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Conformity, Deviance

Conformity, Deviance






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  • Today I’ll be introducing the topic of deviance, and to begin, I will return to something we’ve already discussed vis-à-vis social norms, and that is conformity. Who gets to define what is normal and what is not? Why is it that while most of us conform to the norms of our society, others behave outside the norm? Who are the people most likely to act outside the norm—to deviate from either the written or the unwritten rules of behavior? We will also touch upon theoretical approaches to answering these questions. I’ll cover what crime looks like today, what punishment actually accomplishes, and how foundational sociological distinctions like gender and race show up in research on deviance. These questions and others will be addressed as we explore this fascinating subfield, which is, perhaps, better known as criminology.
  • Here we see the faces of two women associated with recent high-profile murder cases. You see Amanda Knox, who was convicted and later acquitted in Italy of murdering and sexually assaulting her roommate (while both were studying abroad) and Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of all charges in the murder of her very young daughter. While both women were ultimately acquitted, the cases are quite interesting sociologically. First, both captured the attention of huge television/Internet audiences, and second, both brought the spotlight to the issue of violent crimes committed by women. Why were we so interested? In part because neither woman fits into our typical profile of “murderer,” but also because the crimes they were accused of seemed to be especially horrific: the bizarre and vicious slaying of a friend, and the taboo murder of a beautiful, innocent child. As it turns out, the women were found not to be guilty. In the case of Amanda Knox, many Americans celebrated the overturning of the original conviction; both trials were held in Italy, which brought an additional level of intrigue as a result of our limited knowledge of the Italian system of criminal justice Who could have ever believed this lovely, bright college student was a killer? Yet with Casey Anthony, the acquittal brought shock and anger, and even a strong sense of the failure of our judicial system, similar to that which was experienced in the 1990s when O. J. Simpson was found not guilty in the murder of his wife. There are many questions worth considering: what was different about these cases? Who were the victims? What kind of people were the accused women? What was media coverage like in both cases? But it’s also important to consider what is lost in the media hoopla about cases like these. Perhaps first, is the unpleasant reality that women make up only a small percentage of those convicted of violent offenses; this is largely the territory of men, as we’ll see. Second, while these cases resulted in acquittals, the U.S. is anything but soft on crime.
  • As you can see in looking at these statistics, the U.S. is clearly not soft on crime. We have the largest prison population in the developed world (our rate of incarceration is 5 to 8 times higher than those of Canada and the Western European nations), and we also have very strict sentencing rules. When we dig into the statistics, we also find troubling numbers when it comes to who is actually incarcerated. Minorities are disproportionately represented in our prison population, which is cause for ongoing concern and investigation into just how blind justice really is.
  • It is important not only to be aware of what is happening in our prisons but to consider the broader effects of such high rates of incarceration. One significant, and troubling, side effect of having such a large prison population is that it reduces our labor force. This is an issue because it diminishes our productive potential and it means that our understanding of our economy is masked. How does this work? Well, people in prison, though certainly not employed, are not counted as being unemployed. If you consider how many people are in prison (over 1.5 million), this means that, in reality, our unemployment rate would be much higher if they were included. This becomes particularly problematic when we recognize that unemployment rates for minority groups, such as African Americans, are significantly higher than for the general population, and when we recall that African Americans are dramatically overrepresented in prison populations, the unemployment rates for minority groups are even more out of kilter than is usually reported. Another quite important effect of having so many people in (and out) of prison, is that upon release, former prisoners typically find it quite difficult to find and maintain stable employment, not to mention stable homes and relationships. Connect this once again to the size of our prison population, and the issue of scale becomes clear. We’ll come back to crime, but for now let’s discuss the foundations of this topic, and define some key concepts.
  • Let’s start with a quick review of social norms. Norms are the basic rules of our society, drawn from our values and beliefs about how the world should be. By and large, people follow the norms—at least the more significant ones. Some norms are codified as law, while others are less formal and less far-reaching. When people do violate a norms if the norm is important enough, it draws a reaction or response. When people violate norms, we call it deviance.
