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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Deviance, Crime, and Regulation.docx

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SOC 103
Tonya Davidson

SOC103 How Society Works CHAPTER 5 Deviance, Crime, and Regulation MODULE 5.1 – Crime and Deviance CRIMINOLOGY AND THE SOCIOLOGY OF LAW  Criminology: scientific approach to the study of crime causation, crime prevention, and the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders o Includes within its scope the process of making laws, breaking laws, and reacting towards the breaking of laws o Interests to criminologists include the development of criminal law and its use in defining crime, the causes of breaking the law, and the methods implemented by a society to control criminal behaviour  Sociology of law: subdiscipline of sociology as well as an approach within the field of legal studies that looks at how the law and the justice system are socially constructed o Analyzes how criminal justice system influences social values and behaviours  Two principles adopted by Canada’s legal institutions: 1. Rule of law: the constitutional principle that no person is above the law and that state power should not be exercised arbitrarily  Ensures laws are created, administered, and enforced on the basis of acceptable procedures promoting fairness and equality 2. Everyone is entitled to equal justice under the law DEFINING CRIME AND DEVIANCE  Crime: behaviours and actions requiring social control and social intervention, codified in law  Deviance: actions, beliefs, conditions, and characteristics violating social norms, and that may or may not be against the law o Difficulty with this definition is of deviance is how these social norms are defined, and by whom SOCIAL DEVIANCE  Social deviance: any acts, beliefs, conditions, or characteristics that involve the violation of social norms o Deviance is relative; varies from person to person, from time to time, and from place to place  Moral entrepreneurs: a person who takes action in an attempt influence or change the development or enforcement of society’s moral codes  Social control: the method used by society to discourage deviant behaviour and encourage conformity to social norms o Informal social control: control that occurs through interactions among individuals, and includes the ways in which we try to communicate and enforce standards of appropriate behaviour o Formal social control: control that is exerted by the state through the criminal justice system, social workers, and psychiatrists o Reward and punishment used to gain social control is referred to as sanctions; rewards are positive sanctions and punishments are referred to as negative sanctions  Deviant behaviour can have social implications of it goes uncontested or is in some way rewarded or is a signal for change MODULE 5.2 – Explaining Crime and Deviance: Theoretical Perspectives CLASSICAL CRIMINOLOGY: RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY  (Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham) if crime results in some form of pleasure for the criminal, then pain must be sued to prevent crime  Classical criminology developed on the basis of four basic beliefs: 1. People have free will to choose criminal or lawful solutions, and thus crime is a rational choice 2. Criminal solutions are seen as more attractive than lawful ones if they require less work for a greater payoff 3. Fear of punishment can control people’s choices 4. When criminality is met with measured severity, certainty of punishment, and swiftness of justice, a society is better able to control criminal behaviour  Approach believes that before a person commits an offence, they engage in rational evaluation of pros and cons BIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES  Positivism: the application of the scientific method to the social world  Biological determinism: the hypothesis that biological factors completely determine a person’s behaviour SOC103 How Society Works o If we can identify biological features that distinguish criminals from non-criminals, it would be possible to prevent, control, and eliminate criminal behaviour SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO CRIME  Functionalist approach to criminality rooted in anomie, which states norms are confused, unclear, or not present o Strain theory: assertion that people experience strain when culturally defined goals cannot be met through social approved means  Most people share similar goals and vales, and when legitimate avenues to those goals are not assessable, some resort to deviant methods to achieve them  Will reject socially accepted goals altogether, substituting more deviant and/or criminal goals  Typology to describe five ways in which people react to culturally defined success goals: 1. Conformity – individuals both accept social goals have the means to achieve them 2. Innovation – occurs when goals of society are accepted but individual incapable of achieving them through socially approved means 3. Ritualism – occurs when social goals rejected but means to those goals are accepted 4. Retreat – involves rejection of societal goals and the legitimate means of achieving such goals 5. Rebellion – involves substituting alternative set of goals and means for conventional ones  Can be on the micro level where criminality is the direct result of negative affective states such as frustration, anger, and any other adverse emotions that come to fruition as a result of negative and destructive social relationships o Illegitimate opportunity theory: assertion that individuals commit crime as a result of their particular deviant learning environment  Two types of specialized deviant subculture: 1. Criminal – characterized them as youth gangs organized around activities that produces income, such as theft, extortion, and fraud  Found in lower-class ethnic areas that are organized around adult criminal patterns and values 2. Conflict – characterized by being tough and violent  Found in socially disorganized lower-class neighbourhoods with few illegal opportunities 3. Retreatist – retreatist gang members have given up on both goals and means and are primarily focused on the consumption of drugs and alcohol  Conflict theorists view crime as the outcome of class struggle and to explain crime within economic and social contexts o Criminogenic environment: an environment that, as a result of laws that privilege certain groups, produces crime or criminality o Interested in the role that bias plays in the criminal justice system and is merely a tool to protect the interests of
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