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Lecture 13

Sociology 1020 Lecture 13: DEVIANCE

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Sociology 1020
Kim Luton

Sociology 1020 Deviance Note Deviance: the recognized violation of cultural norms. Sociology looks at the structural causes of deviance. Problem with this Definition • Objective view: presence of certain characteristics defines deviance • Subjective view: no shared, observable characteristics defines what or who is deviant. A behaviour or an act becomes deviant when it is socially defined as one. Deviance Defined: It’s Difficult Objectivists (or “Moral Absolutists”) • Statistical Rarity: though criteria – what counts as a “rare” percentage? • Societal Harm: physical or emotional harm to individuals or harm to the social order. For example, smoking causes harm to the individual, but spray-painting causes harm to the society. • Societal Reaction • Normative Violation Subjectivists (or “Moral Relativist”) • Social typing process: o Description: placing a label on someone who looks deviant o Evaluation: taking the label and placing a judgment on it. Making a good or a bad evaluation. o Prescription: social control. ▪ Preventative Social Control: prevents people from being deviant. • Formal: people who can actually do something – e.g. police psychiatrists, profs – people who will give warnings. • Informal: parents, peers, and coworkers. ▪ Retroactive: Comes after the deviance has already been done. • Formal: a cop arresting someone, or psychiatrists admitting someone to a mental institution, or a prof failing a student. • Informal: parents grounding their children, coworkers shunning, etc. Social Control Attempts by society to regulate people’s thoughts and behaviours. • Informal • Formal Social Control Theory Hirschi: all people are potential deviants. It asks, “why don’t people deviate?” • Deviance is deterred by… o Attachment o Involvement o Commitment o Beliefs Functionalism Stability and consensus are key. Anomie leads to deviance. • Deviance = eufunction – accommodate (“acceptable deviance”) 2 DEVIANCE • Deviance = dysfunction – ‘fix’ Functions of Devainace? • Unite people • Moral holiday • Provide scapegoats • Sets moral boundaries • Mark bottom layer of society • Warning sign • Social change • Jobs Anomie: a feeling of normless or an absence of social regulation of behaviour, • Merton adds non-achievement causes anomie. • Differential opportunity – seeking through illegitimate means. Symbolic Interactionism • Sutherland’s Differential Association: Whom you hang out with – people learn and define deviance in groups. If it’s rewarded, it’ll be repeated. o Based on frequency, priority, duration and intensity of face to face relations with significant others. • We learn to be deviant the same way we learn to conform. Sykes and Matza Delinquents feel guilty, but will rationalize their behaviour using five techniques: 1. Condemn Condemners – e.g. “Everyone steals. Why pick on me? If I don’t do it to him, he’ll do it to me!” 2. Blame Victim – e.g. “He has it coming! She talked back! He has a bad attitude!” 3. Deny Responsibility – e.g. “They made me do it! I don’t have a choice! It’s either me or him!” 4. Deny Injury – e.g. “They have insurance! They have too much money! What’s one CD to a big store?” 5. Appeal to higher loyalties – e.g. “He is a stranger! Only cowards run away! I have to protect my buddies!” Labeling Theory The process by which the label ‘deviant’ becomes attached to some individuals and some forms of behaviour. • Not the behaviour, but the audiences reaction that determines whether an act is deviant or not. Primary Deviance – Lemert • Non-conformist acts which occur before a formal or legal response to the behaviour occurs. Secondary Deviance – Lemert Sociology 1020 Deviance Note • Behaviour that occurs after primary deviance and results from the transformation of an individual’s self-concept from someone who simply did something “bad,” to someone who sees themselves as “bad.” • Deviance amplification: the belief that reacting to deviance may increase deviance and could lead to more serious forms of deviance – when someone is
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