SOC MIDTERM 2 REVIEW
Chapter 5: Criminal Behaviour—An introduction
In most American college and university curricula, courses designated with
“deviance” or “deviant” in the title tend to examine a subject manner that’s
different from yet overlaps with courses the department lists on crime.
3 Distinctive emphases at the study of deviance and crime:
o First, we’d see the emphasis of the positivist criminologists. The
majority of criminologists focus on “hard” or “high consensus”
deviance—those activities the enactment of which is likely to result in
arrest and improvement, such as robbery, rape, murder.
The central issue in the natural science model adopted by
criminology is etiology (why do they do it?); explanation is
o A Second emphasis of researchers of deviance and crime is that
adopted by Marxists, radicals, and critical theorists.
They are mainly interested not so much in criminal behaviour
as the processes adopted by th ruling elite to control persons
and behaviour the elite’s members regard as troublesome
This perspective is a top down approach: Tules and las issue
from the most powerful strata of the society, they say, because
that strata’s representatives aim to protect their own material
and ideological interests.
National alcohol prohibition was instituted because the
capitalist elite wished to maintain an efficient, hard-working
labor forced; Prohibition failed because the capitalist was
instituted because the capitalist ekute was fearful that
widespread violations of the liquor laws would create
disrespect for the laws would create disrespect got the law
and, hence, subvert the capitalist system
o A third emphasis is adopted by sociologists who study deviance as
opposed to crime. It is mainly inhibited by social constructionists, and
its researchers usually focus on soft or low-consensus deviance, that
is, behaviour that may be technically against the law but is unlikely to
leads to arrest, being punished mainly informally, unofficially, and
In the study of deviance, we are more interested in the exercise of informal
sanctions than formal
The sociology of deviance is not coterminous with the field of criminology.
The two fields study different although overlapping phenomena.
Some critic claim that the topics covered by deviance texts are too repetitive
with the topics that are covered in criminology texts
The instructor of deviance should ensure that students do not receive the
same information in both courses.
They suggest that a discussion of the usual crimes be dropped and propose a
wider range of noncriminal but deviant phenomena be substituted, including unconventional political and religious beliefs, a variety of conditions, both
psychic and physical, nudism, homelessness and suicide
One reason why all crime cannot be dropped out of deviance texts is that
certain concepts that center on defining deviance—deviant labelling, stigma,
acquiring an unconventional identity, the neutralization of deviant
definitions, deviant careers and exiting from deviance
In making a point about a concept, it may be necessary to refer to its
relevance to certain types of criminal behaviour.
When the focus is on theoretical and analytical concepts, the subjects’
deviance and crime only superficially discuss the same topics in different
points of view.
Crime is both an objective reality whose causes and consequences can be
investigated and a concept that people talk and try to do something
Crime and Deviance: A conceptual Distinction
Most of the conventional or mainstream public regards having been
convicted of and imprisoned for a crime, as stigmatizing.
A broad definition of deviance sees any and all punishing or condemnatory
reactions—regardless of whether it comes from a friend or the criminal
justice system—as the defining criterion of deviance.
o Crime is sufficient for deviance to exist, but it is not necessary
o According to this definition, a crime is a violation of one specific kind
of norm—a law—which generates formal sanctions
A second, somewhat different, definition of deviance is offered by other
observers. By this definition, deviance is solely and exclusively informal and
interpersonal in nature, while crime is specifically the violation of formal
norms and, hence, is conceptually separate and distinct from deviance.
o According to this definition, crime is not deviance. Crime and deviance
are two different and separate phenomena.
To sum up: one, criminality is not a necessary defining criterion of deviance
according to any definition. Two: to the extent that crime is stigmatizing, it us
a form of deviance by all definition. And 3: According to some definitions of
deviance, and according to others, crime is separate and distinct from
The analytic or theoretical concepts that run through any course on
deviance—and which will run through this book—may also apply to any
number of illegal actions.
Different set of scholars focus on somewhat different subject matters.
Specialists in crime tend to focus on behaviour that generate formal
sanctioning, as well as the origin, dynamics, and consequences of the formal
Common Law and Statutory Law
Common law stems from ancient custom, tradition, and precedent. These
laws are based on unwritten law. These laws are based on written law
The implication of common law is that it is not come into being as a result of
the pressure of social interest groups, but has the force of tradition behind it.
