HREQ 2020 Lecture Notes - Social Control, Scientific Control, Heteronormativity

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Published on 18 Apr 2013
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DEVIANCE, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL CONTROL
LECTURE 1: SEPTEMBER 15TH, 2011
STUDYING AND DEFINING DEVIANCE
What is deviance? This is difficult because it can refer to many different things. There is no
complete definition of deviance. A criminal act is usually a form of deviance but not all acts that
are deviant are criminal. The laws and criminal code allow us to spot crimes much easier
compared to deviant acts.
Some people are interested in deviance because they live in fear and want to protect themselves
even though we are aware that the crime in society is declining. Others have a curiosity about
deviant behaviour. People are fascinated by the “horrible” like murderers because of the media.
Vampires in the media is a fantasization of death and is tied to the Goth culture where death is
something that is taken seriously. Some study deviance because they witness it around them
and their co workers. It captures people's attention. Example: going against gays and then being
exposed as someone who is gay is saying one thing and doing another.
Deviance is tied to power, social movements, and mass mentality. Example: student who
behaved like a guest in their own home or students who convinced their teacher that they were
going to commit a crime. Though we know certain messages are deviant we may still follow
that leader.
IMPORTANT: “Outsiders”-bikers, prostitutes, drug addicts, mentally ill people etc. Others
argue that it is not just one class that exhibits deviant behaviour. There is an inherit class bias
among the topic of deviance.
IMPORTANT: the way in which deviance is understood by scholarship affects the way in which
we choose to control and manage it. Theories of deviance have policy implications. Example: if
we think that deviant behaviour is based on something biological this can cause for eugenics
programs (sterilizing and eliminating certain sectors of the population).
NO SUCH THING AS PURE OBJECTIVITY. NO OBJECTIVE TRUTH THAT IS
UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED.
Achievement of value neutrality. We use these value to describe life. “Slums”, “whores”,
“pervert”. DO NOT SAY PROSTITUTE SAY SEX TRADE WORKER. There are some
features that may or may not apply. Sometimes if something is deviant it is statistically rare.
Example: drinking to the point of being completely drunk. Harmfulness-if a behaviour is
harmful to you or others it is more likely to be seen as deviant. Example: terrorists. One
person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. Sometimes its called ontological harm-the
sense of reality that surrounds us. Example: the Earth is not the center of the universe. This
disrupts the way people think. It is the destruction of knowledge. Deviance does not just refer to
people. Deviant plant-marijuana. Sometimes people of difference are themselves placed into the
category of being deviant. Example: political figures promising jobs to new Canadians but
referring to them as immigrants.
Behaviours that are deviant are not as harmful as the cost of controlling them. Example: war on
drugs use vast amounts of money, destroy plants and farmland, ruin people's lives. Trying to
stop this deviance is more harmful than the deviance alone. Example: parents controlling their
children causing for a home that is not at peace to develop.
IMPORTANT: Protection is the archetype of domination.
Social norms and standards; the common sense in the community. Sometimes people break the
norms. This is therefore seen as a threat to some. Th dominate controlling the majority of the
population is seen as deviant. Deviance is positive because it pushes the possibilities and allows
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Document Summary

This is difficult because it can refer to many different things. A criminal act is usually a form of deviance but not all acts that are deviant are criminal. The laws and criminal code allow us to spot crimes much easier compared to deviant acts. Some people are interested in deviance because they live in fear and want to protect themselves even though we are aware that the crime in society is declining. People are fascinated by the horrible like murderers because of the media. Vampires in the media is a fantasization of death and is tied to the goth culture where death is something that is taken seriously. Some study deviance because they witness it around them and their co workers. Example: going against gays and then being exposed as someone who is gay is saying one thing and doing another. Deviance is tied to power, social movements, and mass mentality.

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