oThe 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.
oThe 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.
oThe degree of public agreement. When it comes to consensus crimes, social
definitions are variable.
Four types of deviance and crime:
oSocial 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.
oSocial 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.
oConflict crimes are illegal acts that many people consider harmful to society.
However, other people think they are not very harmful. They are punishable
oConsensus crimes are illegal acts that nearly all people agree are bad in
themselves and harm society greatly. The state inflicts severe punishment for
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