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SOC212H1 (55)
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Chapter 1-5

Summaries of Chapter 1-5

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Soc 212: Chapter 1: Why study deviance?  Vicarious experience: living through other exciting or interesting lives; indirect way to cope with forbidden urges  Reform: want to change something, those who have personally experienced the crime wants to help justice system  Three main dangers of reform as research motivation (1) search for reform policies sometimes outruns our tested knowledge (2) belief that understanding means excusing often interferes when reform is the motivation (3) reform impulses ignore the fact that many kind of deviances are not as harmful as they are made out to be  Self-protection and sophistication: knowledge is power, knowing = less afraid  Understanding oneself and others: learning choices of others can make our own choices clearer  Intellectual curiosity: just want to know what/how/why people do things Definition of deviance:  Statistical approach: deviance from a common center, good simple, objective way but not reliable  Harmfulness: physically, functionally or ontologically (disruption of faith, order, system, etc.)  Normative violation: conduct that departs from norms set for people in their social status; though all deviance violates some normative standard, violating norms is not enough to establish that deviance has occurred  Social reaction: denial or rejection  Stigmatizing labels: less worthy than other people  Deviance is: when there are observers, to observe some kind of behavior, characteristics, appearance or belief that violates normative standards that are regarded as significant. There must be people who want to impose sanctions on the process of moral exclusion  Deviance is the outcome of social process; does not exist without it  Deviants are chosen because they lack power Chapter 2: Explanations – stories we tell each other in attempts to produce some order in our lives  Empathetic – subjective (inner feeling) & objective (viewed from outside) but empathy is limited (depends on if we can imagine ourselves in their circumstances); mostly found in interpretive interactive theories  Scientific – works best with inorganic or nonsocial realities, it is the use of scientific method or adaptation to explain deviance  Ideological – system of ideas that are held as irrefutable doctrines  Inductive approach: many specific cases and make generalizations about them  Deductive approach: derive specific expectations from general rules that have been suggested either by previous research or by logical relations of existing theories  Experimental design: (1) selection of at least two groups that are equivalent with respect to the dependent variable – experimental and control group (2) experimental group is exposed to independent variable (3) both groups are measured by dependent variable (4) difference between the two is computed  Correlation coefficient: statistical measure that tells us to what extent two variables are related to each other  Causality is considered supported when (1) one variable changes, the other changes in predictable ways (2) we must show that the variable deemed to be independent occurs before the dependent variable (3) must be able to rule out other variables that emerge as candidates for causal status  Spurious correlation: high but not causal Social Stats:  Real figure: actual number of people engaging in particular kind of deviance  Error component: under or over reporting  Random errors: accidental and self-cancelling  Systematic errors: do not cancel each other out and distorts data Source of Data:  Self Report Questionnaires o People give deceptive answers or misrepresent themselves o Selective sampling to those readily available (e.g. high school students) o Boys more delinquent, social status not an important difference, self reporting uncovered more delinquency than official stats  Interviews o Early studies were done in connection with case studies o Commonly used when subjects live on the edge and are unavailable for other kinds of study o Focus group interviews: small groups express opinions and openly share info  Victimization surveys o People who have experienced deviance o Criticized for underreporting o Three main sources: international efforts, Stats Canada and Solicitor General’s Canadian Urban Victimization o Findings can be distorted by poorly worded questions, selective/faulty memory, deliberate deception and reluctance to report  Field Observation o Participant observation – joining the activities of the people studied o Nonparticipant observation – taking notes, asking questions but remaining an outsider o Staged activity analysis – subjects are asked to reconstruct and simulate their past deviant activities allowing researchers to participate in the reenactment o Overt observation – telling his research intentions o Covert observation – secretly documenting without letting others know  Secondary Analysis of Stat Data o Using official data that weren’t collected for deviant research  Secondary Analysis of Biographical Materials o Case study – in depth qualitative accounts of one or