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Chapter 7

2D06 Textbook Note - Chapter 7 "Deviance".docx

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Sarah Clancy

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Chapter 7 Textbook Notes: “The Social Psychology of Deviance” (p. 186) • Deviance refers to thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that depart from accepted practices in a society or group/any behavior that violates the norms of the group • Laws represent what society calls mores: widely held beliefs in society, with many so widely held that they are formalized into law, therefore invoking both deep sentiments and harsh punishments for breaking them • Mores are derived from folkways: rules of behaviour and custom passed down through a group or society • Taboos: violations of behavior prescribed through mores • Most treatments of deviance tend to focus on theories and research associated with criminal behavior • Goal of criminology is to understand the processes that lead people to break laws • Interactionists view deviation as a normal part of the interaction process • Structural and group-centered views of deviance tend to focus on the social conditions that increase the likelihood of breaking laws • Deviance is a necessary part of the symbolic interaction process of negotiating social reality  interactionism assumes that individuals decide to maintain (or break) social norms and standards during every interaction • Small deviations in social norms are necessary for the development of relationships (exfeeling anxiety related to this type of deviance when trying to say the words I love you to a special romantic partner before he or she had said it to you) • Deviance is traditionally applied to larger breaks with social conventions • Deviance is also about identity formation, or how people come to see themselves as deviant • Interactionists view deviance as a manifestation of social interactions, like any other thought, feeling, or behavior • Symbolic interaction process: ethnomethodology helps us understand minor forms of deviance in everyday life and Labeling explains how individuals come to deviate from more serious norms in society • Ethnomethodology: a theory designed to link individual-level interactions with the broader society/ethnomethodologists do not assume that there is a shared meaning in a given interaction, rather people enter and leave interactions with somewhat different interpretations of those interactions/emphasizes how people construct and defend their views of social reality, thus people have differing sets of boundaries regarding acceptable and unacceptable behavior • Indexicality: Individuals’ index feelings, thoughts, and behaviors from their own perspectives in an effort to maintain efficiency/The meaning of a given behavior may be defined as deviant to one person but not to another • Reflexivity: The process by which individuals think about a behavior within its social context and give meaning to it/At some point, persons behavior will be labeled as deviant to one or more people in a given situation/If others view the label as deviant the individual decides whether she concurs with the label/If label accepted=the individual may categorize herself accordingly/alternatively, the individual can react negatively to being categorized as deviant and decide to stop the behavior • A product of this interaction process is the documentary interpretation of actions, or using evidence of the deviant behavior to infer meaning and motive in the behavior of the deviant person/Because we cant read the minds of people, we rely on their behaviors as our guide to their motives/Ppl most likely to use the documentary interpretation of actions when inferring the motives behind deviant behavior because they do not trust deviants to give honest accounts for their motivations (188) • From a SI perspective, the meaning to deviance is relative to time and place because individuals are constantly negotiating the meaning of what it means to be deviant (189) • We learn what is deviant how we learn everything else – through socialization (Karin Martin studied the ways that “heteronormativity” is taught to children through everyday activities • Large scale societal forces that contribute to deviance: Paul Knepper argues that crime has emerged as a problem in the last 2 centuries • Morality scale: Highest immoral behavior: Having an affair/Lowest: Divorce (Different behaviors are morally wrong) (190)  Labelling Theory of Deviance: • Ethnomethodological perspectives help to elaborate the basic process by which individuals come to be defined as deviant in the first place • Labelling Theory: Applies to the study of these processes from the interactionist perspective/Argues that deviance is a consequence of a social process in which a negative characteristic becomes an element of an individual’s identity/Person becomes a deviant through the acceptance of a deviant label=result of interactions with others or media portrayals of deviance and conformity/Can self-label based on interactions that indirectly call up a deviant identity (ex=people in poverty)/Self-fulfilling prophecy=act according to our label/People labelled as deviant become more likely to commit devious acts in the future • Looking Glass Self: Refers to how