The history of common low was a 3 step process
o First, such laws began as tradition.
o Then were codified judicially, in the court room, by legal precedent;
o And finally, they were enacted into statutory form
Laws whose existence began as statutes have a history that is completely
different from laws that began in the common law tradition
Unlike the primal or common law that has come down to us after thousands
of years, most illegal behaviour defined by a set of statutes is often subject to
change over time and may vary from one jurisdiction to another
Prior to 1973: abortionwas illegal
1970s: more than a dozen states decriminalized small quantity marijuana
possession, and a dozen have made medical marijuana legal.
Early 1960s: homosexual acts between consenting adults were against the
The legislative status of the sale of alcohol has come full cirvle over the years,
from legal to illegal to legal.
A measure of relativity exists, not so much with respect to whether the
actions are against the law or whether they are considered wrong, but
judgements dependent on when, by whom, and under what circumstances
such crimes were presumably committed.
While primal crimes have existed for thousands of years, the judgement that
such a crime took place has varied according to local custom and tradition.
What is our mission? Constructionism versus Positivism
Crime is constructed by definitions—called laws—and interpretations of
those laws that regard certain actions as unlawful, worthy of punishment,
and other actions as acceptable and noncriminal.
For certain criminal statutes, consensus does not exist, and the laws change
from one decade to another.
In addition to the relatively we see in whats a crime from one time period to
another and from one society to another, there is also a common core to
There is a set of statutes that exists everywhere, and if violated, arrest,
prosecution, and imprisonment are likely to follow
One of the positivists mission is the study of the cause of widely criminally
Common core crimes also form the common core of the subject matter of
The majority of criminologists study the causes, consequences, and control of
common law of street crimes, acts that are defined as criminal throughout
through history and in most or nearly all places of human habitiation. There is a measure of consistency the world over in what is regarded as
street or Index type crimes. There is a common core to whats considered
o What’s regarded as a legally punishable offense is not random, not
entirely dependent on the characteristics of the offender, and not
completely relative from one time and place to another
Just because statutes came into existence only in the past century or the past
few decades does not mean that their violation is not harmful to the society,
or that their understanding is not important for the criminologist’s mission
The Uniform Crime Reports
The seven Index Crimes are predatory crimes: entail one or more parties
victimizing one or more other parties
THE FBI’s annual Crime in the US is based on the populations reporting of
crimes to the police
Some Index Crimes are hugely underreported
Crimilogists believs that judging from victimization surveys—which is a
major data source on crime for criminologists—assault and rape are two or
three times as common as the police data indicate
The FBI has collected the data reported to the UCR’s Crime in the US since
In each jurisdiction, when Part 1 offenses are reported to the police, they are
“founded”, recorded, and tabulated by each jurisdiction; then, yearly, the
totals are sent to the FBI, which adds up their incidence nationwide.
Property crime is much more common than violent crime.
Murder and nonnegligent manslaugheter: wilful… killing of one human
being by another.
Murder is, by far, the least common Index Crime, and one of the rarest crimes
on the books.
Forcible rape: the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.
Assaults and attempts to commit rape by force or threat of force or threat of
force are also included; however statutory rape and other sec offenses are
Forcible rape is the most underreported of the violent crimes.
Robbery: the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care,
custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force of
violence and/or putting the victim in fear.
Aggravated Assault: an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the
purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.
Property crime is much more common than violent crime Property crime: the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or
theft. The use of force to gain entry is not required to classify an offense as a
Larceny theft is a grab bag category; it includes acts of stealing that are not
robbery, not bulgary, not the theft f a motor vehicle and not “embezzlement,
confidence games, forgery and writing and attempting to pass worthless
Larceny theft: the unlawful taking, carrying, leading or riding away of
property from possession or constructive possession of another; Attempts to
do these acts are included in this definition. This crime category includes
pocket-picking, purse snatching, thefts from motor vehicles, thefts of motor
vehicle parts and accessories, bicycle thefts, and so forth.
