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Chapter

SOCA02H3 Chapter Notes -Anomie, Ritualism In The Church Of England, Robbery

14 Pages
167 Views
Winter 2011

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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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.
oWhen 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;
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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
by state.
oConsensus 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
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and most other parts of the world.
Rapes involving strangers were sometimes severely punished. But so-called date
rapes or acquaintances rapes involving a friend or an acquaintance were rarely
prosecuted.
Sexual assault is still associated with a low rate of prosecution.
Sexual assault is more often prosecuted now than it used to be.
oThis is so because womens position in the economy, the family, and other
social institutions has improved over the past four decades.
Sexual harassment is now considered a social deviation and, in some circumstances,
a crime.
White-Collar Crime
White-collar crime refers to illegal acts committed by a person of respectability and
high social status in the course of his occupation.
Examples include: embezzlement, false advertising, tax evasion, insider stock
trading, fraud, unfair labour practices, copyright infringement, and conspiracy to fix
prices and restrain trade.
Sociologists often contrast white-collar crimes with street crimes.
oStreet crimes include arson, break and enter, assault, and other illegal acts of
disproportionately committed by people from lower classes.
Many sociologists think white-collar crime is more costly to society than street crime
is.
White-collar crimes result in few prosecutions and still fewer convictions for two
main reasons:
oMuch white-collar crimes take place in private and are therefore difficult to
detect.
oCorporations can afford legal experts, public relations firms, and advertising
agencies that advise their clients on how to bend laws, build up their
corporate image in the public mind, and influence lawmakers to pass laws
without teeth.
White-collar crime is underdetected, underprosecuted, and underconvicted because
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Description
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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