individuals come to understand their identities based on how people react to us and on our judgements of those reactions/George Mead and Charles Cooley did work on this/Roots of labelling theory stem from SI’s focus on the construction of the self • Ross Matsueda examined the formation of reflected appraisals that lead to delinquent behavior/children develop delinquent identities based on 3 sets of information: 1) Their own actions 2) Others’ Perceptions 3) Their own perceptions • The influences of reflected appraisals may be pronounced with deviant identities • Emily Asencio and Peter Burke (2011)=study that reflected appraisals affected the formation of criminal identities but not worker identities = suggest that the effects of reflected appraisals on identities vary by the identities in question  Lemert’s Stages Leading to Secondary Deviance (192): • Lemert (1951) argues that it takes multiple attempts at deviance before it moves from primary to secondary/Stages that lead people to accept the deviant label/Interaction and meaning-making processes are involved in the development of deviance in the same way as any other identity formation: 1) Primary deviance 2) Social penalties 3) Further primary deviation 4) Stronger penalties and rejections 5) Further deviation 6) Crisis reached in the tolerance of such deviance acceptable by a community 7) Strengthening of the deviant conduct as a reaction to penalties 8) Ultimate acceptance of the deviant social status  Types of Deviance: • Frank Tannenbaum (1938)=Research in labelling theory with juvenile delinquents leading them to fall into patterns of deviance/First, other people define the individuals act as bad or evil/Second, these people then ascribe the act to the individual (rather than the situation) gradually defining the person as bad/Finally, a change in self-concept takes place where the person committing the deviant act applies the label of deviance to herself beginning to think of herself as bad • Edwin Lemert: 2 forms of deviance: Primary Deviance: refers to the initial act that causes others to label the individual as deviant & Secondary Deviance: occurs after an individual accepts the deviant label and continues to commit devious acts, thus supporting the initial label • Indexing may lead an individual to be categorized as deviant. Social order is then restored by applying new sets of rules and expectations for the newly labelled individual, giving her a new set of behavioral guidelines/A typical example is seen in high school pranks=upon being caught, they will have to justify their actions and they will reveal the motive of their deviant identity • Agents of Social Control (193): Represent the state’s attempts to maintain social order; in other words, to enforce the mores of society • More people commit less serious offenses than with more serious ones (Theft=60%/Murder=1%) which means that murder would be considered the most important types of deviance to control • Although society does not directly cause primary deviance to occur, it contributes to the labelling process when agents of social control label an act and the person committing the act/A self-fulfilling process develops in which individuals reflect on their deviant behaviors based on the reactions of agents of social control, leading them to commit further deviant acts (i.e secondary deviance) to support the label  Theorizing on Labeling Processes (194): • William Chambliss (1973): Followed the lives of 2 sets of boys called the Saints and the Roughnecks/The Saints=middle-class, college bound boys/Roughnecks: came from the working class/Both groups participated in delinquent behaviors, however, the Saints were never arrested, only Roughnecks/The Saints were more deviant then the Roughnecks, but Roughnecks caused more damage/They gained enforcements attention for 3 reasons: 1) Differential visibility as a result of economic standing in the community (Roughnecks had to hang in public whereas the Saints had access to private transportation, hidden from the cops) 2) The Saints interacted differently with the authorities than the Roughnecks 3) The agents of social control showed bias for the Saints and against the Roughnecks (Saints were “sowing wild oats” and Roughnecks seen as “up to no good”)=once labelled delinquents, Roughnecks were scrutinized in their behaviors and deviance much more noticed than the Saints was • While agents of social control (prison guards, administrators, and managers of juvenile detention centers serve as a means of control to keep order within the institution, they also resocialize their residents to traditional societal norms, A.K.A treatment • Darin Weinberg: “Right Living”=following the rules of facilities/rules for living much less structured/the goal is to resocialize individuals toward new ways of thinking about themselves in the world  Deviant Subcultures: Howard Becker (1963): Book: Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance/labelling theorist/elaborated: 1) The processes through which primary deviance leads to secondary deviance 2) Importance of deviant subcultures in maintaining the deviant self-image o His study followed the pot laws and the recreational use of drugs o Outsiders: refer to people labeled as deviants who accept
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