More latency thefts are reported to the police than all other Index Crimes put
together; even so, larceny theft is the most underreported of all serious
Motor vehicle theft: the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. This
offense includes the stealing of automobiles, trucks, busses, motorcycles,
The US has the world highest motor vehicle theft rate
Property Crime as Deviance
In societies everywhere and throughout the span of human existence,
whenever anything of value could be owned by individuals, some other
individuals coveted, and stole, whatever it was, and societies promulgated
rules that prohibited such theft
Larceny is in the American heart. Most of us steal very little and very
infrequently =, while very few of us steal a great deal, and steal frequently.
Theft flourishes in societies in which some member do not care a great deal
about the deprivations they cause to their fellow citizens, or where members
of different societies come into contact with one another and the wants and
need of the member of the other society are deemed of no significance.
Stealing is high in societies in which the collective conscience has broken
down, in which the social community has become a fiction
Theft is common because some among us want certain things and how we
acquire those things matters less than having them.
Stealing is particularly common in societies in which inequaties in income
and other resources are sharp, stark, and publicized, and as anomie theory
argues, where persons at the bottom of the hierarchy learn to want the things
that the more affluent have
The street theives whose acts are tabulated in the pages of the UCR run the
gamut from the rankest amateur who shoplifts to obtain items he or she sees
other enjoying to the professional who earns a comfortable livelihood
exclusively from larceny.
A nation with high rates of theft, as Merton argues, is one that
o Emphasizes material values o Manifests great material differences between rich and poor
o Prominently displays the possessions of the affluent
o Portrays the possessions of the affluent to attainable for everyone
o Deemphasizes the means of attaining these possessions
o Makes it difficult, if not nearly impossible, for a substantial number of
a society’s members to obtain these possessions legally.
Among the tugs and pulls inducing people to attempt thievery as a means of
earning money, two stand out most prominently.
o The first would be the gap between poverty and having cash
o In the neighbourhood studied by Phillippe Bourgeois, “El Barrio” or
East Harlem in New York, 40% of all households earned no legally
declared wages or salary at all.
It is not poverty alone that guarentees high rates of poverty crime; theft
tends to be rare in some nations of the world in which people are the most
In Principle, a cross national comparison of property crime should enrich our
understanding of the fctors that contribute to theft and why it is so much
more common in some societies than in others.
Propert crimes takes place most in the wealthier countries
It almost seems as if burglary is inversely correlated with affluence, with
many of the wealthiest countries having the highest rates of burglary and
some of the poorest having the lowest
The second factor that many thieves claim caused them to steal is that most
jobs available to a poor, uneducated young person are not interesting or
Richard Wright and Scott Decker argue that, for the burglar, the pressing
need for cash is the primary factor in committing a crime.
For most of Wright and Deckers sample, the decision to go out on a job was
governed largely by the amount of money in their pockets. Many of them
would not offend so long as they had sufficient case to meet current
Wright and Decker also explain that burglars’ accounts are to be taken with a
grain of salt.
These researchers explain among the major purposes for which the offenders
used the money derived from burglary was the maintenance of a lifestyle that
centered on illicit drugs, but frequently incorporating alcohol anf sexual
conquests as well.
In addition to simple survival and keeping the part going, roughly half of
Wright and Decker’s burglars said that they used the money they stole to
purchase “status” items
Most wanted to impress others with their sartorial splendour, to be seen as a
better class of person than they actually were.
Property crime has declined very sharply since the 1970s.
In 1973 the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), the total property
crime rate in the US was nearly 550 per thousand households. In other words, during that year, more than half of all American households
were victimized by at least one property crime.
Shoplifting and Employee Theft
Shoplifting falls under the FBI’s classification as a form of larceny theft.
However, it possesses several features that make it distinctly different from
some of the other crimes that also fall under that classification, such as
Since shoplifting is typically not an offense against a specific victim, we don’t
have more accurate figures on their incidence from victimization surveys.
To the sociologist of deviance, what makes shoplifting most interesting is
that, despite the fact that it is a crime—a type of property crime—a
substantial proportion of its perpetrators are respectable, very different from
the burglar and the motor vehicle thief.
