Lecture 1: Approaches to Studying Deviance
Office hours: 5:15 after class.
Prof. Steven Hayle
“There’s children throwing snowballs, instead of throwing heads, they’re busy building toys and no one’s
Sociology of Deviance & how it differs from law, biology, psychology and criminology
What is deviance? What is normality?
A Objectivity Perspective
Violation of PRE-EXISTING and CONCRETE societal NORMS.
Norms include laws
There are concrete norms that people go against
Social NORMS are EXTERNAL and GIVEN, therefore, they are OBJECTIVE
More natural, more day-to-day norms
These are the norms that make the objective valid
Involved others – outside influence
Widespread CONSENSUS about ideas, behaviours, and characteristics, which are either proper and
acceptable or improper and unacceptable.
Large number of people agree that these are important norms
o Those who don’t are deviant
The origin of the Objectivist Perspective
Durkheim: Conscience Collective
Set of shared beliefs, ideas and attitudes that operate as a unifying source in society
o Eg. we all agree the person who speaks without raising hand is deviant
Values, cultural norms and social structures which TRANSCEND the individual and are capable
of exercising SOCIAL CONSTRAINT
o Social constraints are real, because of a value and belief that deviant behaviour is
Society operates according to general laws just like thephysical world
Deviance is a real thing.
Durkheim: Extend scientific principles to HUMAN CONDUCT
It’s a REAL LAW, more than just an idea.
Eg. The Silence of the Lambs
There’s a very calculated way to narrow down a criminal
Eg. Criminal Minds
Spencer Reid uses his statistics to narrow down serial killers
2 Ideas That Support The Objective Approach:
1. Deviance as a Statistical Rarity? parallel to the idea of the Bell Curve & deviating from the norm/mean
We can measure deviance ** BUT doesn’t always explain deviance
Eg. Olympic Runner: murderer but also the first person with prosthetic legs to run in an able-bodied
Eg. Masturbation (for the vast majority) is normal and occurs daily BUT it’s still seen as deviant
2. Deviance as Harm?
Harm is real and objective ** BUT doesn’t always explain deviance
Eg. murder, rob, sexual assault, rape
Irrelevant laws such as limiting dildos, illegal to sell anything other than butter
Are they deviant laws? Do they cause harm?
Covert Institutional Violence
VIOLENCE is any VIOLATION of an individual’s lives
Most destructive use of VIOLENCE in the decade before the creation of this concept was the
WAR IN VIETNAM
Corporate economy and the CAPITALIST ECONOMIC SYSTEM kills and maims more people
than any individual criminals or criminal groups.
Legitimate institutions run by respectable people in a capitalist political economy consign
people to “dead end jobs” slum housing and deny them adequate healthcare
CONCLUSION: Sociologists focus too much on the nuts, sluts and perverts. They overlook
VIOLENCE, which is COVERT, INSTITUTIONALIZED, and part of EVERYDAY NORMAL
Get rid of the concept of DEVIANCE completely; instead focus on the INEQUALITY,
OPPRESSION, PERSECUTION, POWERLESSNESS.
Focus on those who have the POWER to CREATE and ENFORCE LAWS and POLICIES that
promote inequality, oppression, persecution, and powerlessness.
Is deviance from the objectivist point of view the best way to look at it?
Rules do not appear out of thin air (Objectivists)
People CREATE an INTERPRET the standards upon which BEHAVIOURS and ATTRIBUTES are deemed to
be acceptable or not acceptable
DEVIANCE is RELATIVE, or in the eye of the beholder.
Deviance can change depending on where we are, time difference, etc.
The idea that the subjectivist is interested in knowing what the historical origin of our understanding in
The way people assign MEANING to the WORLD
This is done using LANGUAGE
Language is FLEXIBLE! We can create new words or different MEANINGS of WORDS, which can change
our UNDERSTANDING of our world.
Eg. Cocaine: 150 years ago it was thought of as a medication or an additive to Coco-Cola
Language allowed communication and in turn enables the creation of our society and norms.
Deviance and Social Context
1. Definitions of deviance can very by SEGMENTS OF SOCIETY Eg. Norms can be different for an older generation and communication vary depending on
Eg. Clothes worn in different times of our life, at the times seemingly normal
2. Definitions of deviance can vary across SPACE
SPACE = societies or across countries
Eg. drinking alcohol in certain situations may seem unusual or even illegal in other countries
Eg. marijuana laws vary in different countries
3. Definitions of deviance can vary over TIME
Eg. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage legality are considered a norm but 50 years ago, it
was considered deviant
Eg. marijuana was considered extremely deviant
Objectivist answer toobvious changes:
Change occurs, and it changes slowly and gradually, but change can happen.
