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Chapter 9

Textbook Notes - Chapter 9 (Deviance)

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SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

Sociology: Chapter 9 (Deviance) Deviance: recognized violation of cultural norms Primary deviance ~ passing episodes that may provoke slight reaction Secondary deviance ~ person repeatedly violates a norm, takes on deviant identity Crime: violation of a society’s formally enacted criminal law Social control: attempts by society to regulate people’s thoughts and behaviour Criminal justice system: a formal response by police, courts, and prison officials to alleged violations of the law Labelling Theory: the idea that deviance and conformity result not so much from what people do as from how others respond to those actions Stigma: a powerfully negative label that greatly changes a person’s self-concept and social identity Medicalization of deviance: the transformation of moral and legal deviance into a medical condition White-collar crime: crime committed by persons of high social position in the course of their occupation Corporate crime: the illegal actions of a corporation or people acting on its behalf Organized crime: a business that supplies illegal goods or services Hate crime: a criminal act against a person or person’s property by an offender motivated by racial or other bias. Violent Crimes: crimes against people that involve violence or threat of violence Property crimes: crimes that involve theft of property belonging to others Victimless crimes: violations of laws in which there are no readily apparent victims Plea bargain: a legal negotiation in which the prosecution reduces a defendant’s charge in exchange for a guilty plea Retribution: an act of moral vengeance by which society makes the offender suffer as much as the suffering caused by the crime Deterrence: the attempt to discourage criminality through punishment Rehabilitation: a program for reforming the offender to preclude subsequent offences Societal Protection: rendering an offender incapable of further offences either temporarily through incarceration or permanently by execution Criminal Recidivism: subsequent offences by people previously convicted of crimes Community-based corrections: correctional programs operating within society at large, rather than behind prison walls What is Deviance Social Control Biological Context – genetics and environmental factors Personality Factors – deviance viewed as result of ‘unsuccessful’ socialization Social Foundations of Deviance Deviance varies according to cultural norms People become deviant as others define them that way Both norms and the way in which people define rule breaking involve social power Functions of Deviance – Structural-Functional Analysis Key insight – deviance is a necessary part of social organization; Emile Durkheim 1. Deviance affirms cultural values and norms 2. Responding to deviance clarifies moral boundaries 3. Responding to serious deviance brings people together 4. Deviance encourages social change Merton’s Strain Theory Deviance depends on the extent to which society provides the means (education, employment) to achieve cultural goals (financial success) Conformity – pursuing cultural goals through approved means Deviance innovation – using unconventional means (street crime) to achieve culturally approved goal Ritualism – inability to reach cultural goal Retreatism – rejection of both cultural goals and means – alcoholics, drug addicts, street people Rebellion – reject both cultural definition of success and conventional means of achieving it, forming counterculture supporting alternatives Deviant subcultures Criminal subcultures (Hells Angels, gangs) Conflict subcultures (armed street gangs) Retreatist subculture (
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