For the most part, shpolifters are respectable folks and shoplifting borders
on respectable behaviour. Serious stigma does not adhere to persnos who
steal low value items once in a while from stores
When we compare rates of larceny theft recorded in the UCR bu the FBI with
rates of theft from persons and households in victimization surveys, we see
that the overwhelming majority of simple thefts aare not reported to the
A team of criminologists at the University of Florida headed by Richrd
Hollinger conducts the National Retail Security Survey, sampling retail stores
about inventory skrinkage that is, the loss of goods or money during a given
time period. Results: the actual value of inventory stolen via shoplifting is
more than 30 times greater than what is reported to the police.
Shoplifter’s come in two basic varieties: the booster and the snitch.
o Boosters steal primarily for the purpose of resale, to earn a living or
augment what they already earn.
o Snitches are amateurs and steal mainly for the personal use of the
items they take
The greater the value of the items taken, the greater the likelihood that the
thief will ne reported to the police.
As we saw, the National Retail Security Survey conducted by Richard
Hollinger estimated that nearly half of the inventory shrinkage that retail
stores lost was due to employee pilferage
Employees steal not only from retail stores but also from all workplace
This type of crime attracts relatively little attention from criminologists and
Criminological studies on money making street crimes probably outnumber
those on employee pilferage by the ratio of 100-1
The general public doesn’t feel threatened by employee pilferage because
organizations, retail stores, and corporations are impersonal, faceless
To the constructionist, perhaps the most endlessly fascinating feature of
social life is what can be called perturbations, or unexpected
discrepancies between different realms of social life
An entire field of psychology called judgemental heuristics has grown
up around just an observation.
People tend to think in stereotypes, discount evidence that disconfirms
their biases, ignore sample size, poorly estimate probability, and recall
instances that incorrectly validate their biases.
If we are told that a person possesses certain characteristics and then
asked to guess his or her profession, we tend to guess according to how
we mentally fit the characteristics together with steretypes we hold of the
sort of person who works at such profession rather than the real world
likelihood of people working in that profession.
Perhaps the greatest of such discrepancies we find is that between fear
and risk: Often, what we fear most is the least likely to happen while what
we fear least likely to happen, while what we fear least is far more likely.
Most people are concerned about and fear “street” crime, especially
violent crime, far more than other sources of danger. But the fact is, in the
Us, we are far less likely to be murdered than to die of tobacco related
More likely to be a victim of a corporate crime than murder or rape etc.
The public fears violence at the hands of a stranger far more than
violence at the hands of intimates.
Intimates are far more likely to inflict violence on us than strangers.
Of all the violence that takes place, a substantial proportion stems from
the very people we are closest to—and yet, for most of us, they are the
very people we fear the least.
• Violence is social and cultural construct
• Labelling an act as violence is not solely dependent on the harm inflicted but on
what the audience consider illegitimate, unjustified inexcusable motives
The Social Construction of Murder
• It is true that murder is universally condemned
• By definition, murder is a deviant , criminal killing
• Murder is always and by definition deviant
• The verb to kill is objective and descriptive/ simply refers to the taking of human
life, regardless of motive or circumstance
• In contrast the use of the term "to murder" is subjective, a judgement that a
particular killing belongs to a category of deviant acts
• All societies accept, tolerate, authorize, legitimate and even encourage certain sorts
• A question to keep in mind: "what sorts of killings are judged as criminal and deviant?"-and which ones are tolerated, accepted and condoned-not considered criminal
Murder: The Positivist's Mission
• Criminal rates in the U.S were high during the 1930 mostly due to poor medical
care-people died on the streets..