  • So what are some of the big concerns sociologists have when thinking about deviance, especially here in the United States? One set of questions focuses on who is more or less likely to be reported for deviant behavior. These questions frequently examine things like rates of incarceration and racial and gender disparities in arrests and convictions. One thing we know, for example, is that there is a high degree of racial disparity in the prosecution of crime. As your textbook points out, this also affects other parts of society. For example, the very high rates of incarceration here in the United States skew data on the economy. So another important thing to recognize is that research on deviance and crime is connected to other aspects of sociology. Other important questions look at which rules tend to be broken more, whom deviance affects, and how we can reduce it. As I move through the material today, you’ll get a sense of how many different ways there are to approach problems associated with social deviance. As your textbook is right to point out, we are all both conformists (norm-followers) and deviants (norm-breakers) in our daily lives. What matters is knowing which rules are okay to break (at least a little bit), like speed limits, and knowing which really address core societal values and cannot be broken without harsh penalties.
  • I should start at the beginning by offering you a formal definition of what constitutes deviant behavior. In a sense, it is just what you think: behavior that does not conform to social norms. Deviance, technically, can be negative—as in robbery—or positive—as in unexpectedly offering assistance when no help was the norm. Usually, though, when we think about deviance, we are thinking of the former. An important issue, to which we will return throughout this material, is the question of who gets to define the norms. If norms are social rules that represent values, whose values are we talking about? This question is critical, particularly in the context of a criminal justice system that seems to disproportionately prosecute and punish those from certain minority groups. We’ll come back to this when we discuss theories and crime rates.
  • Another thing to consider as we begin unpacking this notion of deviance is the relationship between crime and deviance. Sometimes we conflate the two things; this means that we use these words interchangeably even though they don’t mean quite the same thing. It’s probably fairly easy to see that not all deviance is crime: chewing gum in school isn’t against the law, and it is breaking the law that makes something a crime. But it is also true that not all crime is deviant. As your textbook points out, it may well be more deviant to drive 55 mph on the highway than to drive 65 where the speed limit is 55. Technically, driving 65 in such a place is a crime, but few people would see it as deviant. Your textbook also gives us the notion of deviance being “in the eye of the beholder” (p. 148). What this means is simply that depending on your reference group, different norms take on different meaning and importance. What is deviant to some groups is not at all deviant to others, e.g. smoking marijuana.
  • Here we can see clearly the reality that while deviance and crime overlap, they are certainly not exactly the same thing.
  • Typically, when we think about deviance, we think of individuals behaving outside the norm. Groups, however, can also be deviant. Group deviance can take place among formal or informal organizations, but again it must be understood within the context of a particular set of norms. For example, nations can be deviant actors if they choose, as North Korea has, to pursue goals that fly in the face of international laws (which, of course, are codified norms). For North Koreans, however, it is the behavior of the rest of the world that is deviant for refusing to allow them to pursue their national interests. Right here in the U.S. we have had religious groups—which many call cults—that clearly illustrate the notion of group deviance. Heaven’s Gate, one such group, practiced in the West and Midwest, and in 1997 perpetrated a mass suicide in line with their beliefs, which were clearly deviant to society at large. This is one example of a deviant subculture . But let me also offer a less weighty example of group deviance. For example, adolescents and young adults who wear only black, listen to particular, dark kinds of music, and seem to present themselves as sullen are sometimes called Goths. Goths are a deviant subculture in that this presentation of self runs counter to American social norms of fitting in, being pleasant, and putting on a happy face; but in some societies they might not seem deviant at all. As I’ve already indicated, deviance can only be defined in relation to norms.
  • Whether deviance is enacted by an individual or group, if the norm breached is an important one, there will be a response. That response is called a sanction . As indicated, sanctions can be positive or negative and may be formal or informal—it all depends on what norm is violated and to what degree. Can you think of an act of deviance where the sanction might be positive? How about if you are the last one at a party and you unexpectedly stay and help clean up? The great feedback you would receive would be a positive sanction. What about formal versus informal sanctions? What might lead to informal sanctions? Social groups—peer groups, for example—frequently utilize informal sanctions. Imagine two couples in a tight-knit neighborhood. They are great friends, socializing and traveling together. Then it is discovered that the husband of one couple and the wife of the other are having an affair. The resulting ostracism in the neighborhood—which could be very severe—is an informal sanction. Formal sanctions include, for instance, criminal prosecution for breaking the law, governmental economic sanctions (boycotts, embargoes, etc.) for unacceptable policies, and expulsion from a university for cheating. Typically, the penalties associated with formal sanctions are codified.