Beliefs, ideas and attitudes can shed over time
Changes when they want it to change
Subjectivist to Objectivist:
Change can happen rapidly
Eg. Civil Rights Movement (within 10 years)
BEHAVIOURS that individuals or groups in society take OFFENCE to and REACT NEGATIVELY to.
Behaviours are objective but this is a subjective perspective
We study the audience or society to see the reaction to behaviour
ATTRIBUTES that individuals or groups in society take OFFENCE to and REACT NEGATIVELY to.
Act that lots engage in and others take offence = deviant
Act that not a lot of people engage in, and others don’t take offence = not deviant
Informal NegativeReactions – Avoidance, epithets, ridicule, gossip, criticism. This can be both EXTERNAL
From other people or from within yourself
Formal Negative Reactions – Official warnings, legal punishments, treatments
Why should we care?
MALA IN SE – Crimes that enjoy a high level of consensus in societal reaction
Eg. murder, rape, robbery
MALA PROHIBITA – Illegal simply because the LAW says it is illegal. There is much disagreement in
society over whether these activities should be deemed illegal or not
Eg. drug use, sex work, pornography, so called victimless crimes
OVERCRIMINALIZATION – idea that just because things are deemed illegal because the law says so, and
other people believe it isn’t, people loose respect for the law and they tend to violate laws. Lecture 2: Mass Media and the Social Construction of Deviance and Normality* (key week)
(Last Lecture Continuation)
43% of people have tried marijuana in their lives much more common (not statistically rare) BUT it’s
still seen as deviant behaviour.
1/5 are meeting their match online
Hockey fights are seen as acceptable, even though in any normal setting it’s deviant behaviour.
(This Week’s Lecture)
Social Constructionism – The way people assign MEANING to the WORLD.
This is done using LANGUAGE.
Language is FLEXIBLE! We can create new words, or different MEANINGS of WORDS, which
can change our UNDERSTANDING of our WORLD.
Language is central to our world.
the idea of representation is important; language doesn’t represent the world 100%, more is
Representation – The use of LANGUAGE and IMAGES to create MEANING about the world
We make MEANING of the material world through specific CULTURAL CONTEXTS, via the use
of LANGUAGE SYSTEMS.
o Language Systems – Writing, speech, images. They organise, construct, and mediate
our understanding of reality, emotion, imagination.
o Discourse – Group of statements which provide a language for talking about, or
representing, a particular type of knowledge about a topic.
o Discourse enters into and influences ALL SOCIAL PRACTICES.
o Discourses produced and reproduced by many in different institutional settings.
o Power produces knowledge.
Without language we can’t interact or think about concepts. Everything we do, begins with
language. Discourse affects everything.
Certain groups have power over discourse and what it means & construct their world; power
and struggles of power occurs everywhere Eg. police, families, etc.
Semiotics – The tools we use to INTERPRET the IMAGES around us in order to UNDERSTAND
Saussure – Relationship between WORDS and the WORLD is arbitrary and RELATIVE, not
Pierce – MEANING lies not in the perception of an IMAGE but in the INTERPREATION of the
Different words for the name dog Eg. chein Eg. French way of saying collective conscience uses
words that English doesn’t have, so it has a slightly different concept words are not fixed
Reading “Signs”** Writing Assignment
o suggests that images have 2 levels of MEANING: Denotative Meaning – Literal, descriptive MEANING of an image.
FACE VALUE Eg. that’s a building
Connotative Meaning- Culturally specific MEANINGS of an image.
What you understand from the image when placed in a cultural/social
context. Eg. that’s a home
Myths – Cultural values and beliefs that are expressed at the level of CONNOTATION.
o You can look at an image at FACE VALUE regardless of cultural context, but connotative
meaning is much deeper.
o the values and beliefs that underlie the message; beneath the connotative meaning
o Myth comes from society
Example of Barthes Theory: UTSG Hart House
Meaning can be in anything, including physical buildings.
Denotative Meaning: really old building, falling apart, grounds keeper doesn’t want to get rid of
the ivy on the walls
Connotative Meaning: status, cultural, history, traditional building, looks like a castle (larger
than life), looks religious. The idea of academy and university.
Myth: things that have been around for years, MUST be IMPORTANT, must have VALUE.
Eg. looking at a table, students might understand it’s a desk.
Cheerios Biracial Advert
Denotative: child taking something quite literally
Connotative: you understand that this is a normal family
Myth: this belief and value in society of interracial couples and families is completely norm
This advert shows us biracial families is the norm, instilling these diversifying values in the
Backlash: people were offended with this idea
TV shows: Mom, the Millers, Mike & Molly , Michael J. Fox, Sean Saves the World, Suburgatory
All white single race couples = definition of a family
BUT Modern Family:
o updated modern form of family; creates a different norm for the family: gay couples,
adopted, interracial within families
BUT the normal family is still represented as white.
BUT Cosby show, fresh-prince of bel-air
o shows project this norm that there is no intermixing within families.
