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Lecture 6

SOCL 2001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Social Control, Symbolic Interactionism, Genetic Predisposition

Course Code
SOCL 2001

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I. What is deviance?
a. The violation of norms
i. Example: driving over the speed limit, murder, etc.
ii. Neutral term that refers to any act with a negative response
iii. Stigma
1. Blemishes that discredit a person's claim to a normal identity
a. Violations of norms including appearance, ability, and memberships
i. Examples: huge nose, blindness, brother of a rapist, etc.
b. Norms make social life possible by making behavior predictable
b. Crime
i. The violation of norms written into law
1. Example: profiteering, shoplifting, etc.
c. Social order
i. A group's usual and customary social arrangements on which its members
depend and on which they base their lives
1. Why deviance is seen as threatening
ii. Social control
1. A group's formal and informal means of enforcing its norms
a. At the center are sanctions
d. Sanctions
i. Negative
1. An expression of disapproval for breaking a norm, ranging from a mild
informal reaction such as a frown to a formal reaction such as a fine or
prison sentence
ii. Positive
1. An expression of approval for following a norm, ranging from a smile or
good grade in a class to a material reward such as a prize
e. Competing explanations of deviance: sociobiology, psychology, and sociology
i. Biosocial
1. Genetic predisposition
a. Inborn tendencies
i. Tendency to commit deviant acts
2. Street crime
a. Crimes such as mugging, rape, and burglary
i. Men with an extra Y chromosome tend to commit these
b. Illegitimate opportunity structure
i. Opportunities for crimes that are woven into the texture of
3. Psychological
a. Personality disorders
i. The view that a personality disturbance of some sort causes
an individual to violate social norms
Subconscious motives drive people to deviance
ii. Sociological
1. Factors outside the individual
2. Look for social influences that recruit people to break norms
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