Second-Half of Semester
Deviance and Social Control
Deviance - refers to “the recognized violation of cultural norms.”
Crimes - refer to “the violation of a society’s formally enacted criminal law.”
Social Control - refers to “attempts by society to regulate people’s thoughts and behavior”
Criminal Justice System - refers to “the organizations-police, courts, and prison officials-that
respond to alleged violations of the law.”
Traditional theories for the causes of deviance
1. Biological theories have focused on physiognomy, phrenology, somatology, etc., for
understanding deviant behavior.
2. Psychological theories consider the source of deviance to reside within the individual. They
assume conditions of the mind or personality to be the fault.
a. C. Lombroso (Italian Physician) - used to work with inmates and measure their skulls.
Social Theories of Deviance
1. Social foundations of deviance - All behavior, deviance as well as conformity is shaped by
2. Deviance varies according to cultural norms. No thought or behavior is inherently deviant.
3. People become deviant as others define them that way.
4. Both norms and the way people define rule-breaking involve social power.
Functionalism - Deviance, according to Emile Durkheim, is not an illness of pathology of the
system, but rather something that contributes to society’s positive functioning.
Robert Merton’s Strain Theory
In Merton’s view, societal values determine both what are the appropriate goals as well as
the approved means for achieving these goals. The problem, however is that some people are denied access to the legitimate means of achieving these goals. Because legitimate means to
success are inaccessible to them, they often resort to certain forms of deviant behavior to attain
success. On this perspective deviance is a result of social structure and not the consequences of
Merton notes four types of responses that people make to the culturally prescribed goals
and means: INNOVATION, RITUALISM, RETREATISM, and REBELLION.
Labeling Theory: The idea that deviance and conformity result not so much from what people do
as from how others respond to those actions. This theory advances the relativistic perspective on
Differentiation Association: Like Durkheim, Sutherland does not regard deviance and crime as
the result of either pathology in society or pathological behavior patterns. Crime, he argues, is
learning in much the same way as all ordinary behavior.
Structured social inequality
By definition, social stratification is a “a system by which a society ranks categories of people
in a hierarchy” based on their socio-economic standing.
This system of ranking has four basic principles:
1 - Social stratification is a trait of society, not simply a reflection of Individual differences.
2 - Social stratification carries over from generation to generation.
3 - Social stratification is universal but variable.
4 - Social stratification involves not just inequality but beliefs as well.
*Social Darwinism - People with the highest natural ability (intelligence) end up at the top.
Those with the lowest natural ability fall at the bottom.*
Social Stratification System in Pre-Industrial Societies
Almost all pre-industrial or agrarian societies had a caste system which was based on ascription.
A Caste System is a ranking system in which the socioeconomic positions of individuals are
based on inheritance or place of birth. This system of stratification is often called a closed
system. It means there is little or no social mobility.
(You are born in same caste, you grow up in the same caste, and you die in the same caste.)
Social Stratification in Industrial Societies
Modern individual societies create so many new occupations that require a great deal of
developing talent and skill. Such a demand allows the breakdown of the caste system and instead
establish a new system of stratification which is called a class system. This type of a society
often refers to it as an open system. IN a class system people are ranked based on tooth place of
birth and individual achievement. In other words, there are some measures of social mobility in
modern industrial societies.
Social Mobility - refers to a change in position within the social hierarchy.
Meritocracy - refers to a social stratification system based on personal merit.
The Social Stratification System in Pre-Industrial Europe and Japan
Caste systems were typical of agrarian societies in Europe and also in Japan. For example,
England and some other European societies had a ranking system which haas called Estate
System. These societies were composed of three such Estates:
1 - First Estate which refers to the top members of the church, or clergy.
2 - Second Estate refers to nobility or aristocracy.
3 - Third Estate refers to commoners.
Ideology: The Power Behind Stratification
The most important reason that social inequalities endure is Ideology.
