Deviance and Social Control Chapters 7,8,9 Notes

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Candace Kruttschnitt

Chapter 7 The Social Disorganization Perspective The idea that “pathology” can exist at the social level is characteristic of the social disorganization perspective. This view dominated the sociology of deviance from the 1890s to the mid-1930s and later formed the basis for interactionist, social learning, and control theories. Origins of the Social Disorganization Perspective - Sociological positivism emerged when thinkers from various backgrounds (philosophy, theology, political science, and natural science) began to look for regularities in social life, just as natural science had sought regularities in plant and animal life o Early sociologists were motivated by the historical changes that had led to increasingly obvious concentrations of deviance among people in particular social classes and groups - Religion, which had been largely irrelevant to classical theory, now served as a motivating factor in the scientific study of society - A variety of people took up the challenge to understand the sources of urban squalor and to do something about them. These included: o Religious – “do-gooders” who considered overcrowding, crime, other social problems as evidence of inadequate moral training o Humanitarian philanthropists from the industrial middle class who felt that impulsive and unsystematic charity was ineffective which maintained poverty o Journalists who exposed sources of corruption at the political and economic level o Public health and welfare officials who conducted surveys and investigations o Social reformers (i.e. John Howard, Beatrice Webb) who studied society to improve it; and radicals (i.e. Karl Marx) who hoped to end urban poverty by overthrowing the entire system Emile Durkheim and Sociological Positivism - The founders of sociology – Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Vilfredo Pareto, Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber – were all influenced by Darwinist evolutionary theory in varying degrees o They saw societies as organisms that could adapt to their environments and evolve over time, and they felt that understanding the laws of social evolution might enable them to influence its course - Durkheim argued that “social facts are explained by social facts” and rejected any explanation of social problems that relied on psychological or biological variables o Deviance is natural and helps society to function effectively o Believed societies evolve from simple to more complex forms o Mechanical solidarity: members share sameness and common values o Organic solidarity: division of labour, few common values, differences o Anomie: lack of integration in the group and firm moral values and commitments o Egoism: lack of regulation and supervision by the group The Chicago School and Social Disorganization Theory - Main argument of Chicago School holds that rapid social change leads to a breakdown of common values and regulation in certain parts of society, thereby allowing anomic forms of deviance like suicide and mental illness to emerge - The Chicago school theorists regarded the following kinds of change as particularly relevant to social disorganization: o Urbanization – transition from simple rural to complex crowded urban o Migration – movement of people from close-knit, homogenous to heterogeneous urban setting o Immigration – movement of people with wide variety of social backgrounds and customs, often European, into the American melting pot o Industrialization – transformation of employment patterns and development of industrial working classes and underclasses o Technological change Primary and Secondary Relations - Chicago theorists such as Charles Horton Cooley emphasized the importance of primary relations (informal, face-to-face, personal interactions) over secondary relations (formal, direct, less personally involving) - According to the Chicago School perspective, the less someone is integrated and regulated by involvement in personally meaningful interdependent relationships, the more likely it is that he or she will engage in unregulated or deviant behaviour Human Ecology - Ecology can be loosely defined as a science that deals with the relationships of organisms to one another and to other factors that make up their environment - Human ecology is the study of spatial and temporal relations among people and how they are affected by social and economic competition for space and other resource; human ecology views ethnic groups, occupational cultures, and various other users of “social space” as “species” seeking individual and group survival in a competitive environment - Nine important concepts of “human ecology theory of urban dynamics”: o Invasion – introduction of a new group/species into the territory o Segregation – separation of species (ethnic, racial or business categories) from one another, so that each tends to be concentrated in some areas and absent in others o Natural areas – often the product of unplanned processes; these natural bounderies are rarely entirely consistent with official administrative territorial units such as census tracts o Conflict – intense competition between groups over the use of territory o Dominance – strength of one group relative to others o Accommodation – process whereby different species (groups or land uses) achieve a nonconflictual adjustment o Assimilation – complete absorption of one group into the way of life of another o Succession – takeover by a new group (i.e. as wealthier residents move to better districts, the housing they leave behind is divided