Pink Toys vs. Blue Toys
Children are being marketed towards girls with “girl versions”, which creates a meaning of a
norm with the colours, toys and even occupations. These norms are instilled in us from a very
Peggy Lee – The Siamese Cat Song
Denotative: two cats that are being mischievous
Connotative: the racial element; these “representatively Asian” cats are “evil”
Myth: those of Asian lineage, historical content (the war)
PROF. WILL CONTINUE THE REST OF THE LECTURE NEXT WEEK.
Directly related to Denotative and Connotative meaning and Myth.
Start thinking about adverts that could have these types of meanings NOT including internet ads.
You will write about these analyses. Due: November 26 th
Handout with specific outline will be given out next week. Lecture 3:The Roleof Science in theSocial Constructionof Deviance and Normality
6-8 short answer questions (no thesis; just focus on the main topic with details)
B Level Course: Demonstrating an understanding of what you’ve learned and applied the knowledge in a
Topics/readings for midterm:
Media discourse and deconstruction of myths
Practices of looking (connotative vs. denotative)*** (apply it in new ways)
Social construction of stranger danger not in course reader BUT UofT library website should have it
Our own master race
KNOW lectures: key concepts, theories, definitions, main ideas and arguments
(Continuation of Last Lecture)
Advert: 121 brands of fat cigarettes fit men. Virginia Slims are made slimmer to fit you.
Denotative meaning: This particular cigarette is made for women.
Connotative meaning: The idea that a women would prefer a slimmer, milder cigarette because
a fat one would be too much for them.
Myth: Males are superior, physically. Women consume smaller and have to consume smaller.
This deeper meaning was more obvious in the 1980s, when this ad was released.
Myth can a connotative meaning appear to be denotative.
Eg. the Disney cats at the time it was taken literally
o Because a myth is no longer there is a new time, a connotative meaning won’t look like
a denotative meaning.
Concept and idea of an ICON. – an image that you see in an ad that transcends the ad and becomes
universal. It is interpreted by people who assume that others from all over the world know and
understand it in the same way.
Practices of looking*
Could be a person but more a concept
Eg. smile = happiness
Framing – Erving Goffman. Media frames place issues, events, and circumstances within a larger context,
and locates them and sets them off so that they are easily understood.
Law and Order News
Steve Chibnall – how law and order news is created
Journalists make use of several informal criteria to decide what stories to cover and write:
1) Visible and spectacular incidents.
2) Political and sexual connotations.
Strategies for reporting on crime:
1) Considering what kinds of photographs are going to accompany a story.
2) Consider how many photographs can accompany a story.
3) Consider what headlines are going to accompany the story.
4) Grabber- Introduce the story with a DRAMATIC example.
o could be in the headline, or first sentence in the article
5) Present ATYPICAL cases as TYPICAL.
Taken together, these strategies result in the SENSATIONALIZATION of crime and deviance
“If it bleeds, it leads!”
It doesn’t mean the article is wrong, SENSATIONALIZATION – idea of a misrepresenting or
enhancing the facts. Newspapers are businesses; they want to make money. The primary function is to report the facts, they
have to in order to make money.
Media Representations of “Child Killers” – Have Things Changed?
Media Coverage of Lee Bonneau
Newspapers highlighted the following points and issues:
1) The victim (Lee Bonneau) was only 6 years old.
2) The suspect was also a child, under the age of 12.
3) Because the suspect was under 12, they cannot be charged under the Youth Criminal Justice
Act, and their name cannot be released.
4) The suspect, if found responsible, could be the youngest “child killer” in Canadian history.
News Media Strategies:
Lee Bonneau picture prevalent in news articles.
o Articles such as these then to emphasize a sense of helplessness and that they don’t
know why it happened now what can be done.
o They tend to decontextualize the crime; they ignore class, family, financial status, etc.
One article include the SES, this crime occurred on a reserve where there’s high
rates of poverty, mental illness, resources, low housing quality.
Headlines stress that a child has killed another child.
o They stress the age and that he cannot be charged.
One article attempted to make the atypical child killing appear more typical by overviewing 6
other high profile cases of child killing.
Has coverage of child killers changed?
1) Child killings depicted as in-explainable.
2) Child killings decontextualized from socio-economic context.
3) Child killings depicted more as a rule than an exception.
4) Headlines used to grab attention.
5) Suspect NOT labelled as EVIL.
6) Murder of Lee Bonneau not used to highlight rises in youth crime.
Science and Experts
Experts such as doctors and scientists provide legitimacy to those who are attempting to socially
construct people’s attributes or behaviours as deviant or normal
Experts are believed to base conclusions on unbiased and high quality evidence, thus their
opinion must be correct
Experts provide social movements with the appearance of legitimacy
Legitimacy can help attract supporters and funding.
