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SOC*2070 Readings Week 11.pdf

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SOC 2070
Linda Hunter

Controversial Sexual Issues Structure of the Deviant Act (Adler Intro Part 7 pg. 459-461) - deviant associations involve the social organizations of the deviants as people, it depicts the types of relationships they have with other deviants - deviant acts focus on the particular instance of deviance, not the relationships surrounding them - we look at the nature of transaction: its length, its goals, its stability, the degree of cooperation or conflict involved, the number of parties involves, and the way the participants interact or do not interact with one another - deviant acts involves one or more people aiming to accomplish a particular deviant goal - deviant acts can be looked at in terms of what they have in common - all consist of purposeful behaviour intended to accomplish a gratifying end, require the coordination of participants and depend on individuals reacting flexibly to unexpected events - deviant acts fall along a continuum of sophistication and organization - following Best and Luckenbzillʼs typology, they are arranged by number of participants and intricacy of the relations 1. Individual - without recourse to the assistance or presence of other people, it can be committed by one person, to that person, on that person, for that person e.g. suicide, drug addiction, self-induced abortion, obesity, physical disability - can hang around and participate in subcultures as long as they accomplish their deviant acts alone - different from loners because they may have victims e.g. rapists, murderers 2. Cooperation - of at least 2 voluntary participants, usually involves the transfer of illicit goods (porn, arms, drug) or services, may involve in the exchange of money or acts 3. Conflict - between involved parties, one or more perpetrators force the interaction on the unwilling other(s), or an act seemingly entered into through cooperation turns out with one party setting up the other - the core relationship is one of hostility, with one person getting a favourable outcome - e.g. blackmail, kidnapping, theft, fraud, trespassing, assault Deviant Careers (Adler Intro Part 8 pg. 521-524) - people go through many of the same cycles of entry, upward mobility achieving career peaks, aging in the career, burning out, and getting out of deviance as they do in legitimate work - 6 themes tend to be most commonly address on literature on deviant careers: 1. Entering Deviance - attracts the greatest bulk of attention for 2 reasons: (1) policy makers have great interest in finding out how and why people enter deviance so that they can prevent it, and (2) it represents fairly easy data for most scholars to gather since every individual or group of deviants can tell their story of how they got into the scene - over the past couple decades, sociologists have developed the concept of “at risk” populations and articulated a range of risk factors associated with forms of deviance, as well as protective factors - the turning points that mark significant phases in transitions from individual deviance to joining deviant enterprises has been explored as well as changing self-identities - people who become involved in deviance do so through a process of shifting their circle of friends 2. Training and Socialization - of new deviants, little has been written about this because: (1) most deviants get relatively little explicit training in how to perform their deviance, avoid detection, deal with the police etc, (2) real training generally occurs when deviants are working together, side-by-side as a team in their enterprise 3. Changes Over Time - longitudinal studies are rare but valuable, they distinguish some of the different motivations, rewards, conflict and problems that deviants encounter over the course of their participation in deviance 4. Exiting Deviance - policy makers are looking for ways to induce people to quit their deviance - a variety of factors “push” people out of the deviant life and “pull” them back into the conventional world - people are pushed out by factors intrinsic to the deviant experience and lifestyle, they may burn out from the hours, the stress, transience or drug use, friends or associated who get arrested, jailed, injuries or killed may make them rethink - every time they get arrested, they face an increasing likelihood of doing longer jail sentences - what initially seemed daring and glamorous eventually becomes mundane and the excitement turns to paranoia - pulls factors are located outside the deviant arena and entice people to leave the world behind to return to conventionality - individuals such as friends, girlfriends, children, may encourage or intervene with deviants to quit their deviant ways, legitimate recreational and occupational interests are key - finding legitimate work may be difficult, may find it difficult to adjust to a 9-5 job 5. Post-Deviant - hardest data to get because just as developing a deviant identity moves people out of their conventional friendships and social worlds, quitting deviance also requires exiting from these same relationships and scenes 6. Deviant versus Legitimate Careers - working in deviant fields holds many similarities to the skills, professionalism, connections and attitudes needed for conventional jobs - people are less likely to have expertise in their trade or deliver on promises made - there are limitations to the career analogy, since while legitimate work may have several structures, the patterns for deviant careers are more generally entrepreneurial, behaviour shifts may be lateral and downward as well as upward, exits are problematic - the biggest contrast between deviant and legitimate careers lies in the legitimate careerʼs slower ascent at the beginning and the greater stability and security towards the end, compared to the deviantʼs rapid upward mobility and earlier burnout “Deviant” and “Normal” Sexuality (Bereska Ch 4 pg. 103-137) What is Deviant Sexuality? - sexuality can be perceived biologically and sociologically - it is considered deviant differently depending on how it is thought of - social processes determine what is considered deviant and normal sexuality in society - more objective deviance specialists refer to criminal and historical variations in the norms that are used as the standard against which deviance is judged - more subjective deviance specialists refer to processes of social construction - social processes determine who is socially typed as deviant through the processes of description (placed in a category because of their sexuality), evaluation (judged on