SOCI 101, Lecture 11/18/13. Rima Brusi, CSUF. Slideshow 1 of 2.
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SOCI 101, Lecture 11/18/13. Rima Brusi, CSUF. Slideshow 1 of 2.

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Topics:Deviance, theory and deviance, deviance and crime.

Topics:Deviance, theory and deviance, deviance and crime.

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  • Vagrancy laws are in place because the people in power (representatives of dominant culture) have deemed vagrancy to be deviant. Sociologist William Chambliss looked at how the vagrancy laws have been applied differently over the years to homeless, unemployed, racial minorities, or whomever seemed most threatening at the time. He determined that vagrancy laws actually reproduce inequality in our society.
  • Structural strain theory, sometimes just called strain theory, acknowledges that there are certain goals that society deems acceptable. Discussion: can they can think of what these goals might be. Common responses include: a nice car, a big house, a family, a good job, lots of money, and so on. Try to discuss the “American Dream” and the idea that there is a common theme about what Americans should achieve to be called successful. Strain theory then discusses the difficulties that many people have in trying to achieve these goals. The frustration that occurs between knowing what the goals are and not being able to achieve those goals is the basis of Merton’s strain theory typologies.
  • This table shows the possible combinations of goal and mean acceptance. In the following slides, we’ll expand on the previous definition talk about examples of each of these. Remember, goals are not individual or personal goals, like saving enough money to buy a new mp3 player. They are socially acceptable goals, like “The American Dream”—having a good job, a nice home, a car, money, and so on. Means are ways of making that happen, for instance, “means” may refer to socially acceptable routes to achieving the aforementioned goals, like going to college, working hard, starting at the bottom of the company ladder but working your way to the top, and so on.
  • These are the people who work hard in school, go to college, get a job, and save money because they want to buy a nice house, have a fancy car, wear nice clothes, and contribute to their retirement plans.
  • These are people who want all of the same things as the conformists: fancy house, nice car, designer clothes, but they aren’t interested in going to college and working their way up through the company. For discussion: ask your class if they can think of examples. Some popular responses are: Bill Gates, who dropped out of college, drug dealers, and pimps. They have all found different means to achieving the culturally accepted goals.
  • Ritualists don’t seem to think about the goal or the big picture, and instead they live their lives day to day, paycheck to paycheck. They go to work, have a steady job, and so on, but they probably live in an apartment or in their parents’ basement, they don’t talk about career moves or retirement, and they simply keep doing their routine every day. It’s generally difficult for students to think of popular examples of this category of people because famous people generally don’t present themselves as ritualists. However, you can ask them if they can think of any characters in a movie or TV show who would fit this typology or if they have friends or relatives who may fall into this category.
  • Retreatists aren’t interested in the goals, and they don’t follow the day-to-day routine to achieve the means either. Oftentimes retreatists have withdrawn from the system completely. An example would be a hermit or a person who goes to the mountains to live with the goats. Students sometimes mention people who are homeless in this category. While it is possible that a person would give up their home because they want to withdraw from the system, I always caution students about making that assumption because the majority of homeless people are not in their circumstance by choice.
  • Rebels are those people who don’t accept the goals of society and disagree with the means of achieving them. That means that these people don’t covet lots of money, a fancy house, a nice car, and so on.
  • Edwin Sutherland suggested that the main reason that people become deviant is that they are learning to be that way from the people they associate with. This theory of deviance may remind you of social learning theory, which says that we tend to mimic significant role models in our life.
  • Howard Becker asserted that when people are labeled, that label becomes part of their self-image. So if someone tells you that you are smart, you might start perceiving yourself as smart. Likewise, if someone tells you that you are bad and don’t behave well, that might become part of your image and you might begin to act out as a result of that label.
  • Labeling a person can lead to that person acting out their label. This is especially true if that label is anchored, or confirmed among many agents of socialization. (So if a child is labeled as bad by a parent, and then by the school, and at afterschool care, and by friends, the label is increasingly likely to become part of that individual’s self perception.)
  • Stigma can be physical, moral, or tribal. For instance, a physical impairment might stigmatize or devalue a potential employee at a workplace. A moral stigma could include character flaws—for instance, talking too much—which could devalue a person’s input in a group setting. A tribal stigma could be based on membership to a discredited group, which could be a group that a person chooses to belong to like a club or an organization or a group that a person is born into, like a race or socioeconomic status. Just like deviance, stigma will depend on the culture and context.
  • Again, deviance is referring to an act or behavior that is simply different from what the majority group typically does, and thus, generally receives a negative response. In the United States, eating a guinea pig would be considered deviant because most people don’t do that, but in Peru, many people eat guinea pigs as a staple part of their diet. Eating or not eating guinea pigs isn’t wrong, but depending on the culture that you’re from, it can definitely be different than the group norm.
  • The punishment for this kind of deviance could include a state-backed sanction, making this a worse punishment than for a noncriminal type of deviance.[http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crime.jpg]
  • During the 1920s and 1930s, alcohol was illegal in the United States, but it is legal in most areas in the United States now. In contrast, heroin used to be widely available in the United States. It was sold by Bayer until 1910, and the U.S. government even taxed it until it was eventually banned in 1924.[Prohibition agents destroying alcohol image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Prohibition.jpg][Bayer Heroin image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bayer_Heroin_bottle.jpg]
  • Deterrence: if you are in a hurry to class and you start to exceed the speed limit, do you ever slow down because you think “I don’t want to get a speeding ticket”? If so, the potential penalty has deterred you from committing the crime.Retribution: have you ever heard the saying “an eye for an eye”? That’s the premise behind retribution—you’ve committed a crime, therefore, society has the right to retaliate in a certain way.
  • Incapacitation may depend on the severity of the crime committed. If our society imprisoned every person who ever jaywalked, there would be few people left out in society. Then again, if the penalty for jaywalking was imprisonment, maybe fewer people would do it. That’s part of the logic behind creating sentences for crimes.Rehabilitation has different degrees of success or failure depending on the crime committed, however, even though rehabilitation is usually less expensive than incarceration, we tend to see more sentences of incarceration than rehabilitation. Why do you think this is? Are there certain crimes that you think should receive more rehabilitation that incarceration? What about drug use or possession?