Medicalization – Increased use of medical language to characterise deviance.
o Were not completely ignoring our immediate social reactions BUT we convince other
people to see our side is to use medical terms and concepts to characterize deviance
Sir Francis Galton: Eugenics – the theory and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human
Positive Eugenics – Theory and practice advocating the improvement of human genetic traits
through the promotion of higher reproduction of people with desired traits.
Negative Eugenics – Theory and practice advocating the reduced reproduction of people with
less desired or undesired traits. Eugenics socially constructs deviance as a characteristic
We know that Hitler = Nazi But doesn’t = the seal of US
Eugenics Records Office (KNOW KEY EVENTS)
Charles Davenport: US biologist
Receives funding from the Carnegie Institute establish the Eugenics Records Office at Cold
data collected on thousands of ‘normal’ Americans, which would be later be used to justify
proposed US eugenics policies such as enforced sterilization.
Beginning of the American eugenics movement (before WWI & Hitler’s attitudes)
Eugenics dates back to classical Greece & Plato in the republic (wanting to live in a just society)
U.S. Eugenics Movement
Driven by racist and elitist pseudoscience and a determination to wipe away all human beings deemed
to be “unfit”, and preserving those who conformed to a “Nordic” stereotype.
Unfit – Everyone else! African Americans, Asians, Indians, Hispanics, East Europeans, Jews, poor people,
Genetic Risk – Those deemed to be mentally “retarded”, feeble minded, morons, imbeciles, mentally
defective, criminal, overly sexual, etc.
Who Supported Eugenics?
H.G. Wells – science fiction writer, author of the “Time Machine”
John Maynard Keynes – liberal economist
George Bernard Shaw – playwright
Sir Winston Churchill – future Prime Minister
Alexander Graham Bell - inventor
Theodore Roosevelt - president
Carnegie Institution - philanthropy
Rockefeller Foundation - philanthropy
Harriman Railroad Fortune - philanthropy
Immigration Restriction League (1894) - First American entity that officially supported eugenics. The
following were members:
A. Lawrence Lowell- Harvard President and legal scholar
William DeWitt Hyde – Bowdoin College President and philosopher
James T. Young- director of Wharton School
David Starr Jordan- Stanford University President and biologist
American Breeders Association - Immigration restriction league allies with the American Breeders
Association in order to gain more influence. They establish the Committee on Eugenics in 1909.
American Eugenics Society – 1922. Official society promoting eugenics theories and policies. Founded
the journal Eugenics Quarterly.
American eugenics were based on pseudoscience that tends to have circular reasoning
Eg. Someone hating someone for wearing white shoes, but finding evidence can cause someone
to take you seriously.
HG Wells: Wrote a book about a scientist that goes into a time machine and goes into a future where
society is completely separated. He laments that this is the fate of society; as science advanced, people
stopped using their brain and body; society deteriorated. *Denotative & connotative meaning*
Because eugenics had experts and well-known supporters, and lots of other growing scientific
development, it became accepted.
Compulsory Sterilization Becomes Law in the US
Indiana Eugenics Law, 1907
Harry Laughlin – Model State Level Eugenics Law; but it was declared unconstitutional Model law is reviewed by legal experts.
Virginia Sterilization Act, 1924
1927 Buck vs. Bell – Supreme Court
Virginia Sterilization Law is upheld, 8-1
“"It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let
them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their
kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough." – Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
California : Sterilizations
33 states passed compulsory sterilization laws
Over 65,000 sterilizations took place in US
California a nation leader of sexual sterilizations
9, 782 people sterilized - mostly women
“Bad Girls” – Girls sterilized after being classified as ‘oversexed’, ‘passionate’, or ‘sexually wayward;
some sterilized for having an abnormally large labia or clitoris
Most sterilizations carried out with no due process; Most sterilizations were done without the patient’s
knowledge nor actual process and they didn’t know that it happened until years later.
Nazi Eugenics Laws
Nazi Eugenics Laws were an American policy transfer; although Hitler still had his own
Hitler studied US eugenics laws
Hitler studied Harry Laughlin’s model eugenics law carefully
Used eugenics ‘science’ and American eugenics laws to medicalize his anti-Semitic policies, therefore
"There is today one state, in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration]
are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States." – Adolph Hitler,
American Reaction to Nazi Eugenics Policies
Nazi eugenics program is celebrated and, hence, normalised
What changed this was the Holocaust.
Does the Holocaust have roots in Germany or else where?
Normalized: what is considered deviant can be changes drastically.
California eugenics republished Nazi propaganda for American consumption
Nazi Propaganda: “they did it; why can’t we” referring to other countries practicing eugenics
American public health association displays a Nazi eugenics exhibit the L.A. County Museum (August,
‘EUGENICS’ IS SOCIALLY RECONSTRUCTED
American Breeder’s Association Eugenics Section “Preliminary Report”; Point 8 – Euthanasia – practice
of intentionally ending a life, in order to end pain and suffering.