the basis of Th. category into which they have been placed), and prescription (made subject to particular measures of regulation or social control) - in contemporary sociology of sexuality, the constructionist perspective dominates - elite disclosure = the knowledge about sexuality that is conveyed by those in authority and subsequently comes to be perceived as truth - Foucauldian sociologists who study sexuality analyze the ways that scientific, political, legal, religious and media discourses of sexuality “shape the ways audience members can imagine organizing their lives” The Cultural and Historical Construction of Sexuality - Gilbert Herdt has studied cross-cultural variants in sexuality - research in Sambia of New Guinea The Sambia of New Guinea - at the time, the Sambia society was characterized by both Patriarchy (social power was embedded in the males) and Misogyny (extreme distrust and even hatred of women) - believed the presence of females polluted boys, if uncontolled it would prevent the development of masculinity (the ability to engage in warfare) - the ensure the development of “normal” manhood, when a sufficient number of boys reached the ages of 7-10, they were removed from daily contact with the females for 10-15 years - they presumed that semen would be the source of masculinity and had to be transmitted to boys so they could become warriors - acts of fellatio occurred between males and boys - as the boys aged, they would moved from being the fellator to fellatee - at marriage they would move out and begin having sex with their wives while continuing same-sex activities with the younger males - when the manʼs first child was born, he would no longer participate in the same-sex activities except for a short, ritualized period of time with new boys - in our society, many of these activities would be perceived as deviant and be both informally and socially controlled - homosexual, pedophile - the Sambian practices of ritualized homosexuality have social and religious purposes, they are intended to reproduce and perpetuate the society they live in - this research raises important ethical questions for Canadians - because sexual activity between boys and adult men is perceived as normal does that mean it is an acceptable behaviour for the world at large? - illustrates normative variation or the social construction of sexuality Ethnocentrism - the belief that oneʼs own culture is better than or superior to another culture Ancient Athens - one area in Greece - relationship between power in normal and deviant sexuality - aristocratic men were at the highest level in power - slaves, people from outside of Greece, and women were not considered citizens - the sexual culture of the time was structured such that the needs of the powerful males were satisfied - aristocratic males would have sexual relationships between aristocratic women they married for the purpose of producing male heirs, they could also have sexual relationships with other women, slaves and foreigners who were expected to sexually service male citizens - they could also form sexual relationships with adolescent aristocratic boys - controlling deviance in sexuality was important in Athenian culture and the social typing process was evident - sex was expected to be a unidirectional relationship between a superior and an inferior, not a mutual relationship between equals - a mean would have been regrade as perverted if he sought a relationship with another person equal to him in age and status - adult male citizens - sexual activities between male citizens and adolescent boys were viewed as acceptable but there were guidelines to prevent deviance - no sexual activities between dusk and dawn - changes in sexual behaviours were expected during the lifespan - anal intercourse between males was perceived as unacceptable because it meant that a man was acting life a women, only women were to be recipients of insertion - if an adolescent boy allowed anal intercourse to occur, and took some type of compensation happened (prostitution), he was never allowed to be a citizen, couldnʼt vote and if he attempted to he could possibly lose his life - normal and deviant sexuality was defined on the basis of power Traditional Aboriginal Cultures of North America - sexuality was extricably interwoven with all other aspects of life - life is viewed as consisting of four components - physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual - because life was seen as consisting of these components, so was sexuality and sexuality was thought to enhance these 4 components in the rest of the personsʼ life - sexuality was perceived as being a sacred gift from the Creator, intended to be “pleasurable” and “magical” - this pleasure was accepted between members of the same sex as well - recognized that there are more than 2 sexes and more than 2 genders - e.g. Nadleeh refers to both masculine female-bodied and female male-bodied - sexual relationships between two biological males was acceptable as long as they were of different genders - people attracted to members of the same sex was normal and even necessary - for the colonizing Europeans, sex was for the sole purpose of reproduction and notions of pleasure were frowned upon, sex was sinful - a necessary evil - the only non-deviant sexuality was that which occurred between husband and wife in missionary position and they didnʼt enjoy it took much or do it too often - conflict between Europeans and Aboriginals was inevitable - in the beginning, sexual unions between Aboriginal women and white men was common due to the scarcity of white women - these women were called les femmes du pays or country wives - later attempts were made to eradicate devilish practices such as polygamy and cross- dressing - relationships between Euro-Canadian men and Aboriginal women were discouraged as the population of mixed-race women, such as Metis grew - over time Aboriginal sexuality was socially typed - it was described as heathen friskiness, devilish, Aboriginals were taught by church fathers the “right” way to have sexual intercourse - substantial changes occurred in the sexual cultures of Aboriginal societies as they adopted and integrated many aspects of European sexual culture - sexual cultures are dynamic and ever-changing North American: From the Seventeenth Century to the Twentieth - during progression from the 17th century to the end of the 20th century, the meaning of sexuality transformed from a primary association with reproduction within a powerful structure of kinship, to a primary association with emotional intimacy in marriage, then to an association with personal fulfillment for individuals - the practice of