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Canada (162,047)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA02H3 (310)

Deviance and Crime

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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

Deviance and Crime CANADIAN ATTITUDES TOWARD CRIME We are a society obsessed with crime. Canadians believe that crime in general, and violent crime in particular, is on the rise. The term crime simply indicates a technical violation of the criminal law. Knowing that someone broke the law tells us little about his or her moral character and whether he or she is good or bad. Most people would consider the actions taken by the Nazis in Germany, rather than the actions of Jesus or Martin Luther, to be deviant or criminal. That is because norms and laws have changed dramatically. THE SOCIAL DEFINITION OF DEVIANCE AND CRIME Types of Deviance and Crime Deviance involves breaking a norm. Deviance is not merely a departure from the statistical average, but rather a violation of an accepted rule of behaviour. People who are observed committing serious acts of deviance are typically punished, either informally or formally. Informal punishment is mild. It may involve raised eyebrows, gossip, ostracism, shaming, or stigmatization. o When people are stigmatized, they are negatively evaluated because of a marker that distinguishes them from other. Formal punishment results from people breaking laws, which are norms stipulated and enforced by government bodies. John Hagan classified various types of deviance and crime along three dimensions; www.notesolution.com o The severity of the social response. At one extreme, homicide and other very serious forms of deviance result in the most severe negative reactions. At the other end of the spectrum, some people may do little more than express mild disapproval of slight deviations from a norm. o The perceived harmfulness. Although some deviant acts, such as sexual assaults, are generally seen as very harmful, others, such as tattooing, are commonly regarded as harmless. o The degree of public agreement. When it comes to consensus crimes, social definitions are variable. Four types of deviance and crime: o Social diversions are minor acts of deviance that are generally perceived as relatively harmless and that evoke, at most, a mild social reaction, such as amusement or disdain. o Social deviations are noncriminal departures from norms that are nonetheless subject to official control. Some members of the public regard them as somewhat harmful while other members of the public do not. o Conflict crimes are illegal acts that many people consider harmful to society. However, other people think they are not very harmful. They are punishable by state. o Consensus crimes are illegal acts that nearly all people agree are bad in themselves and harm society greatly. The state inflicts severe punishment for consensus crimes. Power and the Social Construction of Crime and Deviance Social constructionism 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 other as deviant or criminal. Power is the crucial element in the social construction of deviance and crime. Crimes against Women Until recently, many types of crimes against women were largely ignored in Canada www.notesolution.com
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