more illustrative individuals, families or communities  Content Analysis o Systematic procedure used to analyze materials such as documents, films, audio recordings and video presentations o Garbology – unique form, study of people’s garbage  Convict criminology o Studies written by academics who have served time in prison prior to becoming sociologist, criminologist or criminal justice experts o Tends to emphasize with convicts  Simulations o Made with people or computers that are programmed to product games or virtual reality scenarios  Journalistic Accounts o Primary avenue for risk kinds of deviant research o Not held same standards of proof and method o Provide more insiders view on problems Chapter 3:  Contemporary legends differ from old legends – factual not fantastic  Early explanation of deviance – demons or humans trapped by supernatural forces  Dominant religions often demonized other religious’ gods or discredited other religions and pagan cults (e.g. witches were from Christians)  Two paths to deviance is temptation and possession  Demons/evil like children or weak (minded) adults  Demonic possession: being overtaken by strong uncontrollable forces  Two solution of demonic possession: exorcism – cleansing of individual form demonic influence or destroying demonic influence by purifying individual through extreme suffering or death  Witchcraft: Malleus Maleticarum – first book to codify what was known or believed of witchcraft  First written standard for prosecuting witches  This book had three parts: (1) convince readers witches were dangerous (2) identification of witches by devil’s mark and other criteria (3) proper procedure for prosecution  Torture was used in witch hunting because Roman canon law of proof required two eyewitnesses or a confession for a conviction  Six ways of torture (1) ordeal of water – victim was forced to ingest large quantities of water (2) ordeal of fire – involve forcing feet against burning coals or roasting them before a fire (3) strappado – hung from their wrist, hoisted and dropped by a pulley system (4) the wheel – prisoner was tied to large cartwheel and clubbed until bones were broken (5) the rack – body was stretched on a frame with rollers at the end (6) stivaletto – boards encased leg and wedges were driven in between, caused splintering or crushing of bones  Many ‘maybe’ witches were drowned, float = witch, drowned = innocent  Lots of the property of witches went to the state & family had to pay for the hunt, execution, etc. this lead to feel more like a ‘expense account scam’  Reason for acting crazy: faith Characteristic of accused witch:  Women (80%) especially women who stepped out of their traditional roles  Women in conflict with other women  Women who gave birth to deformed babies  People seen in the dreams of others  Men or women who claimed to have occult powers  People believed to be involved in treasonous conspiracies  People who got in the way  People who did not fully accept Church dogma and practice  Healers, herbalists and naturopaths  People blamed for the misfortune of others  Exceptional people  People named by accused witches under torture or persuasion  People named by those suffering from illness or hardship  People with mental illnesses  People with physical disabilities or neurological disorders  Scapegoats for the system Modern Versions of witch-hunts:  The Holocaust: systems were set to identify hidden enemy and destroy it – the Jews  The Red Scare – hidden conspirator who believed in communism were amongst us, caused loss of jobs, treated like pariahs  Satanic child abuse – abusing children but one accusation snowballs Chapter 4:  Enlightenment – new, strictly empirical view of the world  Deviants were no longer crater posses by devils but rational person who made self-serving choices  5 fundamental principles of classical view 1. People are hedonistic, seek pleasure and avoid pain 2. People have free will 3. Society represents a form of social contract whereby each individual gives up some pleasures for the greater good 4. Punishment is justified as a mean of transforming the hedonistic calculations so that performance of duty was more rewarding than crimes 5. Reform of secular world is worthwhile and appropriate since the chief goal in life is not to achieve salvation but reach utilitarian goal  Utilitarian goal: greatest good for the greatest number of people  Abuses, injustice and oppression are chief evils to be fought against  18 century: legal system was disorderly, lots of poor were killed, judges had no one to report to and rich people ran everything; killings were made public to warn people  Philosophes and Classical School o Main representatives: Cesare Beccaria  Noble Italian family  Has degree in law; known as brilliant mathematician  Wrote a book on how disturbed he was by what he saw and heard from prisons  Six main points are (1) people are motivated by pain and pleasure. To reduce crime it is necessary to make it less rational by changing social conditions (2) basis of all social action must be utilitarian concept not salvation of soul (3) greatest happiness is ensured by social contract whereby each individual gives up some
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