into rooming-house accommodation for a different social class/new immigrant group) o Symbiosis – interdependence among groups Location - Location as a geographical concept refers to position on a land surface. Location as an ecological concept refers to the distribution of people in social as well as geographical space - A “criminal area” is partly a matter of geographical location, and partly a matter of interaction and networking Research Methods of the Chicago School Ecological mapping - The research method most closely associated with the Chicago School is ecological mapping o Detailed maps of a particular city or district are used to show where deviant activities and social problems are concentrated - Thrasher’s version of the map presents the city as a series of five concentric zones: o Zone 1 (the central business district): large businesses, stores, banks, commercial offices, places of amusement, light industry, transportation. This area is busy in daylight and desert at night. Few criminals/deviants live here o Zone 2 (zone in transition): rooming houses, flats, and hotels that are home to unskilled day workers, recent immigrants and students. Marginals such as hobos, alcoholics and prostitutes find their own space; various kinds of criminals are able to operate without much concern about interference from the law. Zone 2 is characterized by social problems (i.e. mental illnesses, suicide, poverty); it is the area of first settlement or immigrant reception area o Zone 3: settled by the stable working class and the second generation of immigrants. Homes are small, similar in design, crowed together o Zone 4: suburban middle-class area, settled mainly by white-collar workers and executives. Homes are larger, less similar, less densely. People share a sense of community values and norms o Zone 5: “exurbia”, a commuter zone characterized by large residential properties belonging to the relatively affluent - Within the concentric zones are further subdivisions called natural areas (areas that favoured the presence of deviant ways of life) - Neighbourhoods rarely change from high-crime to low-crime areas (or vice versa) unless there has been change in the stability of the neighbourhood and its ability to organize for social control. When change does occur, it is likely to be caused by public policy decisions such as slum clearance, subsidized housing, or urban redevelopment projects (i.e. housing policy that directs large, low-income families into a stable, working-class neighbourhood) Ethnography - A frequently used tool of the Chicago School was urban ethnography - Ethnography involved continual monitoring of events as they unfolded in their natural setting - Chicago School ethnographies documented social worlds and ways of life within city neighbourhoods through a combination of field work (participant observation), techniques such as door-to-door surveys, and the collection of publicly available data on sex ratios, age structures, and racial/ethnic residential segregation and interaction Life Documents - Other members of the Chicago School used life documents, such as diaries and letters, to reveal how people experienced the transition to city life and how their ideas and behaviour changed in response to the urban environment - Another life document approach was the "life history", a story of one person or several individuals that could assume the form of an autobiography or a series of interviews Social Disorganization Theory in Canada McGill University - McGill University: centre of social disorganization theory and research in Canada - McGill sociology went beyond the city and Chicago school - into the stud of frontier settlement and the processes whereby the interdependence of metropolis (major cities) and hinterland (resource-based communities) create new patterns of urban growth From Social Disorganization to Deviant Tradition Early Subcultural Theory - By the end of 1930s, the idea of the Chicago school had begun to shift from an emphasis on how disorganization permits deviance to occur to an emphasis on how deviant traditions in a community contribute to the maintenance of deviance in 'delinquency areas' (Subcultural theory) - First appearance in Thrasher's study of 1313 Chicago gangs: o Thrasher notes that when institutions are weakened by rapid social change, two main effects result. First, effective legitimate regulation disappears, leaving children and youths free to create their own (unconventional) forms of order. Second, weakened institutions in disorganized environments do not work effectively, which means they are not meeting basic needs (these two effects set a favourable context for the emergence of delinquent gangs) - Playgroups in organized and disorganized areas differ from each other. In organized areas, institutions are strong and the Playgroups are supervised and channelled into legitimate activities. In disorganized areas, there are fewer opportunities for the kind of supervised play that integrates the participants into conventional social worlds, this playgroup is likely to evolve in the direction of non-conformity - What transforms the unconventional playgroup into the more organized, self-aware gang is conflict between the playgroup and the conventional social order, and between groups who battle for control of turf within the neighbourhood - Shaw and McKay used data from police and juvenile court records for the years between 1900 and 1940 to produce ecological maps. They found that rates of crime showed a regular decrease as one moved from the centre of Chicago to its periphery. They also reported: 1. Areas characterized by low economic status tend to