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SOCL 3501 Study Guide - Comprehensive Midterm Guide: White-Collar Crime, List Of Sovereign States By Suicide Rate, Deterrence Theory


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCL 3501
Professor
Stevenson
Study Guide
Midterm

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LSU
SOCL 3501
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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WEEK 2 SOCIOLOGY 3501 TEST 1 NOTES
CHAPTER 2
Positivistism: the application of the scientific method to the study of something
oAbsolutism
Deviance is real. It is different from conventional behavior. The people who
engage in it are different from conventional people. Atavism- criminals were
evolutionary throwbacks, Lombroso’s theory. Although we don’t count teeth or
measure arm length anymore, we still look at DNA to see if criminals have
something different
oDeterminism
Our behavior to some extent is determined by forces (society) outside of the
individual.
You can play your cards however you want, but society deals them- not
everyone has the same opportunities, our social status influences our choices.
oObjectivism
Somewhat removed from your subjects. We are never going to be 100%
objective; our feelings influence what we study. If deviance is real, then we can
study it in an objective way
Quantitative data (numbers, rates) is an objective way of doing
research.
Constructionism
oRelativism
No behavior is inherently good or bad. Societies have to define what is good/
bad.
Context can change whether or not something is deviant.
Viagra example
oSubjectivism
It is important to understand deviance from the actors point of view. How they
define what they have done
Example: Katz interviewed convicted murderers and robbers. After hearing what
they have to say, they saw it very differently than society did. It wasn’t robbery
or murder; the victims asked for it and someone should have stopped them
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oVoluntarism
The idea of free will; people act voluntarily
2 people act in the same way, why does one get labelled a deviant and the other
does not?
High consensus vs. low consensus
oHigh consensus deviance: there is a high agreement that something is deviant. Better
for positivistism research
oLow consensus: low level of agreement that something is deviant. Better for
constructionism research
Strain Theories
oMerton Strain (or Anomie theory): this is the foundation for all of the other strain
theories we are going to talk about. Doesn’t try to explain white-collar crime, this is the
biggest criticism of this theory.
Macrolevel theory: trying to explain why certain groups have high rates of
deviance (class levels, countries, gender)
Wants to explain why the lower class has higher rates of crime than the higher
groups
Argued that society can be structured in such a way that crime and deviance can
be produced.
Model of theory
Success goals: societies define what our success goals are. They tell us
what we are supposed to strive to achieve. Also says these success goals
are going to be uniform throughout (everyone is socialized into the
same success goals). Example: economic success
oWomen can have flexible success goals. Men are still more
heavily invested in the economic success goals because society
tells them to be.
Blocked means: society tells us what the most appropriate means are to
achieve these goals. Example: education and good jobs. When it comes
to the means, not everyone has the same access; this is where the
problem starts to happen. Example: public school
oDoesn’t explain white-collar crime
Strain: the gap between the goals and the means. People want to
achieve the goals, but it is more difficult. Example: poor people paying
for college
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