  • If deviance is, in actuality, normal, than we need to discuss theories of deviance . Who is likely to carry out deviant behavior? Why? If deviance is indeed so normal, there must be patterns to uncover in describing and explaining it. There are, of course, many theories, some of which insist on full explanatory power. The reality, as is so often the case, is that some pieces of each theory can be useful to us. There are three main types of theories of deviance: biological, psychological, and sociological. Though this is, perhaps, an oversimplification, one way of thinking about the difference between biological and psychological approaches and sociological approaches is that the former are interested in deviants while the latter is interested in deviance . The underlying belief in early biological and psychological theories of deviance was that criminals are born, not made. More recent work in both fields recognizes the importance of environment but still emphasizes innate characteristics in deviant individuals. Your textbook offers excellent examples of these theories. Sociological theories of deviance typically focus on deviant behavior (deviance), rather than on inherent traits of particular people (deviants).
  • Obviously, for our purposes, I’ll be focusing on sociological theories. As you can see, there are many to consider: functionalist theories, reinforcement theories, conflict theory, symbolic interactionist approaches, and theories deriving from the Chicago School of urban sociology.
  • We will begin with functionalist theories of deviance . First off, remember what functionalist theories are interested in: how social institutions play a role in the proper functioning of a society. The big questions here, then, are what role does deviance play, is there too much, and is there more/less than in earlier periods? To the last question, we might well add the question, if so, why? Émile Durkheim thought quite a bit about deviance. He thought some amount was normal and necessary to all societies. It is normal, as some deviance is found in every society, and necessary because it both serves to define the boundaries of group norms and behaviors and is a force of innovation. Durkheim was, however, a bit concerned about increases in deviant behavior with the rise of modernity. He theorized that anomie , or normlessness, might explain this. Robert Merton, a middle-range theorist, also applied functionalist logic to deviance. Let’s have a look at his typology of deviance on the next slide.
  • What Merton was proposing was that we need to examine the gap between socially prescribed goals, like material success, and ways of achieving those goals. It is a core American ideology that anyone can pull him/herself up by the bootstraps, work hard, and get ahead. The reality is that this simply isn’t the case. There are many people, particularly those who are in some way socially disadvantaged, who don’t have the opportunity to achieve along accepted/typical paths. So Merton considers five potential reactions to this mismatch between ideal and reality: the conformist, the retreatist, the ritualist, the innovator, and the rebel.
  • Reinforcement theories begin with the premise that behavior is learned, and deviant behavior is no exception. We all learn, sometimes from a very early age, which behaviors will be rewarded, which punished, and which merely tolerated. This is the basis for differential association, one version of reinforcement theory. Here, the claim is that if your primary groups—your family, friends, neighbors—carry criminal norms, chances are you will learn those norms as your own. In other words, people who are surrounded by those engaged in criminal or deviant behavior, are likely to learn those norms and join in. Gang membership in crime-ridden neighborhoods is the example of differential association most often cited. The key here is that the behaviors are learned from being part of a particular kind of community. Control theory sees deviant behavior as the result of a risk/reward analysis, that may be affected by external social controls such as attachment to values and individuals that deter such choices. The four primary controls are attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief, and if sufficiently strong, these serve to maintain social control.
  • Conflict theorists begin with the claim that rules and laws are structures that allow those in power to maintain that power, and that deviance, or crime, is a challenge to those structures. As such, conflict theory explains deviance as a choice individuals and groups make in response to a system that leaves them with few alternatives. Conflict theory also locates much of this problem in the actual structure of capitalism and, as you may suspect, is derived from Marxian theory.
