Deviance and Crime Terms Definition and Explanation
PART ONE: Conceptions of Crime and Deviance
I. Crime and Deviance As Norm-violating Behaviour
1. Norms: are rules that prescribe standards of everyday behaviour.
A. Generally accepted ways of doings things.
B. Many of the norms that control everyday life do not require legal intervention, they are
more likely to be enforced informally.
2. Deviance: is the breaking of a norm
3. Crime: is a breach违违) of the criminal law that is liable to prosecution and punishment.
Crime involves breaking a law.
4. Criminal justice system: comprises the social institutions charged with the task of
apprehending( 违违), prosecuting违违 ), and punishing known offenders.
5. Consensus crime: involves criminal acts that are generally agreed to be seriously
harmful, wrong, and deserving of severe penalty.
E.g: homicide( 违违 ), attempted homicide, violent assault with a weapon, violent sexual
assault, armed robbery, kidnapping....
6. Conflict crime: involves criminal acts that are subject to disagreement about their
wrongfulness, the amount of harm they cause, how wrong they are, and how severely they
should be punished.
A. Conflict: means that members of the community disagree over whether the behaviors in
question are harmful, wrong , or deserving of severe criminal sanct违违n).
B. Example: euthanasia, gambling, prostitution, drug use ...
7. Social stigma违违 ): is a damaged reputation or status.
People who have a metal illness, are gay or lesbian, are obese, or are alcohol or drug-
dependent are still subject to varying degrees of social stigma; they may be condemned,
ostracized, and medicalized because of a marker that sets them off from others.
8. Social diversion: are minor acts of deviance such as participating in fads.
9. Social deviance: are more serious acts. A larger proportion of people agree they are
deviant and somewhat harmful, and they are usually subject to institutional sanction.
II. Crime and Deviance As Labels And Social Constructs. 1. Labelling theory: argues that public identification of individuals as criminal or deviant
leads to more crime or deviance by those individuals.
Publicly recognizing somebody as criminal or deviant is an important cause in itself of
criminal or deviant behaviour.
2. Social constructionism: is a broad theoretical perspective concerned with the subjective
meanings of social problems.
A. In that social constructionism is broadly concerned with the genesis of all social
problems--climate change, health risks, car accidents--whereas labelling theory applies
specifically to crime and deviance. Constructionists tend to study noncriminal deviance.
B. A full understanding of crime and deviance requires both the norm-violation and
labelling /constructionist approaches.
C. In contrast to labelling and social-constructionist explanations, objectivist accounts of
crime and deviance focus on the behaviour itself. Objectivists tend to study serious, or
consensual , crime such as murder, sexual assault, armed robbery and so on.
PART TWO: Crime In The News
1. White-collar crime: is crime committed by high-status people in the course of their
2. Recidivism( 违 违 ): is repeat offending, particularly following punishment or
rehabilitation违 违 违 违 违 违 违 ).
PART THREE: Counting Crime And Deviance: NumbersAnd Meaning
I. Official Statistic:
Dark figure of crime: The dark figure of crime is the number of criminal incidents that take
place but unknown to the police.
II. Other Data Sources: self-report surveys and direct observation:
1. Self-report studies: it represents report about their involvements with crime and
deviance as offenders and victims.
Advantage: they give a sense of the amount and type of crime and deviance that does not find
its way into the official record.
2. Observational studies: in observational studies, information about crime and deviance is
collected by observing it.