slavery was closely intertwined with the control of sexuality - slave owners frequently determined who was permitted to mate with whom for the purposes of reproduction - female slaves were valued in part for their reproductive capacities and male slave were selected as “studs” to impregnate these females - female slaves were also expected to be continually sexually available for male members of the ownerʼs family - even the sexuality of free Blacks came to be socially controlled - for white people, sexuality outside the arenas of courtship was considered unacceptable and sexuality was both formally and informally controlled - premarital pregnancy would usually result in enforced marriage - the community regulated deviance by reporting sexual improprieties to family members, community and church leaders, individuals could be excommunicated fmor the church - it was seen as an error in judgment so punishment was dispensed to learn the error of their ways (e.g. whipping) - the nature of punishment depended on the social characteristics of the person involved - the higher the socioeconomic status, the less severe the punishments - men more likely to be fined, women more likely to be physically punished - black men convicted of raping a white women was castrated - it was unlikely that a white man could considered as rape - near the end of the 18th century and throughout the 19th century, Canadian and American society underwent significant changes that affected the way sexuality was perceived - in the US, in 1775-1783, the expansion of commerce spread to the ideology of the pursuit of happiness - economically based and arranged marriages declined - nature and sexuality was inherently good - women played a larger role in regulating sexuality through their efforts at reducing pregnancy rate - contraception - the medical profession scientifically defined sexual deviance such as the disease of sodomy - the body was described as a closed energy system, overindulgence in any activity could be a danger to physical health - self-control became a dominant theme - the perceived vulnerability of young women contributed to the emergence of social purity or sex hygiene movements, which believed that this susceptibility drew women into the sex industry - sexuality was seen as the heart of morality, which was defined as the cornerstone of society as a whole - sexual deviance was defined depending on social characteristics - black men were incapable of self-control making them liable to rape white women - chinese men were also perceived as a threat to young white women - the 19th century brought considerable transformation - the meaning of sexuality changed - the role of the state in regulating deviance decline somewhat, but as moral entrepreneurs identified and drew attention to sexual “diseases” (homosexuality), the state began regulating morality again - with the 20th century, the dominant meaning of sexuality shifted from a focus on emotional intimacy in marriage to personal fulfillment regardless of marriage - sexuality continues to be controlled in many areas e.g. sexual assault Sexual Culture Today Criteria for Determining Deviance Consent - “consent represents some form of agreement to engage in sexual activity” - most obvious use is in cases of sexual assault - a complete lack of consent leads many people to interpret sexual adult as more of an act of violence than asexual act - in the 1990s, the use of date rape drugs escalated - courts argue that consent is not possible in situations involving sexual acts between children and adults - level of cognitive development not enough - teenage boys are seen as being more capable of giving consent to adults than teenage girls are - in many countries, consent is not required between husbands and wives - only in 1983 was sexual assault thought possible in marriage - in 1987, sexual assault laws were gender-neutral Nature of the Sexual Partner - particular people are defined as unacceptable sexual partners - prohibits sexual relationships between close family members - incest - bestiality is a crime - sex with animals - sexual exploitation - inappropriate sexual partners with an individual in a person of trust, authority or dependency - also regulated outside the legal system - no intimate relationships in the work place - fetishes - at an informal level, first cousins is inappropriate, relationships between students and professors is inappropriate - even within the Catholic church, there is deviance regarding homosexuality - in 196 Parliament added sexual orientation to the Canadian Human Rights Act - informally, stigmatization of homosexuality is evident Nature of the Sexual Act - there have been significant changes in the way sexual acts are perceived as being deviant or normal - there has been rapid growth in sexual freedom in the 20th century and there is greater subjectivity in which acts are perceived as “kinky” - what is considered sexually deviant is now more in the eye of the beholder - sexual activities in certain locations are also considered deviant - exhibitionists are people who enjoy having sex in places where others might see them - the frequency of sex is another one of the more peripheral criteria - those who have sex too frequently may be labeled “nymphomaniacs” or diagnosed with a sex addiction - in the recent past, people who had sex too infrequently were perceived as “frigid” - sex has been highly medicalized and commercialized - viagra Sexuality and the “Deviance Dance” Exotic Dancing - is exotic dancing a “sexual act”? - most people say they go to menʼs clubs for a “voyeuristic/pornographic experience” - they are seeking a sexual experience, even if there is no intercourse or physical contact - question is more complex for women - ongoing debates in feminism question whether dancers are “victims of violence” or “businesswomen” - a continuum of work and life is characteristic of the exotic dancing subculture - there are 4 different types of female exotic dancers: 1. Survivors - have extensive histories of childhood abuse and who felt forced into the industry because of few available alternatives 2. Non-conformists - rebels who come from privileged, educated backgrounds and have the freedom to enter and leave the industry as they wish 3. Dancers - have considerable training in dance and enjoy the artistic and creative expression of the industry 4. Workers- primarily from working-class backgrounds, become dancers for the money - some might be perceived as victims but women do not consider themselves as such - over time the money makes it worth it - all dancers may negotiate relationships with customers, as well
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