  • Though more than one symbolic interactionist approach to deviance exists, I’d like to focus on labeling theory, which is one of the dominant theoretical perspectives in criminology. The idea here is that no act is intrinsically deviant but that certain acts are defined that way within certain societies. In other words, nothing you do is deviant unless someone defines it that way, and that act of definition is dependent on social context. The act of applying a label to a behavior is powerful, because the label is then attached to the person. Children who are labeled as juvenile delinquents, for example, then wear that label in such a way that it affects the way they are treated in schools, jobs, and other situations. This relates to the notion of a self-fulfilling prophecy , wherein once a label has been applied, it is actually adopted by its wearer as real or true. The initial act of deviance is called primary deviance, while the deviant behavior that occurs after labeling is called secondary deviance. Another piece of labeling is that kids who come from the upper classes and status tiers of society are much less likely to carry the label of ”juvenile delinquent,” since their families will often have had other ways of dealing with legal trouble.
  • Finally, let me close the discussion of theories by introducing one last approach. The Chicago School of sociology emerged from the work of a group of influential researchers at the University of Chicago. Living in that city, they developed what is now often called urban sociology , and crime was a not infrequent topic. Broken windows theory came out of an effort to understand why crime rates were higher in urban than nonurban areas, and one of the answers was the problem of social disorder. The logic is that any sign of social disorder leads to more social disorder. The experiment that led to the publication of the “broken windows” idea placed abandoned cars in a wealthy community and a poor inner-city area, and in both places, as soon as people realized the cars were abandoned, they were vandalized. Typically there is more disorder in poor urban areas, and thus more crime, according to this approach. It is interesting that programs like neighborhood watch and community policing received quite a boost from this perspective on deviance. (This perspective is covered in the text section “Crime and Community,” on p. 192.)
  • Now that we’ve covered a broad spectrum of theoretical approaches to understanding crime and deviance, let us think a bit more about what crime actually looks like, how it is reported, what its effects are, and other factors. Let’s start with the two most significant sources of data for those studying crime. The first is the Uniform Crime Report (UCR). The UCR, as its name suggests, is a record of all officially reported criminal activity. It does not represent prosecutions but rather actual crime reported to law enforcement. Additionally, the UCR focuses on serious, often violent, crime, which leads critics to suggest that it deemphasizes those crimes likely to be committed by those in the middle-class or higher. Because the UCR includes only data on reported crimes, there are also critics who argue that it does not give a good approximation of crime rates. They might suggest also looking at the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). This survey compiles data based on self-report by victims, as collected by workers from the Bureau of the Census. As estimates of unreported crime go as high as 50 percent, it seems especially critical to include formally unreported crime to some degree.
  • Here we are looking at data from 1985 to 2010, which illustrates the decline of crime rates throughout the 1990s, and then relative stabilization thereafter.
  • (Have students answer these questions in their notes.)
  • (Walk through the responses, being sure to indicate possible explanations.)
  • For many people, our image of crime is a male perpetrator and female victim. As it turns out, however, this is only half right. Man are far more likely to commit crimes—especially violent ones. But men are also much more likely to be the victims of crime and are much more likely to be incarcerated. This flies in the face of media representations of crime which, as the beginning of your chapter suggests, often focus on sensational crimes carried out by and/or against “innocent” white women like Amanda Knox’s roommate Meredith Kercher. By emphasizing these less likely events, our perspectives of what crime actually looks like are often skewed by what we see and hear in public discourse. The Amanda Knox and Casey Anthony cases are so interesting precisely because the accused perpetrators don’t fit the bill and we don’t understand violence among women. There is some research that suggests that our society’s “gender contract,” which sees women as helpless and nurturing and men as aggressive and dominant, plays a role in the differentials in deviant behavior. Other research suggests that it may be that women’s deeper connectedness to others—especially their children—keeps them from taking part in actions that might send them to prison. This would be an illustration of the key theme of control theory, whereby social bonds help people stay within social norms.
  • Here we can see very clearly the differences in the likelihood of being a victim, with black women being least likely and black men being most likely. As I’ve already noted, the vast majority of perpetrators of violent crime are also men. This translates into a prison population where nearly 88% of those incarcerated are, in fact, men.