• The category criminal homicide is a social construct, but once we've agreed on a
definition and we' ve encompassed the actions included within that definition, we notice
that these actions are socially patterned generalizations
1. The public and media image of murder is extremely distorted
i. Most murder take place during the course of an altercation between two
uneducated males with low impulse control
2. Most murders take place in the heat of the moment
3. Most murders are justified b killers as a form of vindication , a way out of an
4. The more intimate the relation, the greater the likelihood that one person will
5. Murderers and victims look remarkably alike
6. Murders tend to be overwhelmingly intraracial
i. This means that blacks tend to kill blacks
7. African Americans are both more likely to kill and to be the victims of
criminal homicide than whites are
8. Murder is related to social class
i. Murders are typically committed by people toward the bottom of the
9. Everywhere men are much more likely to kill than women
i. Men loom much larger in the criminal homicide picture, both as killers
and as victims
10. Rates of criminal homicide vary enormously from country to country, from
one society to another
i. Highest murder rates: Latin American countries-Guatemala, Colombia,
ii. Low murder rates: Arab Muslim countries-Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait and
United Arab Emirates
iii. European countries; although there is poverty their crime rates are half
of that of the United States
11. In the Western world, violence especially lethal violence, has dropped
enormously since the Middle Ages
• Positivists argue, specific conditions are consistently and causally related to the
likelihood of committing violence. It is the job of the positivist social scientist to locate
those conditions, establish relevant generalizations and explain why murder breaks out
• Rape is an assault, it employs force, violence, or the threat of violence
• What defines an act as rape is that it is nonconsensual, a sexual act forced on, or against a women, against her will
• Legally and my definition, forcible rape entails the use of force, violence or the
threat of violence
The Social Construction of Rape
• What is rape to the woman and to the law may be sex to the man
• This does not mean that it is any the less violent and therefore not rape-what it
does mean is that it may be experienced differently by the rapist
• Rape can be sex in addition to being violence
• First, for some men, violence and sex are fused-violence against women has
• Second, for many men, rape is instrumental-to gain sexual access to otherwise
• What rate is thought to be is partly a matter of definition
• It is necessary to examine how rape is seen, defined and judged by audiences
• The central importance of these varying judgements become clear when we
examine their role in subjective judgements of rape made by three crucial audiences: the
general public, the criminal justice system and victims of rape
• General public can be divided according to a spectrum or continuum of judgements
of what's rape
○ Exclusive: definition of rape is narrow
○ Inclusive: extremely generous -many things can be considered as act of rape
• The moderately exclusive definition tends to be held by sexual and sex gender role
traditionalists and conservatives-believe that women ask for rape-nice girls don't get
• The moderately inclusive definition held by sexual and sex and gender role
liberals-believe woman has the right of sexual determination, the right to choose where
and with whom she wants to go-thus cannot be blamed for an attack against her
• Moderate inclusionists feel women should not have to be protected by a man to
live a life free of sexual assault-minority of Americans have this view
• Two kinds of rape: simple and aggravated rape-these categories correspond
roughly but not perfectly, with acquaintance and stranger rape
○ Simple rape: forced, sexual intercourse in which there is little overt. Clear cut
violence (i.e. no weapon or beating), there is a single assailiant and has some prior
relationship with the victim
• The willful taking of human life is not a random event; it follows a set of
○ Aggravated rape: overt violence, or multiple assailants, or not prior relationship
between victim and assailant
• Those that commit aggravated rape receive harsh punishments and get reported as
rape and usually are convicted, whereas simple rape cases usually go unreported and if
they do get reported the cases are not pursued
• Many women do not consider forced/threatened sex to be considered rape!
Explanation of Rape: The Positivist Approach
• Rates of reporting rape are higher when the offender was a stranger to the victim, is armed and when the victim is physically injured and lower when
• the offender is known to the victim, is not armed and when the offender is not
• Three major types or broad categories of theories of rape causation are individual,
sociocultural and situational
○ Individual explanation: argue that some men have a higher tendency or
proclivity to sexually assault women than others do
○ Sociocultural explanation: argue that the content of certain cultures or
subcultures influence men to be sexually aggressive toward women
○ Situational explanation: focus on factors that place women in vulnerable
• Most extreme form of individual explanation of rape is psychopathology theory-
holds that rapists are disordered, mentally ill or "sick"
• Hirschi and Gottfredson argue that it is early childhood experiences of males
growing up in an inadequate parental or supporting only child-care environment that
determines their likelihood of sexually aggressing against women
• Sociocultural theories argue that the norms, values and beliefs held by the
