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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Review

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SOC 2070
Linda Hunter

Jan 23rd BERESKA CHAPTER 2 REVIEWMany different theories re used in the sociology of deviance corresponding to the various ways one can look at deviance Each theory shines a spotlight on a particular aspect of deviance and provides one way of understanding itPeople with more objective views of deviance who are interested in why deviant people become that way find positivist theories to be the most useful Positivist sociological theories are modeled after theories in the natural sciences as tools for mastering the natural or social environment People with more subjective views of deviance find interpretive and critical theories to be the most useful for understanding societal perceptions of and reactions to particular acts as well as the role played by power in these perceptions and reactions Functionalist theories dominated positivist understandings of deviance for many years suggesting that problems with the social structure cause some people to become deviant Durkheim directed his attention to anomie as the root cause of deviance Merton suggested a strain between institutionalized goals and legitimate means as the cause Cloward and Ohlin pointed to differential access to legitimate and illegitimate opportunities Robert Agnew emphasized the relationship between strain and negative affect and Albert Cohen focused on status frustration Functionalist theories have been criticized for their tautological and teleological logic their conservative ideology and their andocentric bias A number have also been criticized for treating deviance as a lowerclass phenomenon and ignoring gender and race Empirical and theoretical research has responded to these criticisms exploring noncriminal forms of deviance across classes
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