  • First off, the current concern about youth and crime is not new. This connection is particularly associated with young men and violent, or street, crime. As we can see from the FBI data, statistics indicate that, indeed, young people are charged with a dramatically disproportionate amount of crime. Using control theory, we can put this into sociological perspective (not excusing, but explaining, the behavior). As late adolescents and young adults, people generally do not have as many social ties and controls as adults, and therefore feel less constrained than adults might in terms of deviant behavior. Interestingly and importantly, data also shows that these “deviant” young people typically end up leading normal, law-abiding lives as adults, when the risks of deviant behavior become too high. Another part of the current fear about youth and crime is the attention given to recent mass killings, both at high schools and colleges. The reality, no matter how tragic each of these incidents may be, is that the number of such murders committed has actually been on the decline for nearly 50 years.
  • Though most of us tend to think mostly about violent crime when discussing crime, there are of course, other types. One of the most damaging to society is what we usually call white-collar crime . White collar crime is nonphysical criminal activity that often involves the theft or transfer of large sums of money; think of tax fraud, embezzlement, or money laundering. To explain this kind of deviance, some scholars utilize rational-choice theories, which claim that people who participate in criminal or deviant acts do so purposefully and are aware of the risks involved. Offenders see the act as potentially offering them a benefit that outweighs the cost. In most cases this seems accurate, as the likelihood of prosecution and strong sentence is fairly low. However, there have been some significant examples to the contrary of late: Bernie Madoff with his failed Ponzi scheme and the top managers of Enron and Adelphia, among other white-collar criminals, have been sentenced to long prison terms.
  • Madoff, who has really become the face of white-collar crime, defrauded not only individual and corporate clients for whom he was investing but also charitable organizations. His crime wiped out retirement nest-eggs and significant philanthropic accounts, illustrating just how devastating nonviolent crime can be.
  • Infographic exercises: Which two countries have the lowest number of people in prison per 100,000 population? Which countries have between 500 and 700 people in prison per 100,000 population? How many people per 100,000 population does China have in prison? The U.S.?
  • Infographic exercises: What are the characteristics of American families with the lowest median net worth? the highest net worth? At what age do Americans have the highest net worth? Approximately how much net worth does an American family gain by owning a home rather than renting? What is the difference in median net worth between American families with no high school education and those with a college degree? What is the approximate median net worth of white, non-Latino Americans?
  • Now that you have a sense of where we fit into a larger global picture of prison populations, let’s talk some more about our own. We know that minorities are disproportionately represented in prisons, we know that men make up overwhelming numbers of the population, and we know that we have one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. Some of this reflects America’s “get tough” narrative, which goes well beyond issues of crime and punishment; the tough, law-and-order guy is an American icon. It is interesting that this theme retains its power even though crime rates have been going down for most of the past two decades. How does this system of incarcerating so many able-bodied individuals (especially men) affect you? Well, first off, it is expensive to keep people in jail. On average the government spends more than $25,000 per inmate per year. The costs go way, way up when you consider an inmate in solitary confinement or on death row—which we’ll come to in just a minute. Our system of locking people up also has an effect on our racial and economic systems. More than a quarter of all African American men are, in some way, under the authority of the penal system. Huge numbers of them are actually in jail, and they are not counted as part of the unemployed. Thus, we have one racial group that is disproportionately imprisoned, and often unable to find any work once they are released (in part because our system does very little to assist in the transition back to living in society). With all of this prison time, one might ask why our approach is so different from other countries. Does going to jail or prison alter behavior? Unfortunately, jail and prison do not seem to do much to either dissuade bad behavior or to change people. In short, incarceration is not much of a deterrent.
  • Our “get tough” attitude is also on ready display when we think more about the death penalty. More than 60 percent of Americans favors keeping the option of capital punishment. In fact, this number has risen in recent years, even in light of concerns about wrongful executions discovered via DNA testing. Not all death row inmates have access to DNA testing, yet executions continue. One of the issues that often comes up in discussions of the death penalty is the expense of dealing with such a particular population. Keeping a prisoner on death row is said to cost nearly $100,000 more per year than for a non–death penalty inmate, not to mention the much higher costs of death penalty trials. It is much less expensive to sentence someone to life without the possibility of parole than to issue a death sentence. It will be interesting to see if this economic logic has a more profound effect on attitudes than arguments based on morality alone.
