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Chapter 2

chapter 2: positivist theories

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University of Guelph
SOC 2070
Norman Dubeski

Social Deviance Chapter 2Positivist TheoriesThere are 2 distinct but interlocking enterprises that make up the study of deviance1 Essentialism objectivity real scientifically explainable2 Constructionism rules judgements labelling contexts audiencesEssentialism implies positivism All positivists believe than an objective common core or threads hold all deviance and crime together none believe that they are just a matter of social convention or construction Positivism is the application of scientific method to the study of human behavior3 assumptions 1 Empiricism material world is real and science can know the world through the sensesy I trust my senses to tell me what is truey Things that are not directly or indirectly observable through the senses cannot be explainedintegrated into theoretical and conceptual perspectives and therefore are not scientificy This poses a problem because most human behavior cannot been seen at the moment enacted2 Objectivism deviant behaviour is an objectivereal phenomena that can be distinguished from conforming behaviory Reject the notion of right and wrong and believe there is a common and material reality to crime that is contained within the actions themselves not how the actions are thought ofy Things exist regardless of definitions Ex mental illnesses are not present just because we say there are or because of how they can be defined They would be there regardless or acknowledgment or definition3 Determinism what causes deviant behavior beliefs and conditionsy Why do people commit crimes and deviance How do certain characteristics and social situations influence this What are the patternsy Seeks natural explanations that can be found in the material worldy Looks at the cause and effect explanationsTheories FreewillClassical School o Tied to the enlightenment period philosophical ideas tried to make sense of human nature and link it to social control o Role of hedonism self interest causes people to seek pleasure and avoid pain
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