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Defiance and Crime

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SOC 101

SOC 101 November 28, 2011 Deviance and Crime Deviance  The recognized violation of social norms o Behavioral o Beliefs o Condition or characteristic  Stigma o Any physical or social attribute that devalues a person’s social identity and disqualifies the person from full social acceptance  Informal o Violates customary norms  Folkways and mores o Informal sanctions  Social disapproval  Formal o Breaking official rules or laws  Some mores and taboos o Formal sanctions  Imprisonment and fines o Crime Social Control  Systematic practices that social groups develop to encourage conformity and discourage deviance  Internal social control o Via socialization  External social control o Negative sanctions (formal or informal)  Criminal justice system Sociological perspectives  Focus on social context, not individual behavior  Recognizes not all behaviors are judged similarly by all groups  Emphasizes how rules and norms are socially created  Deviance is relative; An act is not deviant until defined as such  Relevant questions o What types of behavior are defined as deviant? o Who does the defining? o How are deviant identities formed? o How does society deal with deviants?  Functionalism o Deviance is rooted in societal factors  Rapid social change  Lack of social integration o Social functions of deviance  Clarifies rules  Unites a group  Promotes social change o Dysfunction  Occurs when too many people violate social norms  Creates unpredictability, chaos, and violence o Functionalism  Deviance occurs when people cannot reach culturally approved goals through socially approved means  Innovation  Ritualism  Retreatism  Rebellion Goals Accept Do Not Accept Accept Conformist Ritualism: (Not deviant) Keep doing what is socially expected even if they don’t believe they’ll succeed Do Not Accept Innovation Retreatism (deviant) Rebellion: change Legitimate Means  For deviance to occur people must have access to illegitimate opportunity structures  Provide opportunities to acquire a desired end through illegitimate means  Examples?  Symbolic interactionist o Deviance is more likely to occur when ties to society are weak o Deviance is learned within intimate personal groups that contain individuals who do not conform o Labeling process  Agents of social control label certain people as “deviants”  The “deviant” person comes to accept the label and act accordingly  Stages  Primary deviance  Initial act of rule breaking  Others aren’t labeling individual yet  Secondary deviance  Person has been labeled as deviant, accepts the new identity, and continues the deviant behavior  Tertiary deviance  Person who has been labeled as deviant seeks to normalize the behavior by relabeling it as non- deviant (ex. – marijuana users try
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