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MIDTERM REVIEW (for Feb.6th)

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SOC 2070
Linda Hunter

thWEEK 1 JANUARY 9IntroductionDefining Deviance Adler Why Study Deviance o Career plans that include law o Special affinity or closeness to the subject matter o It is a different and fascinating area to study I Three Perspectives on Defining Devianceo Absolutist Perspective o Social Constructionist Approacho Social Power Perspective A Absolutist Perspectiveo Assumes widespread consensus over definitions of deviance o Durkheim social laws reflect objective facts collective consciousness o Universal taboos against murder incest lying etc often cited as evidence o Proponents often view deviance as bad and destructive of social order requiring stern punitive measures law and order y Example campaign against gay marriage reflects natural beliefs about norms o Absolutist elements incorporated into functionalist theories of deviance in view that deviance is pathological or a disease and negative in its effectB Social Constructionist Approacho Focus on the norms that bind and define deviance rather than on the deviant act itself o A subjectivist approach to defining deviance guided by belief that social meanings and values and norms in everyday life situations are often uncertain o Social constructionists study the way norms are created the people who create them the conditions under which they arise and their consequences for different groups in society o Different definitions of deviance come about in different eras and locations leading to significant constructions and reconstructions of deviance o Relativist perspective belongs within constructionism deviance lodged in the eye of the beholder rather than the act itself o Becker 1963 9 articulates relativist position Social groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance and by applying these rules to particular people and labeling them as outsiders o All of this points to multiple definitions of acts alternatively deviant or not depending on the standpoint of different groups o Definitions of deviance are thus problematic and used by moral crusaders to enforce their perception of realityy Examples Abortion school prayer use of medical marijuana gay marriage illegal immigrationC Social Power Perspectiveo Builds on relativist perspective by introducingMarxs conflict theory into the mix o Quinney believes laws reflect the interests and concerns of the dominant classo Dominant groups and social classes tend to have and to exercise the power to make and to enforce the rules of society which reflect their particular interestsy Examples consider growing prison population of primarily street criminals but relatively few white collar convictionso Rejects absolutist view that definitions of deviance are universally shared instead emphasizes group conflict and struggle over such definitions o Conflict over definitions of deviance can occur between various groups based on economics raceethnicity gender religion cultural identity etcI Defining Deviance A What is deviant behaviorWhat is crimeo Deviance is the violation of norms o Norms are behavioural codes of prescriptions that guide people into conforming to social acceptabilitySumners 1906 classic definition of folkways mores and laws o FOLKWAYSEveryday norms based on custom tradition etiquettey Examples fashion norms table manners physical eye contacty Violations generally not seen as serious but may cause one to be viewed as odd or even avoided o MORESMoral norms based on social values y Examples drug addition y Violations seen as more of a threat to social order and the offender is seen as bad and perhaps harmful to society and its institutions o LAWSStrongest norms since supported by formal code of sanctions y Examples murder assault rapey Violations may lead to arrest imprisonment or even death o SmithPollack 1976 reformulate Sumner crime sin and poor taste o Crime violates laws sins are acts that contravene religious values poor taste involves violations of informal folkwaysCrime and deviance Are they the same or different o First some acts overlap such as crimes of violence that are both deviant and illegal o Second much deviance such as obesity or taking 16 showers a day are noncriminal o Third certain criminal violations such as Martha Stewarts case or acts of civil disobedience do not bring moral censure y Conclusion crime and deviance overlap with independent dimensionsConsensus and Conflict Crimes o Social scientists measure what proportion of a population as a whole approves or disapproves of a particular behaviour o They measure attitudes of different status groups as related to a particular issue o Consensus Crimeswhere a population generally is agreed in its attitudes murder o Conflict Crimeswhere attitudes are related more widely and strongly to status group memberships public disorder or alcohol or narcotics y The fact that there is a public debatecontroversy that surround them is what is important ie we lack a consensus on these issues Thus we may feel the freedom to deviateo The quality of deviance is based on a judgment made by someone o Goffmandiscreditable differencea difference that results or is likely to result in negative evaluations from othersB ABCs of Devianceo ATTITUDES BEHAVIORS CONDITIONo ATTITUDESbeing branded deviant for alternative attitudes or beliefs y Examples religious cult members Satanists or political extremists such as terrorists y Mental illness also falls into this categoryo BEHAVIORSovert acts that are regarded as deviant y Examples violating dress or speech conventions certain sexual behaviors using drugs or violent acts y Achieved deviant status people cast into deviant label for overt act o CONDITIONseen as deviant for condition or quality that may be achieved or ascribed y Ascribed deviant status based on condition from birth about which the person can do nothing y Examples deviant socioeconomic status the extremely poor or the very richor having a congenital physical disabilityy May also be achieved disfiguring oneself or getting full body tattooCThree Categories of Sso SIN SICK SELECTEDo SINduring middle ages when religious paradigm prevailed deviance viewed as religious disorder and sin attributed to satanic influence exorcisms performedo SICKmedicalization of deviance used to explain drug use sexual misbehavior homosexuality etcuse of medical treatment for responding to devianceo SELECTEDcertain behaviors seen as intentionally selected lifestyle choices or forms of recreation such as gambling Determining Deviance Bereska Chapter 1 Who Is Deviant o Deviance textbooks y Traditionally nuts sluts perverts o Student polls y Who do you consider to be deviant o Dictionary y deviating from an accepted norm y Deviance is violating normsDefining Deviance o Problem of definition BenYehuda 1990 o What is the defining characteristic of deviance o Objectivesubjective dichotomyObjectiveSubjective Dichotomy o Objective definitions y A common characteristic y People recognize deviance when they see it o Subjective definitions y No common characteristic us that a certain person behaviour or characteristic is deviant y Someone must tell
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