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Heiner Notes for Midterm 1

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University of Calgary
SOCI 325
Steve Dumas

On the Sociology of Deviance  Erikson- the deviant helps its community establish its moral boundaries and therefore its identity as a community  Can we expect deviants to go into highly deviant places (prison) and come out less deviant?  Communities are boundary maintaining: o take over a particular niche in “cultural space”  develops its own “ethos” or “way”  the only material found in a society for marking boundaries is the behavior of its members (networks of interactions)  group declared how much variability and diversity is tolerated before group loses shape  newspapers are the same entertainment as public hangings  boundaries are never a fixed property of any community  deviant forms of conduct often seem to derive nourishment from the agencies devised to inhibit them  dramatic ceremony to become deviant, then released with nothing  we should be wary that of the assumption that a well structured society is designed to prevent deviant behavior  two currents in society: high degree of conformity and those who encourage diversity, deviants patrol the boundaries Conceptions of Deviant Behavior  Step before the formulation of a relational statement- conception  Conceptions frequently confused with substantive theories, which reflect conceptions Old conceptions:  Lombroso to Sheldon – criminals biologically distinct  Durkheim- some events don’t hurt people, but a radical functionalist would say they do  Garfolo- natural crime, acts that violate prevailing sentiments of pity and probity. Wrong because no “universal crimes”  Sellin- conduct norms, some laws may be arbitrary in other societies  Some acts are criminal or deviant because they are prescribed  the shift from biological to analytical is from actor to the characteristics of their acts The new conception: focuses on external  No intrinsic qualities, contradicts biological and analytical  Kitsuse- forms of behavior per se (intrisictly) do not differentiate deviants from non deviants  Erikson- when there is deviance, “something should be done”  Becker- a consequence of the application by others of rules . Label, “offender”
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