Edwin Sutherland. Differential association theory states that individuals have a greater
tendency to deviate from societal norms when they frequently associate with persons who
favor deviance or conformity.
E.g. Safe cracker example on Page 174. And biker gang example.
Two processes in the definition of deviance. (1) Some people act in a manner contrary to
the expectations of others. (2) Others disapprove and try to control this behavior.
Labeling theory suggests that deviants are those people who have been successfully
labeled as such by others. The process of being labeled is directly related to the power of
the people labeling and the person being labeled.
High school “gangs” example on page 175 where some students are labeled as likely to
success whereas others aren’t. The students that aren’t are arrested more often and are
frowned upon simply because they are from low income families. Both groups
participated in the same activities.
Primary deviance is the initial act of rule breaking.
Secondary deviance occurs when a person who has been labeled as deviant accepts
that label and continues the deviant behavior.
For example, a person might shoplift, and not be labeled deviant and with therefore
continue to do so in the future. Secondary deviance may occur when someone is labeled
as a shoplifter and continues to do so.
Labeled a drug user > Cannot get a job > continues to do drugs.
Moral Entrepreneurs – persons who use their own views of right and wrong to
establish rules and label others as deviant. E.g. MADD.
Moral Entrepreneurs often create moral crusades – public and media awareness
campaigns that help generate public and political support for their causes. E.g.
people against abortion, prostitutes, etc.
Symbolic Interactionist perspectives are concerned with how people learn deviant
behavior, identities, and social roles through interaction with others.
Conflict Perspectives on Crime and Deviance
Conflict theorists feel that people in positions of power maintain their advantage by using
the law to protect their own interests.
The Conflict Approach
Marx influenced the conflict approach. Crime is an expression of the individual’s struggle
against the unjust social conditions and inequality produced by capitalism.