members of a given society, or societal group, circle or category, are conducive to men
• Feminist proponents of the sociocultural model argue that in American society,
rape is common because rape-positive values are an essential component of American
○ Cultural values are adapted, shaped and transformed or ignored-by each
person living in every soceity
• Situational theories argue that the key to rape is opportunity (motivated offender,
suitable target, absence of capable guardian)
○ Deterrence is due to the fear of "cost" that men will face if participated in
• Women who spend more time outside, in cars, at night, a lone, and date a lot of
men are more prone to rape than women of the opposite situation
• Some argue that this is putting blame on the victim but it has been argued that there is a
clear cut distinction between blame which is a moral concept and cause which is a
scientific or explanatory concept
• Interactional model: argues that for a male to commit an act of sexual aggression
against a woman, several factors must converge in the same man:
1. Becoming sexually aroused at the sexual assault of women
2. Being angry or hostile toward women
3. Holding attitudes that support violence against women
4. Engaging in impersonal promiscuous sex
• Men having these factors are more likely to commit rape
• Early social settings also contribute -i.e. abused as a child, being taught that in
order to be manly one must be aggressive and posses control over women
• Entails victim confrontation; it is theft involving force, violence or the threat of
violence • One crime that is both a property crime-since perpetrator takes money, materials
etc and a crime of violence-threat or force of some sort was used
• Robbery is overwhelmingly a big-city offense
• Robbery rates are very high in big cities
• Mostly committed by strangers, and robbers can sometimes be easy to convict
because due to the offender/victim confrontation-the offender becomes identified thus
anonymity is less
• Lower income persons are more likely to be robbed than more affluent households
• Robbery is good indicator that one has been involved in various other types of
criminal activity prior to
• Robbers tend to be young, black, male and overwhelmingly urban
The race of robbery offenders is probably largely a function of a combination of
the economic position of blacks in the United States and they live in large cities
• The over confidence that robbers have about not being injured or getting caught is
so unrealistic as they don't realize how big of a risk it really
Unit 6: Chapter 6: Criminal Violence
Our Violent Society
For most people the nature of crime is a violation of one person by another
through a combination of violence and deception
Social Context of Murder
Our society today makes several distinctions: suicide is legal, active
euthanasia is not; through passive euthanasia is
Killing in self-defence is legal and is considered justifiable homicide, but
killing someone’s afterward in revenge is not
Therapeutic abortion is legal, though the states has recently made partial-
birth abortion illegal
Capital punishment is legal in the US but not in Canada
Killing enemy combatants in war is considered laudatory, but killing them
once they have surrendered is wrong
Context is everything. It is a cultural universal that every society around the
world has laws against killings, but what is defined as wrong and what is
defined as acceptable varies depending on what society and what
The image of crime that has been inculcated in the minds of many Americans
is that of stranger murder: neighbourhoods are lit at night, houses have
security alarms etc.
Most murders are between people who know each other, and the victim and
the perpetrator usually have key similarities.
Most murders are homosocial: the perpetrator and victim are more likely to
be of the same ethnicity and similar age
The most dangerous place for a woman is probably the home. Murder is usually not a conscious and clearly premeditated act, but takes
place as either through unexpected escalation in a confrontation or is
facilitated by the inebriation of one or both of the parties.
Traditionally, in many societies it was accepted as a crime of passion for a
man to kill his wife and her lover if he caught them in adultery.
Honor killings: a family will murder a member, usually an unmarried
daughter, for a disgrace, such dating or other alleged sexual indiscretion.
Even if a murder is acknowledged as indefensible and unjustifiable by the
perpetrator after the fact, many excuses may still be given—not to excuse the
crime but the criminal—to reduce culpability.
Robert Latimer case: a man killed his handicapped daughter and said it was
to spare her unnecessary suffering.
o Her life consisted of a series of painful operations and there was no
prospect of any recovery.
o Rover received a longer jail sentence than many people who had
committed murder because he refused to admit that what he did was
Sex and rape sometimes overlap
Certain forms of rape are taken more seriously. Race and caste have often
been complicating factors.
Having sexual consensual sex with a minor or someone unable to give
meaningful cosent is often called statutory rape.
The age that is considered adequate for consent for marriage or sex varies
and is socially constructed.
Rape was often considered a property crime against men as women were
often treated as if they were property of their families
In modern Western society, we have individual rights.
In Canada, we recognize:
o Date rape: rape between people who were courting and who may
have had a misunderstanding
o Statutory rape: consensual sex of minor or someone drunk or
o Marital rape: rape within marriage
Definitions of rape has changed over time.