  • As you read in your textbook, deviance does help us understand what is right and what is wrong in our own society. É mile Durkheim went so far as to tell us that deviance/crime is both normal and necessary, as it helps us see what the boundaries are for our culture. Durkheim said that even in a society of saints, certain things will be defined as deviant, and that helps define what is normal, or even good. So how about punishment? What, for example, might the function of the death penalty be? Mostly it would serve as retribution for loved ones of the inmate’s victims, because it surely does not serve as a deterrent. Much like imprisonment in general, the death penalty does not deter criminal behavior. But punishment does serve certain functions for societies. It does serve as a warning, both to those who have already broken the law and those who might. It does offer an often necessary response to injustice. In some cases it does remove a dangerous person from public life. All of those are individual-level functions that punishment serves. But punishment also serves important functions at a more abstract, group level. Punishment serves to remind us of the boundaries of our social life; it shows us what is right and what is wrong. Punishment can help to bring social groups together in light of a shared moral certainty. As you might imagine, when that moral unity is not in place, punishment can function rather negatively to divide people. All of this is to indicate that sometimes, punishment is more about the values of a society than the crime it is responding to.
  • That wraps up our material for today. Next we will be talking about social stratification.
  • Answer: a Feedback: What Is Deviant Behavior? p. 165. Deviance may be defined as nonconformity to a given set of norms that are accepted by a significant number of people in a community or society.
  • Answer: a Why Do People Commit Deviant Acts? p. 170. People are more likely to commit crime when they do not have the opportunity to pursue the goals—such as the accumulation of material wealth—that their society sets. According to Merton, then, deviance is a by-product of economic inequalities.
  • Answer: c Feedback: Whose Lives Are Affected by Crime? p. 185. Although law enforcement regards white-collar crime in a more tolerant light than crimes of the less privileged, it has been calculated that the amount of money involved in white-collar crime in the United States is forty times greater than the amount involved in crimes against property, such as robberies, burglaries, larceny, forgeries, and car thefts
  • Answer: b Feedback: Why Do People Commit Deviant Acts? p. 170. Durkheim argued that a criminal act can ultimately enhance group solidarity and clarify social norms, contributing to the stability of society.
  • Answer: a Feedback: Why Do People Commit Deviant Acts? p. 174. Labeling theory argues that it is not the act that makes one a deviant, but rather the way others react to the act. Labeling theory is an approach to the study of deviance that suggests that people become “deviant” because certain labels are attached to their behavior by political authorities and others.
  • Answer: d Feedback: Introduction, p. 164. Norms are rules of conduct that specify appropriate behavior in a given range of social situations. All human groups follow definite norms, which are always backed by sanctions of one kind or another— varying from informal disapproval to physical punishment.

Conformity, Deviance Conformity, Deviance Presentation Transcript

  • ANTHONY GIDDENS ● MITCHELL DUNEIER ● RICHARD P.APPELBAUM ● DEBORAH CARR Fourth Edition Chapter 6: Conformity, Deviance, and Crime
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. High-profile cases 2
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Current prison statistics • In 2009: prison population over 1.6 million • Minorities dramatically overrepresented among the incarcerated – Blacks: 39.4% of prison population, 12.6% of U.S. population – Latinos: >20% of prison population, 16.3% of U.S. population 3
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Effects of large prison population • Reduces labor force • Skews data about unemployment – Especially about groups that are disproportionately incarcerated • Decreases likelihood of stable employment following release 4
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Norms and deviance • The cultures that societies create are built out of norms. • These norms represent the values of the group. • When individuals and groups deviate from norms, society responds. • Deviance can range from chewing gum in the wrong place to capital murder and beyond. 5
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Big questions on deviance • In the United States, there are many questions to ask about deviance, crime, and punishment, including: – Why are incarceration rates so high? – Why are racial disparities so significant? – Who are “deviants”? (What counts as deviant?) – Which rules are observed and which are broken? 6
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Deviant behavior • Deviant behavior is that which does not conform to the rules or norms of a society or community. • It is important to consider issues of power: whose rules or norms are being broken? 7
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Deviance and crime • Not all deviance is crime, and not all crime is deviant. • Deviance is in the “eye of the beholder.” 8
  • Figure 6.1 Intersection of Deviance and Crime © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc.