have high population turnover, heterogeneity, and poor self-regulation 2. Zones with high rates of juvenile delinquency also have high rates of adult crime 3. Recidivism is highest in areas that have a high rate of delinquency 4. Each population group, regardless of racial or ethnic composition, experiences high rates of delinquency when it occupies areas of first settlement 5. Patterns of behaviour characteristic of each zone maintain themselves even as different groups pass through them (communities with high delinquency rates in 1900 also had high delinquency rates in 1940) - Shaw and McKay developed the 'cultural transmission theory of delinquency' o This theory says that within a delinquency area, particular forms of vice, crime, or deviance become a tradition that is transmitted from one generation to the next o When successful in criminal activities, older offenders often engage in extravagant displays of affluence and power and thereby become role models for youths living in areas with limited legitimate routes to wealth and influence The Continuing Role of Social Disorganization Theory - By 1950, social disorganization was no longer the dominant explanation of socially undesirable behaviour - Today's disorganization perspective work has five main directions: 1. First develops from Durkheim's position that such a thing as 'just enough' deviance to keep a social system integrated exists 2. Second thread is a continuation of the physical ecological and mapping concerns of the Chicago School 3. Third is found in 'network' approached 4. Fourth is a spirited attempt to revive the area of disorganization as a consequence of rapid change and disruption within communities 5. Social disorganization has been incorporated in a variety of integrated theories Boundaries: Defining Deviancy Up (or Down) - Kai Erikson: the Puritan society experienced 'crime waves' at times when moral boundaries we're threatened by changed in the external environment or by development of new problems within the society. The Puritans were defining deviancy 'up' to meet their needs for observable integration and regulation o Ben-Yehuda used this idea to explain the role of witchcraft, the occult, science fiction, science hoaxes, and other forms of nonconformity as means of boundary management in society Ecological Approaches - The second modern extension of disorganization theory focuses on the ecological side of the Chicago School tradition - Blighted areas contribute disproportionately to a city's problems - Certain forms of subsidized or low-rental housing attract drug pushers, prostitutes, and others who take advantage of the absence of effective community controls to engage in deviant activities, and thee people then provide role models and opportunities for the children of residents - Such areas attract more of the kind of policing that results in high arrest rates and less of the kind that relies on strong police-community ties - Recent studies have developed the idea of 'neighbourhood' disadvantage as a factor in distorted adolescent development Network Approaches - The third modern version of social disorganization theory, called network theory, shared with Chicago School theory an emphasis on urban forms, only instead of ecological processes it focuses on networks of relationships - When networks are strong and extensive, members of community are able to supervise and regulate one another's behaviour, and feel safer - Greenberg, Rohe and Williams identify three primary dimensions of local social control: 1. Informal surveillance - neighbours pay attention to what others are doing 2. Movement-governing rules - rules that identify certain parts of the city/neighbourhood to be avoided 3. Direct intervention - speaking to others, admonishing adults/children who are engaged in unacceptable behaviour Sampson and Groves: Chicago Dvhool Revitalized? - 1980s saw a revival of attention for social disorganization theories, mainly on the part of delinquency researchers - Sampson and Groves followed the logic, principles and concepts of the Chicago School to study Brotish Crime Survey data from 238 British neighbourhoods - They argue that structural community characteristics such as urbanization and family disruption mean sparse local friendship networks and low organizational participation. These factors diminish a community's ability to assert control over individuals' behaviour through formal and informal networks and organizations - New concepts introduced: collective efficacy, which is part of informal control, it is an aspect of trust and social cohesion that acts as a resource to offset the effects of neighbourhood disorganization Integrated Approaches - Social disorganization approaches are found in combination with other theories as explanations of concentrations of undesirable factors in some areas rather than others - Also used on explanations of urban-rural differences in helping behaviour, management of crime in race-segregated communities, and he effect of new forms of social disruption on community life Chapter 8 Functionalist and Strain Perspectives  By the 1950s, functionalism had become the dominant theory in North American sociology  Functionalist approach focuses on the interrelationships of parts of society with one another and with society as a whole and looks for unsuspected and unintended linkages between the parts  At the core of functionalism is the idea that deviance (both the actual behaviour of deviants and the image of deviance shared among people) is a natural product of the social order and may even have positive effects on the system  Rules and rule enforcement are part of the processes