A hundred years ago people didn’t date so date rape didn’t exist
Marital rape is not recognized as a crime in all of the American states.
Andrea Dworkin and Catherine Mackinnon who state that all heterosexual
intercourse is rape because women have all been brainwashed in a
patriarchal society and cannot say no to sex.
Dworkin says that all intercourse is the violent degradation of the woman.
Catherine Mackinnon also stated that at the Montreal Massacre of 1989,
when Marc Lepine started shooting women engineering students, a man
should have sacrificed his life to save the women –because it is mens
obligation Susan Brownmiller argued that rape benefits all men because it makes all
women fearfully dependent on all men.
There are certain things that make a woman more vulnerable. Yet, it does not
mean that we should blame the victim
Ontario has recently passed a law enabling club patrons to take their drinks
with them into a restroom to avoid the risk.
Men are more likely to say that they were forced into unwanted sex than to
say that they were raped.
Radical feminists would say that this shows how women have been
brainwashed by patriarchy to deny their oppression.
Many men will say that they would not commit rape, but that if they could get
away with it they would force sex on a woman
There are usually 3 types of explanations for rape: individualistic, situational,
o Individualistic explanations do not generally explain “date rape” when
a man commits only a single offense, yet it seems that this type of
explanation may become fruitful when looking at serial rapists and
o Situational explanations suggest that some situations are more
dangerous than others and the role and situation can affect whether
someone becomes a victim and also whther or not someone becomes
o Cultural explanations suggest that our culture is permeated with ideas
and values that encourage or facilitate the rape of owmen by men.
However, we all believe something, than how can behaviour vary? You
cannot explain a variable by a constant
o Explanations for sexual assault can combine these 3 approaches.
Psychologists Malamuth, Heavey, and Linz present their
“interationist” model that emphasizes the convergence of several
Sexual arousal at the thought
Hostility towards women in general
Attitudes that support or excuse sexual violence
A habit of engaging in impersonal and promiscuous sex
Robbery is a subset of theft that is violent in its nature as it includes a
confrontation between perpetrator and victim.
People are more likely to get injured when the robber does not have a
weaper, as they are more likely to try to resist but are more likely to be killed
when the robber has a gun
In regards to youth crime, robbery often results as kind of an escalation
Deviant Behaviour Textbook: Chapter 8 Social Deviance Course Reader: "Trends in Cannabis, Cocaine, and Ecstasy use
Among Ontario Adults, 1977-2003," CAMH Population Studies
Course Manual: Corresponding Unit, Unit 07
Deviant Behaviour Textbook: Chapter 8
Illicit Drug Use
- can look at drug use as deviant behaviour from both the positivist and
From a positivist perspective…
- the issue that needs explaining is why some people use illegal substances
- some focus on individualistic explanations – such as biological or personality
- others examine differences between and among people living in certain types
of social and economical structures (different types of neighbourhoods,
societies, social structures, cities versus small towns, etc.)
- all take drug use as the dependent variable, as the variable that needs to be
- examine the consequences of actions such as drug use
- the appeal of drugs is partly a result of their effects
certain drugs are highly reinforcing; they activate and “hijack”
pleasure centers in the brain
they are so rewarding, some scientists argue, that the user takes them
repeatedly, becoming dependent, abandoning what was previously
valued, such as family, school, job, and a home
- background assumption to drug use that the objective consequences of the
use of certain substances are so harmful that society wisely attempts to
control or limit their use through law enforcement
- (in other words) the condemnation of illicit use is a rational response to the
very real and present danger such use poses
From a constructionist perspective…
- the constructionist raises questions such as the following: why are certain
substances regarded as “drugs” while others aren’t?