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Group deviance • Deviance occurs not only at the individual level but also among groups. • Corporations, governments, organizations, and social groups can all take part in deviance. • There are deviant subcultures, ranging from the homeless to religious cults to punks. 10
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Sanctions and social control • When someone breaks an important norm, there is a response, a sanction. • Sanctions can be positive or negative. • Sanctions can be enacted formally or informally. • The degree of sanctions varies according to the importance and type of norm broken. 11
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Three views of deviance • Biological • Psychological • Sociological • The biological and psychological perspectives locate deviance in the person, while sociological perspectives locate deviance in the act. 12
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Sociological perspectives • Sociological perspectives on deviance are wide-ranging: Functionalist Reinforcement Conflict Symbolic interactionist Chicago School 13
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Functionalist theories of deviance • Durkheim’s influence – Anomie: In modern societies norms have been lost but not replaced, leaving people without a center. – Deviance and crime as normal and necessary • Merton’s typology – Deviance as a by-product of inequality 14
  • Figure 6.2 Merton’s Deviance Typology © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc.
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Reinforcement theories • Deviance is seen as learned, even normalized, behavior. • We act based on perceived rewards and costs, which may be economic, social, and so on. • Differential association and control theory are among the better-known reinforcement theories. 16
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Conflict theory • Conflict theorists want to know why people commit crimes. • Crime is seen as political action intended to challenge the power structure. • Laws are tools of the powerful that reproduce inequality. • Individuals are responding to inequities built into capitalism. 17
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Symbolic integrationist approaches • Labeling theory is one well-known approach. • Deviance is found not in the act but in the response, in the label applied. • Connection with conflict theory: labels are applied by those with power onto those without. 18
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. The Chicago School • Chicago School sociology is, most broadly, a kind of urban sociology. • In dealing with deviance, broken windows (BW) theory is the best-known example. • BW theory is focused on the realization that any kind of social disorder leads to more social disorder. 19
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. How is crime reported? •UCR—Uniform Crime Report •NCVS—National Crime Victimization Survey 20
  • Figure 6.3 Crime Rates in the United States, 1985–2008 © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc.
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. What is your risk? How likely are you to be a victim of a crime? Answer these 10 questions and compare your answers with the risk factors reported on the next page. 1. What is your gender? 2. What is your race or ethnicity? 3. Do you live in a poor, middle-class, or wealthy neighborhood? 4. Have you been a victim of a crime in the past? 5. Do you live in the South? 6. How often do you drink alcohol? 7. How old are you? 8. What is your annual income? 9. What is your marital status? 10. What is your job? 22
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Your risk Increase Chances of Crime Victimization? Decrease Chances of Crime Victimization? Male Female African American or Native American White or Asian Reside in poor neighborhood Reside in middle- class neighborhood Reside in a neighborhood with a high crime rate Reside in a neighborhood with a low crime rate Having been a victim in the past No prior victimizations Reside in the South Reside in the non-South High levels of alcohol use Low to moderate levels of alcohol use Teenager or young adult Mature adult Low household income Moderate to high income Divorced or separated Currently married Work as law enforcement officer, security guard, or taxicab driver Work as college professor ________________________ Source: U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics 2008c. 23
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Gender and crime • Men are more likely to be both perpetrators and victims of crime and to be incarcerated. • The “gender contract” may lead to differential treatment with authorities. • Ties to children and others may prevent women from engaging in deviant acts. 24
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Murder victims by race and sex 25 Figure 6.4 Murder Victims by Race and Sex, 2010
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Youth and crime • Long-standing concerns about the equation of youth with criminality – 33% of those arrested in 2009 were under 21 • Control theory: relative lack of social ties and attachments that characterize adulthood • Fear of recent mass killings 26
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. • White-collar crime is that which is carried out by those in non-manual labor, higher-status jobs. • These crimes are typically nonviolent but can be extremely damaging to society (e.g., Enron). • White-collar crimes include, among others, embezzlement, various kinds of fraud, and illegal sales. • Those who perpetrate these crimes are rarely prosecuted. 27 White-collar crime