Lethal Chambers – Local publicly operated gas chambers.
Passive Euthanasia - Carried out by many doctors and in mental institutions; took place in the states in
Legal Neglect – with euthanasia, processes weren’t followed and rights weren’t respected.
Historical and Political Context
A. 20 century race conflicts in the US
Immigration influx; large numbers from eastern and southern Europe.
Post-reconstruction era (after African Americans were given rights) B. Depression in the US and Germany
C. Progressive Era optimism.
(Talk about this AFTER the Midterm)
Eugenics Laws Today
Cyprus – Thalassemia gene testing.
China – 1950 Marriage Law. 2001 amendment.
Russia – Forced sterilization of women
Uzbekistan- Coerced sterilization policy. Lecture 4: Police and the Social Construction of Deviance and Normality: The Case of Racial
Profiling and the Ku Klux Klan in the US and Canada
Critical Race Theory
White supremacy and racial power are maintained over time, and that the LAW may play a role in
Racism is engrained in the fabric and system of AMERICAN society.
Power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the
marginalisation of racial minorities.
How racism and racial practices can be engrained in the structure of the society?
When people have these notions, it means racial practices have become institutionalized;
reproducing racists acts and policies even though the people at the head of these institutions
don’t actually hold these racist perspectives
How individual people become processed and how they go through the criminal system
“Dark Figure” of crime – how much crime actually occurs; we don’t
actually know how much crime occurs
Statistics tell us how many people are charged with crimes
and arrested (only a small percentage of criminal behaviour)
Of 1000 crimes, only 500 reports, only 100 arrests…. Only 16
end up in prison
Criminal justice statistics are a social construction of crime and
deviance; they don’t reflect the objective reality of crimes
Police are “Gate Keepers” ; they have the power and discretion
in who will end up in prison
Racial Discrimination – Some Concepts
Direct Discrimination (De Jure) – Racial discriminatory practices that have been enshrined in LAW.
Direct Discrimination (De Facto) – The persistence of racial discriminatory practices even in the face of
LAWS or POLICIES designed to eliminate racial discrimination.
Racism that still occurs, even though it is against the law
Indirect Discrimination – Practices that are equal in a formal sense, but racially discriminatory in
Eg. When someone is hired for their experience and expertise for a job, however racial
discrimination and preferences are still part of the decision
Institutional Racism – Racist actions are built into the policy or mode of action of institutions
irrespective of the attitudes of those individuals who carry out the activities of the institution.
Attitudes of the institutions and politics can be racist and racially discriminate, but the
individuals behind it or those who administer the policies may not be racist, the policies act
Contextual Discrimination – Racial discrimination is likely under certain specific conditions but not
others. For example, in certain places and at certain times.
Eg. Racial discrimination is perhaps less likely to occur in court or on trial, where the person’s
actions are considered rather than their skin colour.
Police and Racial Discrimination: Racial Profiling
Police officers make decisions based on many factors, but it also includes Racial Profiling which is
2002 Youth Crime Victimisation Anonymous Survey – Julian Tanner and Scot Wortley
3, 383 high Toronto high school students randomly surveyed between 1999 and 2000
Questioned where they grew up, SES, any criminal activates, and police encounters o Questioned about how often they have been stopped and searched by the police in the
last two years
Also questioned about delinquent activities in the last year
Even sampling of all schools and randomly selected 30 homeroom classes & grades too.
Skin colour = independent variable, Police encounters = dependent variable.
Is there causality? YES those with certain skin colours, specifically black were more likely to be
stopped by the police. Those who were Asian were actually less likely to be stopped by the
FLAW: This doesn’t prove racism and information may not be accurate
o Eg. we take into consideration memory of their police encounters, they may not be
accurate. Are their answers truthful?
o Eg. Prof’s study: the incentive was given after the survey and to qualify, youths had to
have a high level of criminal behaviour youths gave inaccurate, exaggerated
information for the incentive
BUT most likely, youths give accurate and honest information
Multivariate Analysis – When examining the statistical relationship between an INDEPENDENT
VARIABLE and a DEPENDENT VARIABLE, we CONTROL for other variables that might explain the
Eg. age, gender, subjective social class, living circumstances, everyday leisure activities
Here, BEHAVIOUR is statistically controlled for Identical conditions for each participant
BUT how is this done in a survey? Not sure, but there are statistical programs, where you treat
every person so that they answered it in the same way, except for those two questions,
meaning you get the answers without any confounding variables.
Social construction is occurring at a cognitive level: After statically controlling for relevant variables and
performing multivariate analysis….
Black youth are 4.14 times more likely to be stopped by the police compared to white youth.
