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Chapter 5

SOC103- Chapter 5- Deviance, Crime, and Regulation.docx

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SOC 103
Tonya Davidson

SOC103- Chapter 5- Deviance, Crime, and Regulation Module 5.1 Crime and Deviance Criminology and the sociology of law  Criminologists who adopt a sociological approach focus on the societal context within which criminal law is created and applied o Focus on explanations of crime that consider societal factors—poverty and discrimination  Criminology- the study of crime causation, crime prevention, and the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders  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  Rule of law- constitutional principle that no person is above the law and that state power should not be exercised arbitrarily  Interest in examining the law from a sociological perspective grew after thworld war  1960—studied social conflict and social inequality o Gap existed between the ideals of the law and the reality of the legal system—way was not applied uniformly to all citizens Defining crime and deviance  Crime- behaviors and actions requiring social control and social interventions, codified in law  Deviance- actions, beliefs, conditions, and characteristics that violate social norms, and that may or may not be against the law o Crime is often referred to as “hard deviance”  Social norms—giving society accepted standards and social expectations o Difficult—how are these social norms defined and by whom  Perceptions of deviance can also change o Acts that were once considered deviant can become an accepted part of society o Acts once considered normal can become deviant Social deviance  Social deviance- any acts that involve the violation of social norms  Becker (1966)—it is not the act itself that is deviant but rather peoples interpretation of it and reaction to it that make it deviant o Given act or behavior must be viewed from a standpoint of the culture in which the place, since what is perfectly acceptable in one culture may be seen deviant in another  Who defines deviance? o Politicians/governments, scientists, religious institutions, and the media  Moral entrepreneur- person who takes action in an attempt to influence or change the development or enforcement of society’s moral code  People who act in ways that deviate from that is deemed acceptable bahaviour are subject to social controls but informally and formally  Forms of social control o Social control- methods used by society to dis courage deviant bahaviour and encourage conformity to social norms o Informal social controls-occurs through interaction among individuals and includes the ways in which we try to communicate and enforce standards of appropriate behavior o Formal social controls- exerted by the state through the criminal justice system, social workers, and psychiatrists  Rewards and punishments used to pain social control sanctions o Rewards positive sanctions, Punishments negative sanctions o Smile positive informal sanctions, Scowl negative informal sanctions o Pay raise positive formal sanctions, Dismissal from a job or imprisonment negative formal sanctions  Is deviance always a bad thing? o Can cause disruption to smooth functioning of social groups o Positive outcomes e.g. 9/11 Canada tighten border and airline crossing security  Some may see these outcomes as negative 1 SOC103- Chapter 5- Deviance, Crime, and Regulation Module 5.2 Explaining Crime and Deviance: Theoretical Perspectives Classical criminology: rational choice theory  Jeremy Bentham Developed on the basis of 4 basic belief 1. People have free will to choose criminal or lawful solutions, and thus crime is rational choice 2. Criminal solutions are seen as more attractive than lawful ones if they require less work for a greater payoff 3. The fear of punishment can control peoples 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  Before a person commits to an offence—engage in rational evaluation of the pros and cons of the situation Biological perspectives  Positivism-application of the scientific method to the social world  Biological determinism- hypothesis that biological factors completely determine a persons behavior  Cesare Lambroso (1835-1909) man shared skeletal characteristics most commonly associate with animals o Some were born to be criminals o Born criminal has a low, sloping forehead; high cheekbones; handle-shaped ears; a large, prominent chin; a hawk-like nose; and fleshy lips  William Sheldon (1940) behaviours could be predicted by focusing on body types o Three basic body types  Mesomorphs extroverted, aggressive, and muscular  Ectomorphs thin, fret a lot, and are introverted  Endomorphs laid back, extroverted, and soft and limp  Biosocial theorists—evaluating the association between violent behavior and hormone levels Sociological approaches to crime  Functionalism o Roots of Emile Durkheims notion of anomie states which norms are confused, unclear, or not present  Can occur during periods of rapid change and uncertainty  Change creates normlessness leads to deviant behavior o Stain theory- assertion that people experience strain when culturally defined goals cannot be met through socially approved means  Anomic conditions are produced in society when culturally defined goals cannot be met through socially approved means  Wen goals are not met some people will resort to deviant methods to achieve them o Merton (1938) Typology to describe 5 ways in which people react to culturally defined goals:  Conformity individual both accept social goals and have the means to achieve them  Innovation goals of society are accepted but the individual is incapable of achieving them through socially approved means  Ritualism social goals are rejected but the mean
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