SOCI 101, Lecture 11/18/13. Rima Brusi, CSUF. Slideshow 1 of 2. Presentation Transcript

  • 1. SOCI 101 CH 6 DEVIANCE CONT. 11/18/2013 Rima Brusi, Ph.D. CSUF 6.2
  • 2. DEVIANCE (CONT.) • Last 2 classes: • Deviance – meaning, difference between normative approach and relativistic approach • Examples of body modification and food • The functions of deviance according to functionalism (Durkheim) • TODAY: • Other theories – conflict, symbolic interactionism • Deviance and crime 11/18/2013 Rima Brusi, Ph.D. CSUF 2
  • 3. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) • Conflict theory: • Deviance is a result of social conflict. • In order for the powerful to maintain their power, they marginalize and criminalize the people who threaten their power. Inequality is reproduced in the way deviance is defined. 3
  • 4. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) • Structural strain theory: • Developed by Robert Merton • It states that there are goals in our society that people want to achieve, but they cannot always reach these goals. This creates stress (or strain) because people are aware of the goals but do not have the means to achieve them. 4
  • 5. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) • Merton’s typology of deviance (structural strain theory table) 5
  • 6. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) Merton’s typology: Conformists Conformists accept the goals of the society and the means of achieving those goals. 7
  • 7. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) Merton’s typology: Innovators Innovators accept the goals of the society, but they look for new, or innovative, ways of achieving those goals. 8
  • 8. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) Merton’s typology: Ritualists Ritualists aren’t interested in the goals of the society but they do accept the means of achieving those goals. 9
  • 9. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) Merton’s typology: Retreatists Retreatists don’t accept the goals of the society or the means of achieving those goals. 10
  • 10. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) Merton’s typology: Rebels Rebels don’t accept the goals of the society or the means of achieving those goals, so they create their own goals using new means. 11
  • 11. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) • Differential association: • A symbolic interactionist perspective developed by Edwin Sutherland • States that we learn deviance from hanging around deviant peers 12
  • 12. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) • Labeling theory: • A symbolic interactionist perspective developed by Howard Becker • States that deviance is caused by external judgments (labels) that change a person’s self-concept and the way that others respond to that person 13
  • 13. THEORIES OF DEVIANCE (CONT’D.) • Labeling theory: • Becker suggests that “labeling” can lead to a selffulfilling prophecy—a prediction that causes itself to come true. 14
  • 14. DEVIANT IDENTITIES • Stigma: • Term coined by Ervin Goffman • Describes any physical or social attribute that devalues a person or group’s identity, and which may exclude those who are devalued from normal social interaction 15
  • 15. DEVIANCE AND CRIME • Crime: • If a behavior is considered deviant, it means that it violates the values and norms of a group, not that it is inherently wrong. • However, research on deviance also includes crime. 16
  • 16. DEVIANCE AND CRIME (CONT’D.) • Crime is the violation of a norm that has been codified into law. 17
  • 17. DEVIANCE AND CRIME (CONT’D.) • Crime and punishments can change over time! 18
  • 18. CONTROL AND PUNISHMENT • Deterrence: prevent crime by threatening harsh penalties • Retribution: retaliate or take revenge for a crime that’s been committed 19
  • 19. CONTROL AND PUNISHMENT (CON’T.) • Incapacitation: remove criminals from society by imprisoning them • Rehabilitation: reform criminals so that they may re-enter society 20