idea of labeling has become so
-things that freak us out and we don’t know where to put them would be chaotic
- Labeling and framing behaviour contributed to social order
- labeling creates “kinds of people” which we then expect to behave in the manner imputed to them, what
we are talking about when we label someone and expect them to act the same way
- He talked about most young people behave in some sort of misdemeanor behavior but he found that it is
only the kids that get put through the system that come out the other end having long term deviant careers
- Process hey go through in system reinforces deviant behavior then changes it .
- System creates and amplifies deviant behavior
- Kids more likely to self identify as a deviant.
- Outsiders, huge impact on sociology and criminology and the idea of labeling… about a marijuana
- coined moral entrepreneurs, used it to highlight work involved to apply deviant designations to people.
- The next step of the development of labeling theory
- “social groups create deviance by making rules whose infraction constitutes deviance. deviance is not a
quality of the act, but a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an offender”.
- Point is that the process you go through is no different between deviant or conforming behavior
- Become an outsider once you have been labeled with a deviant master status 09/11/2013
- Name of labeling theory evolved from the above statement by Becker ^
Edwin Lemert, “Primary and Secondary Deviation
- Primary deviation: having been accused of having committed an “act” but not having developed a
deviant identity, don’t think of yourself as a bad person
- example, getting a speeding ticket on your way to kings… don’t think of yourself as a terrible person
- Secondary deviation: coming to think of oneself as deviant, the earlier in life a deviant designation is
given to somebody the more instilled it will become in a person.
- This si where agents of formal social control come in because they have the power to move someone
from primary to secondary deviation. They can officially label a person.
AProcess of :
Action Societal Reaction Self identity (Works for both conforming behaviour and deviant behaviour)
- Those formally charged with imputing (labeling, diagnosing) deviance.
- E.g. social workers, physicians, psychiatrists, media, police, lawyers, judges, teachers.
-Agents of formal social control, same people but different name for different theory.
Primary versus Subordinate Statuses:
- Primary status: an attribute either real or imagined that becomes the principle defining status of an
individual, examples, lady doctor, fat kids.
- How we get seen by the world
- The first word
- Example Robe Ford: Crack smoking = primary status
- Subordinate status: other traits that become eclipsed by the primary status
- Subordinate status= Mayor
Processes of becoming labeled deviant:
- Having the attribute that others consider deviant become one’s primary status
Amplification of Deviance:
- Can have the effect of reinforcing deviance because one has no choice or diminished choice, a deviant
label can encourage commitment to deviant behavior
- Example, George Zimmerman, guy who killed Treyvon Martin 09/11/2013
- Change in self concept can happen as a result of labeling, one initial act for which someone is punished
for can have consequences to lead people down a path of more deviant behavior, this is a patter in
- SOCIAL CONTROL à DEVIANCE
Deviance becomes relative to…
- the norms of the group
- information available to the labelers
- who the labelers are
- authority of the labelers to make the labels “stick”
- “That which is defined as real, is real in its consequences”
The Stigma of Excellence by Judith Posner
- Being exceptional is a “mixed blessing”
- Pay a high price
- Subject to more rigidly proscribed behavioural patterns of decorum (e.g. the Queen—always “on”)
- May apologize for their difference from others
Labeling Women Deviant:
- Edwin Schur
- North American women are trapped by the dominant evaluation of male role characteristics as “good”
but inappropriate (deviant) when attained by women.
- When “male” is the norm, women are deviant for the very fact they’re not men.
7 Characteristics that Interaction Theories Share:
1. Concern for how meaning is constructed
2. Pay little attention to acts that are NOT defined by others as being deviant and acts that fail to become
part of one’s permanent identity as a deviant.
3. Focus more on organized deviance that may become part of the deviant’s social role or identity
4. Deal with the social construction of deviance, their application and the consequences in a sequential
5. Deal with stigma
6.Atendency to engage in “under dog” sociology
7. Supportive of the deviants they study 09/11/2013
Politics and theory
Labeling theory: attacked from the political left and the political right.
- These theories created a lot of controversy and were attacked from both sides of politics, criticized for
the political implications for the work themselves
- RIGHT: Labeling theory depicted deviants as victims, angry at professors for doing this research
because they felt professors were undermining respect for law and excusing behaviour instead of finding
ways to control it
- LEFT: Labeling theory ignored the forces and structures