Black youth are 6.38 times more likely to be searched by the police compared to white youth
The race is still evident after controls; police officers who don’t know you, attached their
subjective factors of suspicion and criminal behaviour to a particular race or gender, etc (Social
49% of black youth who report no delinquent activity have been stopped and searched vs.
only 17% of similar white youth
83% of black youth who report the highest levels of delinquent activity have been stopped and
searched vs. 82% of similar white youth
High-risk youths that are known to the police or have committed the crime multiple times;
police officers don’t care about skin colour in these conditions.
Evidence similar to other studies found in US or Europe, except the information about high-
risk youths. Finding suggests that good behaviour doesn’t protect you from the experience
of being racially profiled and you’re in fact more likely to experience it if you engage in low
or no level of criminal activity.
Social construction of skin colour as deviance. (Police)
Master Status – Everett Hughes. Primary identifying characteristic of an individual.
Auxiliary Status- Other statuses that become secondary or subordinate to the master status determining
Ku Klux Klan
Racism existed from the beginning: Early legal code of Hammurabi: eye for an eye “if, then statements” (if you this, then we’ll do
this to you); but it’s different for every class and type of person including gender and race.
o Eg. male committing adultery punishment is very different from a women committing
From the beginning there was an element of social construction: Europeans had attitudes towards
Africans that were demeaning and they justified their slavery of Africans, the Natives, etc. because they
truly believed that they were less than and subhuman in certain ways; Africans particular because it was
cheaper to import them socially constructed as less than human and having less rights.
Founded by six CONFEDERATE veterans on December 24 , 1865 during the RECONSTRUCTION of
the South after the CIVIL WAR.
1866 it began to flourish; period of construction of the south (social and economic change).
Republicans stood for more values and roles and were progressive at the time, including the
issue of slavery. President Jackson was in favour of progressive policies, but it wasn’t going too
far. Economic condition; people relied on Africans for the help. There were still the cultural
values that the slaves shouldn’t have the same rights as them. But there was enough seats in
the house for the 14 amendment; guaranteed rights for Africans and other races as well.
Analogy: decided to give teens the right to vote and run for office, giving equal and real rights.
Today, this type of change is equivalent to the drastic change of African Americans being given
rights. BIG CHANGE
African Americans were voting, elected, etc.
Wanted to control the dramatically changed social situation in the SOUTH and restore WHITE
Used public VIOLENCE against BLACK people as a form of intimidation.
First KKK Attire
“Masking one’s identity”
First KKK Continued
Many states responded to the violence by passing ANTI-KKK LEGISLATION.
Many people were not happy with these changes; but there were attempts to curb the violence
that resulted from this. Violence was deemed to be wrong and unacceptable
KU KLUX KLAN ACT OF 1871- Federal law enacted that was used to enforce civil rights provisions
under the constitution.
1870- federal court deems the KKK to be a TERRORIST ORGANISATION.
State and local authorities rarely acted against the clan
They were well known to police officers but they weren’t arrested or brought to justice
They would be arrested and tried but wouldn’t be convicted African Americans weren’t
allowed to be on Jury, so the Jury allowed them to get away with it because they thought what
they were doing was right.
Black people were being denied seats on juries; white juries rarely convicted clansmen; either
out of fear of retaliation, or support for the goals of the organisation
10% of them suffered some sort of violence or murdered
By 1872, clan was disbanded, but during this time LYNCHINGS peaked
Second KKK Clan
1915 – film Birth of a Nation is released.
Reinvigorated excitement about the KKK “Clan Craze”
New KKK linked to the Media.
LYNCHING of Leo Frank, a Jewish businessman
New ANTI-IMMIGRANT, ANTI-JEWISH, ANTI-CATHOLIC, PROHIBITIONIST and ANTI-SEMITIC
After this, MEMBERSHIP rose significantly: reaches 4, 000, 000 by 1920, or 1 in 5 Americans Origin of the Clan Video: Black people are portrayed as the bad guys, and the KKK “knights to the
Membership comprised of both Democrats and Republicans; KKK candidate endorsements
1924- Clan member Edward Jackson is elected GOVERNOR of Indiana
Anaheim California CITY COUNCIL taken over by the KKK in 1924
Southern US- clan closely associated with POLICE CHIEFS, SHERIFFS, and LOCAL
1926- Former clan chief Bibb Graves elected GOVERNOR of ALABAMA
KKK strongly against Prohibition
City Council of German descent: they were more liberal towards Prohibition = opposing forces
Post-World War II KKK
“Bombingham”- Clan established in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s to resist social change
and the improvement of black people’s lives. Rash of homes of black people were bombed.
Bull Connor- Police commissioner of Birmingham, Alabama who was closely allied with the Klan.
Allowed them to operate with ‘impunity’.
A lot of people couldn't afford to become members of the clan.
De Jure Racial Segregation – Lawful segregation of Black and White people in all public facilities.
i.e. JIM CROW LAWS.