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 28
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Incarceration Rates Around the World Figure 6.5 State and Federal Prison Population, 1925–2010
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Number of people in prison per 100,000 population Source: Walmsley 2009, West 2010, 30 Incarceration Rates Around the World
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Incarceration Rates Around the World SOURCE: Walmsley 2009, West 2010. Number of People in Prison per 100,000 population INDIA 33 NIGERIA 28 CHINA 119 SWITZERLAND 76 FRANCE 96 JAPAN 63 MYANMAR 126MEXICO 207 BRAZIL 227 ISRAEL 326CUBA 531 SOUTH AFRICA 335 RWANDA 604 UNITED STATES 756 RUSSIAN FEDERATION 629 0 100 300 500 700 1,000
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Incarceration Rates Around the World SOURCE: Walmsley 2009, West 2010. Who’s in Prison in the United States? Black 38% Hispanic 21% White 34% Other 7% Female 6.8% Non U.S. Citizens 5.9% Under 18 0.4% Public-Order Offenders 9.2% Violent Offenders 52% Drug Offenders 18% Property Offenders 18%
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. The U.S. prison system • Crime and punishment remain top priorities for Americans. • Currently: – It costs more than $25,000 per year per inmate. – More than 25 percent of African American men are under the authority of the penal system. • Imprisonment is not a powerful deterrent. 33
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. The death penalty • The United States has continued high levels of support for the death penalty: 64% in 2010. • There have been problems in recent years with uneven access to DNA testing. • Two-thirds of executions since 1977 have taken place in five states: Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, and Missouri. 34
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Functions of deviance and punishment • Recognizing what is deviant helps us know what is considered right or wrong in our culture. • For individuals, punishments are not only to sanction the guilty but to warn potential offenders. • For the group, punishment functions to reinforce the unity of the collectivity. 35
  • W. W. Norton & Company Independent and Employee-Owned This concludes the Lecture PowerPoint Presentation for For more learning resources, please visit our online StudySpace at: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/soc/essentials-of-sociology7/ © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Chapter 6: Conformity, Deviance, and Crime
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Clicker Questions 1. What is deviance? a. a transgression of social norms that are accepted by most people in a community b. breaking the law c. the kind of behavior engaged in by members of groups that have been marginalized by society d. criminal behavior that abides by social norms 37
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Clicker Questions 2. What was Robert K. Merton’s theory of crime? a. People are more likely to commit crime when they do not have the opportunity to pursue the goals—such as the accumulation of material wealth—that their society sets. b. People are more likely to commit crime if they associate with carriers of criminal norms. c. People are more likely to commit crime when they have the opportunity to steal from someone who trusts them. d. People are more likely to commit crime if they have committed a crime already. 38
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Clicker Questions 3. Compared with ordinary crimes against property (robberies, burglaries, larceny, etc.), the amount of money stolen in white- collar crime (tax fraud, insurance fraud, etc.) is a. about the same. Crimes against property cost the nation about as much as white-collar crime. b. less. White-collar crimes involve only one-quarter of the money involved in crimes against property. c. more. White-collar crime involves perhaps forty times as much money as crimes against property. d. not really comparable. White-collar crimes such as embezzlement affect very few people. 39
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Clicker Questions 4. Why did Émile Durkheim think a certain amount of crime was functional for society? a. It provides a healthy release for male aggression. b. It highlights the boundaries of social norms. c. It keeps the police and court system active. d. The existence of crime makes law-abiding citizens more careful about protecting their property. 40
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Clicker Questions 5. What is the essence of labeling theory? a. It is not the act that makes one a deviant, but rather the way others react to the act. b. Deviance occurs when an individual’s bonds to conventional society are inadequate. c. We learn deviant behavior from our contacts with primary groups, such as peers, family members, and coworkers. d. Deviants resist the labels they are given by law enforcement authorities. 41
  • © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Clicker Questions 6. What is the best definition of norms? a. formally crafted, written guidelines that citizens of a nation must follow b. ordinances applicable to a given metropolitan area c. modes of action that do not conform to the values held by most members of a society. d. the do’s and don’ts of society 42