- the difference in the law of these many jurisdictions is not solely the
threat or the harm or danger posed by the activity – that is pretty much
the same everywhere – but political, ideological, economic, and cultural
- in short, these laws are social constructions
- the constructionist is interested in how these factors influence the law and
condemnation of certain activities
- even laws against and prosecution of murder, rape, and robbery, unarguably
harmful acts with genuine victims, are constructed in a certain way for
The Social Construction of a Social Problem
- drug use comes close to being a universal, both worldwide and throughout
history - it is possible that the Inuit (or Eskimos), prior to the arrival of Europeans, are
the only society on earth whose members did not use mind-altering
- sometimes drug use is regarded as unacceptable to the society’s more
conventional members: the wrong drug is taken; it is taken too often, or
under the wrong circumstances; or it is taken with undesirable consequences
- in such cases, we have instances of deviant behaviour
- drug use, like every other existing endeavor or social condition, has a socially
constructed or subjective dimension: the public’s feeling about it
- drug use and abuse have an objective side: what drugs actually do to humans
who use them, how widely and frequently they are used, and what kind of
impact they have on the society
- 1986 was the year that drug use and abuse fairly exploded as a social
problem in the US (subjectively speaking)
- September 1989 figure proved to be the pinnacle of public concern about
- According to the Gallup Polls, in the early 2000s, only 1 percent of the
American public considers drug abuse the nation’s number one problem
- Drugs are hugely overshadowed by the war in Iraq (30%), the economy
(25%), and health care (12%)
- In the late 1980s there was a period of intense public fear of and concern
about drug use and abuse
- A moral panic is an intense, widespread, explosively upsurging feeling on the
part of the public that something is terribly wrong in their society
- A category of people are “deviantized”
- Moral panics and the fear of and concern about a given behaviour or
condition do not emerge solely as a result of public awareness of an objective
- Perhaps it is biased, in part, on the fact that the victims of illegal drugs are
younger than the victims of alcohol and tobacco, and hence, far more years of
life are lost per death
- Perhaps the public has the feeling that drugs such as cocaine and narcotics
are vastly more harmful on a dose-by-dose basis than is true of alcohol and
- The fact remains, drugs kill 30 times as many Americans as illegal drugs, yet
Americans are far more concerned about illegal drug abuse than about legal
- A drug is a substance with a significant effect on the functioning of the mind
- To the general public, a drug is an illegal/illicit substance taken for the
purpose of getting high or intoxicated
- Within this definitional context, taking drugs is illegal, and to most of the
- Hence, drugs are medicinal, and/or psychoactive, and/or illegal
- Using substances not authorized as medicine is regarded by physicians as
deviant, a violation of the norms of the medical profession
A Classification of Drugs and their Effects - Stimulants speed up signals passing through the central nervous system
(CNS), that is, the brain and spinal column
o Enable the user to feel more alert or awake
o Examples: cocaine, amphetamine, Ritalin
o Caffeine is also an example but it is so weak that most of us do not
consider it a drug
- Narcotics, or “narcotic analgesics,” diminish the brain’s perception of pain
o Includes opiates – opium and its derivatives: morphine, heroin and
o Category also includes the various synthetic and semisynthetic
narcotics, called opioids (or opium-like drugs), such as Percodan,
dilaudid, methadone, meperidine (or Demerol), and oxycodone
o In addition to their painkilling property, all narcotics are also
physically addicting – they generate a physical dependency on
regular, long-term use
o Also, their effects include mental clouding and euphoria (this property
causes people to use narcotics recreationally – for the purpose of
- Unlike the narcotics, which have depressive effects principally on one bodily
function – the perception of pain – sedatives or general depressants, while not
effective painkillers have a depressive effect on a wide range of body organs
o Induce relaxation, inhibit anxiety, and at higher doses, result in sleep
o Most well known is alcohol
o Also, sedative-hypnotics such as barbiturates, methaqualone, GHB,
tranquilizers (such as valium, Xanax, Librium, lorazepam, rohypnol
o In high doses, general depressants induce mental clouding,
drowsiness, physical dependence; overdose can produce
unconsciousness, coma, even death
- Hallucinogens (psychedelics) have effects on the CNS that cannot be reduced
to a simple stimulation-depression continuum
o These are drugs that induce profound sensory alterations
o Includes LSD, peyote, mescaline, psilocybin or “magic mushrooms”
o Principal effect is not to experience hallucinations but the extreme
psychoactivity, a loosening of the imagination and an intensification of
o Also includes PCP, ketamine (K) – produce drowsiness,
discoordination, distorted sense of the reality of one’s physical
surroundings, feeling of invulnerability
o MDMA or ecstasy are often referred to as a hallucinogen but do not
produce sensory alterations
These can be called “empathogens” – capable of inducing