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Chapter 7

SOCA02 textbook notes for chapter 7 - crime and deviance

Course Code
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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Chapter 7 Deviance and Crime
Canadian Attitudes Toward Crime
Canadians aged b/w 18 and 49 are targeted to watch criminal and medical dramas
than any other type of program
Crime indicates a technical violation of the criminal law
The Social Definition of Deviance and Crime
Types of Deviance and Crime
Deviance: occurs when someone departs from a norm
oA violation of an accepted rule of behavior
Informal punishment: involves a mild sanction that is imposed during face-to-face
interaction, not be the judicial system
oMay involve raised eyebrows, gossip, ostracism, shaming, or stigmatism
Stigmatized: when people are negatively evaluated because of a marker that
distinguishes them from other and this labeled as socially unacceptable
Formal punishment: takes places when the judicial system penalizes someone for
breaking a law
3 dimensions of deviance and crime
oSeverity of the social response homicide and other very serious forms of
deviance results in the most severe negative reactions
Some people may do little more than express mild disapproval of slight
deviations from a norm, such as wearing a nose wearing
oPerceived harmfulness of the deviant or criminal act some deviant acts such
as sexual assault are generally seen as very harmful while others such as
tattooing are commonly regarded as harmless
oDegree of public agreement whether an act should be considered deviant
4 types of deviance and crime

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oSocial diversions: minor acts of deviance that are generally perceived as
relatively harmless and the evoke, at most, a mild societal reaction, such as
amusement or disdain
Participating in fads and fashions
oSocial deviations: 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: illegal acts that many people consider harmful to society.
However, other people think they are not very harmful. They are punishable
by the state
Deviant acts that the state defines as illegal but whose definition is
controversial in the wider society
oConsensus crimes: 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 others as deviant or criminal
Crime Against Women
Rape committed by friends or acquaintances were rarely prosecuted; however rape
committed by strangers were severely punished
Women now have more autonomy in the family, earn more, and have more political
Sexual harassment is now considered a social deviation, and in some circumstances,
a crime
White-Collar Crime
Refers to an illegal act committed by a respectable, high-status person in the course
of his or her work

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Can include embezzlement, false advertising, tax evasion, insider stock trading
fraud, unfair labor practices, copyright infringement, and conspiracy to fix prices
and restrain traded
Many victimize employees or members of the public while bringing benefit to
corporations or corporate insiders
Street crimes: include arson, break and enter, assault, and other illegal acts
disproportionately committed by people from lower class
White-collar crime results in few prosecutions and still fewer convictions for 2 main
oMuch white-collar crime takes place in private and is therefore difficult to
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 law makers to pass laws
‘without teeth
Crime Rates
Drawbacks of Relying on Official Crime Statistics
Victimless crimes: involve violations of the law in which no victim steps forward
and is identified
oIllegal gambling, use of illegal drugs, and communicating for the purpose of
oLevel 1 assaults go unreported because the assailant is a friend or relative of
the victim
Self-reported surveys: respondents are asked to report their involvement in
criminal activities, either as perpetrators or as victims
oIndirect measures of crime are sometimes used sale of syringes can indicate
use of drugs
oShows us that Canadians, young and old, have engaged in some type of
criminal’ activity
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