that hold the social system together Structural Functionalism  The mainstream functionalist approaches to deviance are emphatically structural; they attempt to show that social conditions are frequently structured in such a way that they unintentionally produce deviance  Chicago School blamed weak structure for permitting deviance to occur  Functionalists claim that the structure produced structural strain that caused deviance  Often associated with functionalism is the idea of subcultural solutions to strain Organic and Cybernetic Models  Early functionalists (Spencer, Durkheim, Malinowski, Radcliffe-Brown) shared with disorganization theorists a view of society as a kind of superorganism  Organic model: if change occurs in that environment, the society responds adaptively to protect itself or even to improve its well-being. It may evolve over time through internal development. Society has a head (management functions) and circulation (communication, defence, and delivery functions), and the relationship of each part to every other part in the system is one of interdependence. Most parts perform some specialized function on behalf of the organism. Deviance is much like illness; we need exposure to germs to maintain our immune systems (but not too much)  Cybernetic model (Talcott Parsons): society is a homeostatic, self-regulating system that (as long as it's healthy) maintains a balance (equilibrium) of its internal parts in the face of a changing environment. Deviance is a kind of excessive heat in the system that triggers a cooling-off response (social control). When a system has too little deviance, it adjusts to create more. The relationship between deviance and control is an endless feedback loop in a computer-like mechanical system Strategic Assumptions of Functionalism  Functionalist thinkers use two basic strategies in their approach to deviance  First strategy: begins with assumptions about the functional requirements of system survival o Each social system must adapt to its external environment, meet some basic goals, maintain a minimum level of integration, and replace its members over time o Deviance may emerge when the approved means are not quite adequate or are poorly integrated o Functionalism helps us understand the ambivalence and even inconsistency of social reactions to deviance. Our attitudes toward some kinds of behaviour change when the needs of society change (i.e. homosexuality is less tolerated in war time when countries need soldiers and priority is procreation) o Functionalism can also explain why cults (nontraditional religious organizations/NRM) are seen as deviant by the wider society, but become slightly less disreputable if they survive long enough to have their own children and meld into society  Second strategy: to look at deviance that has persisted and try to find out what effects it produces that would explain its contribution to the survival of the system o Suggests that the deviant is wrongfully punished for behaviour that not only is induced by the system but also serves its purposes The Central Concept of Functionalism Function  The concept of function is central to functionalist theory  A part or process of the social system is functional to the extent to which it contributes to the maintenance of the system  Merton: social function refers to observable objective consequences, and not to subjective dispositions (aims, motives, purposes) Manifest and Latent Functions - In Durkheim’s work, intended functions were simply called “purposes” - In Merton’s version of functionalism, manifest functions are those with visible and comprehensible consequences, while latent functions are those whose consequences are less obvious and often unrecognized Dysfunction - Early functionalism tended to be Panglossia; it assumed that if anything existed for a long time, it must have a good reason or purpose - Merton introduced dysfunction - Dysfunction occurs when a part of process lessens the effective equilibrium of a system and contributes to stress or strain instead of the smooth operation of the whole The Functions of Deviance - Dysfunctions are harmful consequences, eufunctions are beneficial consequences The Positive Consequences of Deviance - According to the functionalist perspective, deviance has 10 major positive consequences 1. Clarification of rules. Deviance may cause an unknown or unclear rule to be stated specifically and clearly 2. Testing of rules. Although every society needs some rules, it does not follow that all rules are good. Deviants may break rules to challenge them. The person who tests the rules serves as guinea pig in the determination of which way the issues will be resolved 3. Alternative means of goal attainment 4. Safety valve. A certain amount of deviance in each society serves as a kind of safety valve, a timeout from the demands of full conformity 5. Tension release and solidarity. Dentler and Erikson suggest that groups characterized by high tension and stress regularly seem to find or produce at least one deviant member. They concluded that the more extreme the deviant, the higher the group solidarity 6. Boundary maintenance. Deviance may provoke a response that helps integrate the society. If the group unites to support the value that has been violated, the value will be reinforced and the integration of the community will be increased 7. Scapegoating. By attacking deviants, the authorities could make it appear as if they were solving society problems 8. Raising the value of conformity. When the deviant is punished, the value of conformity is enhanced 9. Early warning system
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