De Facto Segregation - The enforcement of segregation of Black and White people by law
enforcement, when such segregation has been deemed unconstitutional or illegal.
Freedom Writers – They wanted to test the changes of laws; they riding on a bus (they were
using public facilities that white people used) would they be allowed to do so? They rode to
o Connor allowed the clansman to harass and assault the black people for 15 minutes
before the police stepped in.
Police construct white supremacy and freedom from violence
He’ll finish the lecture NEXT WEEK. Lecture 5: Moral Panics: The Role of Moral Crusaders in the Social Construction of Deviance
Class average: 70% & first questions especially well-done.
Question 1: good solid definitions about denotative (African American family eating dinner) &
connotative (They eat at a place such as this) meaning, myth (African Americans prefer to dine in lower
Questions 2: Stranger danger was written in a subjectivist point of view + definition + explanation (social
construction of stranger danger)
Question 3: 6 strategies of media coverage; there were 5 n the lecture, but 1 you had to add Eg.
Question 4: The role of experts in the social construction of deviance (lecture from eugenics); they add
legitimacy to claims and the idea that it seems to be objective
Question 5: what you’d say to someone saying that Canada wasn’t involved in eugenics (marked as a
whole); being in details from both lecture & readings
Question 6: straight forward Mala en se, etc.
Question 7: Covert institutionalization; examples of what it isn’t Eg. rape, murder
Ku Klux Klan of Kanada
Canada (lesser known) and the US were the only 2 countries where the KKK flourished.
Reading: Ira Johnson and Isabella Jones: KKK found out they were living together and they let the police
know and let them know what they were going to do and knew they couldn’t do anything. They escorted
Isabella Jones out, and told Johnson that if they ever see him with a white woman on the streets, they’d
“take care” of him. They nailed a cross on his property and set it on fire to remind him of the threat.
News Media and the Social Construction of KKKK Activity as “Normal”
It was really impressive how thoroughly and systematically the Klan went about their task... the burning of
the fiery cross added a realistic touch” Oakville Star and Independent
celebrated and proved that what they did was right and appropriate.
social construction of deviance and normality (KKK as normal)
News Media and the KKKK 2
“If the Ku Klux Klan conducted all their assemblies in as orderly a manner as in Oakville […] when they
separated a negro and his intended white bride, there would be no complaint” Milton Canadian Champion
Police and the Social Construction of KKKK Activity as “Normal”
“At no time during the evening was violence used and the conduct of the visitors was all that could be
desired” Chief of Police David Kerr, Oakville.
When they took of their hoods, he recognized them and shook their hands and conveyed that they were
good people and well known.
This is how normality can be constructed in the face of the law (“gate keepers”); they are in a position to
socially construct crime.
Mine Workers Union of Canada: Police Chief David Kerr
Q. Don’t you think that what was done was lawful?
I don’t care to answer that question.
Q. Well, Chief, don’t you think it was the humane and decent thing to do?
A. I don’t think I ought to answer that.
How Judges Can Socially Construct Deviance and Normality “They committed not only an illegal offence s regards her, but also a crime against the majesty of the law.
Every person in Canada is entitled to protection of the law and is subject to the law. It is the supreme
dominant authority controlling the conduct of everyone and no person, however exalted or high his
power, is entitled to do with impunity what that lawless mob did. The attack of the accused and his
companions upon the rights of this girl was an attempt to overthrow the law of the land, and in its place
set up mob law, lynch law, to substitute lawlessness for law enforcement which obtains in civilised
countries” Chief Justice Mulock, Ontario Court of Appeal
Glinda the Good Witch of the North
Wicked Witch of the West
White Witch from Narnia
Macbeth – Three Witches
Roald Dahl – The Witches
lots of fascination of the witches
1. Salem Witch Trails:
February 1692 in Salem: Betty and Abigail started acting strange extremely violent epileptic seizures:
speaking weird, bending the neck, crawling under the bed. The people were concerned, but many people
started doing the same things.
Salem Witch Trails prosecution of being witches or committing witch craft 1636 -1754 50,000 &
100,000 were executed.
How many actual witches were executed? ZERO. No evidence to suggest otherwise.
1 year ago: a high school had students who suddenly began to twitch = stress and under unique
circumstances, it can spread on a subconscious level.
In Salem, the devil is real, is accepted by all.
2. Satanic Ritual Abuse
A 2 year old boy was abused at school. Most expensive trail.
17 other schools between 1982-2004 = similar court cases; alleged child abuse done to carry out
religious satanic rituals.
Mcmartin Preschool stood out.
All schools were acquitted. & Today, none of the schools report any such time.
At this time, more women were working and leaving their kids, and there were deep uncertainties in
leaving their children. Vast gender role changes were manifested in this panic.