Ideology refers to “cultural beliefs that justify particular social arrangements, including patterns
Social Classes in the United States
The criteria of wealth, income , power, occupation, education, and prestige, are often use to
determine the class position of the American people.
The upper class makes about 5% of the US Population and composed of two parts: upper-uppers
(old money/blue blood) and lower-uppers(“new rich”). The family income starts from $200,000
a year. The middle class makes around 40 to 45 percent of the US population. A portion of this class is
called the upper-middle class with the range of $113,000 to $200,000 income, and the average
middle class with family income between $48,000 and $112,500. (Members of the middle-class
perform “white collar labor.)
The working class makes about one-third of the population with a family income between
$27,000 and $48,000.
The lower class makes about 20 percent of the population with low income which makes their
life insecure and difficult.
Distribution of Income and Wealth in the US, 2011
1. top 20% 48.8% 88.9%
2. second 20% 23.0% 9.4%
3. third 20% 15.1% 2.6%
4. fourth 20% 9.3% 0.5%
5. fifth 20% 3.8% -1.4%
*The wealth of the average US family is currently about $77,000. In 2007, it was $127,000.*
Global Social Stratification
Global social stratification or global inequality refers to “Patterns of social inequality in the
world as a whole.” Social inequality in global perspective is far greater than in the United States.
Income and Wealth Distribution in the Global Perspective (2008)
World Population Income Wealth (2011 in parentheses)
1. top 20% 77% 83% (93.6)
2. second 20% 13% 10% (4.7)
3. third 20% 5% 4% (1.6)
4. fourth 20% 3% 1.6% (0.4) 5. fifth 20% 2% -0.3% (-0.3)
World System of Stratification
Criteria for Classifying Nations
1. Per Capita Income - Dividing the nation’s income by it’s population.
2. Where People Live - What % lives in the city? What % lives in the countryside.?
3. Percent of Income - What % of the world income do these countries possess?
⁃ Seventy-two nations of the world are considered high-income nations.
⁃ Per capita income (that is, average income per person per year) ranges from $12,000 to
⁃ 78% of the world income belongs to these seventy-two nations.
⁃ About 75% of the people in high-income nations are living in or around cities
⁃ In 2010, the total population on thee nations was about 1.8 billion, or about 23% of the
⁃ Seventy nations of the world fall within this category.
⁃ Per capita income of these nations ranges from $2,500 to $12,000.
⁃ About 52% of the people in this category live in or near cities.
⁃ About 4.2 billion people of the world live n these nations.
⁃ About 19% of the world total income belongs to these nations.
⁃ Fifty-three nations of the world fall into this category.
⁃ Per capita income is less than $2,500.
⁃ About 1 billion people of the world live in these nations.
⁃ About one-third of people in these nations live in or near cities.
⁃ About 1% of the world income goes to these nations.
First World - Refers to industrialized, capitalist, and modernized countries. These countries
experience great social change due to industrialization.
Second World - Socialist/Communist countries
Third World - Refers to countries who have the least developed societies.
Poverty in the Global Context Poverty is much more severe in the least developed nations. About one-third of the people in
low-income nations are in desperate need.
There are two types of poverty:
Absolute poverty - People who don’t have an adequate amount money to take care of basic
necessities. (Food, shelter, clothes, etc..)
In rich nations, most people die after the age of 75, but in poor nations, half of all deaths occur
among children under the age of 10. Absolute poverty, in global perspective is the most serious
problem that a great portion of the world population is facing.
The Extent of Poverty
Absolute poverty is greatest in Africa, where half of the population is malnourished. IN the
world as a whole “at any given time, 17% of the people — about 1.4 billion — suffer from
chronic hunger, which leaves them less able to work and puts them at high risk of disease.”
About 9 million people die every year in the world because of hunger and related problems.
Poverty Among Women and Children
According to organizations fighting child poverty, about 100 million children living in cities in
poor nations “beg, steal, sell sex or work for drug gangs to provide income for their families.”
Another 100 million of the world’s children are “orphaned or have left their families altogether,
sleeping and living on the streets as best they can…”