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1 Mar 2011
Chapter 7
Deviance occurs when someone departs from a norm. Deviance is not merely a
departure for the statistical average, but rather a violation of an accepted rule of
behaviour. (Example man using womens washroom)
Informal punishment mild (Example raised eyebrows, gossip, shaming, etc.)
Stigmatized people are negatively evaluated because of a marker that
distinguishes them from others. (Example author John Lie bullied by elementary
school kids because of his Korean name in a Japanese school)
Formal punishment takes place when the judicial system penalizes someone for
breaking a law. (Example community service, serving time in prison)
Three dimensions of deviance and crime:
1.Severity of the social response
2.Perceived harmfulness of the deviant or criminal act
3.Degree of public agreement about whether an act should be considered deviant
This analysis allows us to classify four types of deviance and crime:
1.Social diversions minor acts of deviance. (Example participating in fads such as
hair dyeing.) These acts are perceived as harmless, and at most evoke a milk
societal reaction
2.Social deviations more serious acts. People agree that these acts are deviant and
somewhat harmful, and they are usually subject to institutional sanction
3.Conflict crimes deviant acts that the state defines as illegal but whose definition is
controversial in the wider society. (Example long beards in Russia)
4.Consensus crimes illegal acts that nearly all people agree are bad in themselves
and harm society greatly the state inflicts severe punishment for consensus crimes
Social constructionalism argues that apparently natural or innate features of life
are often sustained by social processes that vary historically and culturally. It
emphasizes how some people are in a position to create norms and pass laws that
define others as deviant or criminal
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