3. Don't take candy from a stranger
But what about Halloween, kids take multiple candies from strangers Halloween Satanic Scare 1970s
Newsweek: a few children will die or narrowly escape injury from razor blades, needles, etc.
ANTI-SANTANISM LAWS: people learned and children taught how to detect these
contaminated candies and a lot of people cancelled Halloween
Canada’s Halloween trick-or-treating is held on October 31 , but in the states, communities
decide when and where; stems back to the Stranger Danger fears instilled in Americans (more
than Canadians). The only 2 documented examples, was one youth that died because the candy was laced with heroin, but
in reality the child ingested heroin, perhaps thinking it was candy. One child did die from eating an apple
with a razor blade; it was his father.
Major changes in 1970s in society.
These three things are MORAL PANICS.
Moral Panics (Cohen 1972)
Sandy Cohen defined MORAL PANIC.
• Societies appear to be subject, every now and then, to periods of moral panic. A condition, episode,
a person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and
interests; its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the
moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right-thinking
people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; ways of coping are
evolved or (more often) resorted to; the condition then disappears, submerges or deteriorates
and becomes more visible. Sometimes the object of the panic is quite novel and at other times it is
something which has been in existence long enough, but suddenly appears in the limelight.
Sometimes the panic passes over and is forgotten, except in folklore and collective memory; at
other times it has more serious and long lasting repercussions and might produce such changes
as those in legal and social policy or even in the way the society conceives itself.
Folk Devils – Mods & the Rockers
Two different groups of youth who had different styles and music and lifestyles.
Mods: more preppy & pop/hit music
Rockers: leather & motorcycles + rock music
Easter 1964: Mods and Rockers fought at the beach and it blew up.
Headlines: Wild Ones Seaside - 97 Arrest
these headlines blew the event out of proportion
Folk Devils (Cohen 1972)
These are the Mods and the Rockers; the people that others panic and overreact about.
In the gallery of types that society erects to show its members which ROLES should be AVOIDED and
which should be emulated, these groups have occupied a constant position as FOLK DEVILS: visible
reminders of what we should not be (Cohen, 1972).
Over-Reporting by the Media
Distortion – When the news media EXAGGERATES grossly the seriousness of the events, in terms of
criteria such as number taking part in, the number involved in violence, and the amount of any effects of
damage or violence.
i.e. SENSATIONAL headlines, melodramatic vocabulary
Journalists use this to sell papers; but their distortion is an essential part of the Moral Panic.
Eg. idea of the 50 pound check story: during the events of mods and rockers, it was reported that a officer
went to a boy and said that he was in trouble that the damage cost 50 pounds. The boy said that he would
pay with a check. When reported in the papers, everyone thought he was arrogant. But in reality, he
couldn’t pay enough and was apologetic. This story still came up years later.
Moral Panics and Rapid Social Change
Cohen says Moral Panics, it’s fine that it happens. BUT why does it happen? Cohen suggests there must be something more to it; the moral panic behind mods and rockers
symbolized something much deeper.
Denotative & Connotative & Myth meaning.
Context (time and place) is key to Moral Panics; because the reaction may be very different
Cohen suggests that the reactions to the Mods and the Rockers have to be placed within specific
CULTURAL and HISTORICAL CONTEXTS in which the phenomena developed.
Post-War Social Change in Britain (i.e. baby boom, end of depression, higher wages for youth, rising
commercial youth culture, increasing leisure time for youth
Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears
Geoffrey Pearson suggested there’s no such thing as the “good old days”, it’s a myth. He did a context
analysis on these riots, he found a catch phrase everyone was using: “The youth are completely different
than they are before, back in the day, 25 years ago, they would NEVER do this.” This pattern is found in
newspapers up to 1800s.
Picture: this is the perfect outfit to protect adults from “Garater” (1860s)
This phrase is in itself a Moral Panic, because we distort their behaviour.
Moral Panics and “Mugging” in Britain
Britain is concerned about what happens in America, because they believe it’s where things begin and
often Britain is the next place to happen.
Papers in the US reported a rise of “mugging”; and Britain panics. Later, it did end up happening in
Stuart Hall and many others – Policing the Crisis (1978)
Widespread panic over the sudden appearance of ‘mugging’ as a crime problem in Britain circa 1972.
Hall argues that there was little, if any, justification for the concern over the growth in mugging expressed
by the police, courts, politicians and news media.
Moral Panics and "Mugging” in Britain, 2
Mugging = Robbery that takes place at night
Technically it was improving, but there was still a panic = disjunction.
Racial Profiling also had to do with the mugging in the states and reports about the assailants.
‘Mugging’ is simply a new label for an old crime.
Media concentrated on the most serous ‘mugging’ involving severe injury and death.
Robbery and related offences were actually DECLINING between 1966 and 1972….right before the
mugging moral panic.
Association of mugging with young Black people a result of sel