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Ch 7 Deviance and Social Control
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Ch 7 Deviance and Social Control


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  • 1. Is it Deviance?  In the following 10 slides, determine if what you see constitutes Deviance.  You may base your decisions on behavior, beliefs, or the condition of the person.
  • 2. Deviance? - #1
  • 3. Deviance? - #2
  • 4. Deviance? - #3
  • 5. Deviance? - #4
  • 6. Deviance? - #5
  • 7. Deviance? - #6
  • 8. Deviance? - #7
  • 9. Deviance? - #8 I’m single, I have a career, and I’m happy with my life.
  • 10. Deviance? - #9
  • 11. Deviance? - #10
  • 12. Section 1 Deviance and Social Control
  • 13. What is Deviance?  Any behavior, belief, or condition that violates significant social norms in the society or group in which it occurs  Interestingly – one who is considered “deviant” by one category of people may be seen as “conformist” in another group  We are all technically deviant at some point or another in our lives.
  • 14. The Nature of Deviance…  Ranges from criminal behavior (recognized by almost all members of society as deviant) to wearing heavy make-up (considered deviant by some religious groups).  Incidents of deviance get a great deal of attention because they involve prominent figures whose behavior is broadcast on TV. Lindsay Lohan Snooki Mike Tyson
  • 15. Not Always Clear Cut…  Deviance is not always so clear-cut because it is a matter of social definition. Societies change and evolve. Deviance varies from group to group, society to society. We can see this within the United States – laws differ from state to state.  When asked what constitutes deviant behavior in the United States-answers included things like child molesters, prostitution, drug addicts, religious radicals, and criminals.  It also included liars, reckless drivers, bearded men, artists, divorcees, smartstudents, among other things.
  • 16. Deviance and Stigmas  Stigmas: the disapproval attached to disobeying the expected norms  Reactions include:  Ridiculed  Ostracized  Labeled  Sanctioned  Avoided
  • 17. Deviance Can Be Positive or Negative  Negative deviance is behavior that fails to meet the accepted norms-they reject the norms (if the norm is to be thin, they are obese)  Positive deviance is overconformity to the norm-(if the norm is to be thin, they are anorexic)
  • 18. From the Sociologist’s Viewpoint…  Sociologists generally reserve the term deviance for violations of significant norms.  To a sociologist, a deviant person is one who has violated one of society’s most valued norms.  Informal deviance = minor transgressions  Formal deviance = crime  Crime = forms of deviance in which formal penalties are imposed by society
  • 19. Social Control  All societies have ways of promoting order, stability, and predictability in social life.  We assume people will stop for red lights, waiters won’t pour soup in our laps…  Without social control, ways to promote conformity to norms-social life would be unpredictable, even chaotic.  There are two types of social control: Internal External
  • 20. What is internal social control?  Control that lies within the individual.  This is developed during socialization - we learn what is right and wrong  For example, the norm against stealing has become a part of most of us.  We have internalized this.  Other examples include norms against killing and adultery.
  • 21. What is external control?  For some, socialization does not ensure that all people will conform  So for this reason, social control has to be based on social sanctions-(rewards and punishments designed to encourage desired behavior)  Positive sanctions can include an increase in allowance, a promotion or a smile  Negative sanctions can include criticism, fines, or imprisonment.  Sanctions can also be informal and formal (formality depends on who is giving the sanction)
  • 22. Deviance Perspectives Sociological Deviance is… Perspective Deviance results from… Functionalism A source of social cohesion Structural strains on society Symbolic A learned Interactionism behavior Social labeling Conflict Theory Controlled and defined by the dominant class Inequality in society
  • 23. Section 2 Functionalism and Deviance
  • 24. Costs and Benefits of Deviance  The functionalist emphasize social stability and the way the different parts of society contribute to the whole.  Functionalists believe that some deviance can contribute to the smooth operation of society.
  • 25. What are some negative effects of deviance?  Deviance erodes trust  If people expect certain things to happen and they don’t, widespread suspicion and distrust grows.  If deviance is not punished or corrected, deviance can cause others to misbehave as well.
  • 26. More Negative Effects of Deviance  Deviant behavior can be expensive.  It diverts resources both human and monetary.  Police spend time dealing with speeding, loitering, drugs, etc. rather than dealing with the more serious things.
  • 27. How does social deviance benefit society?  Deviance clarifies what the norms are by exercising social control to defend its values.  We define, adjust, and reaffirm the norms.  When parents lose custody of their kids for deviant behavior, it teaches the rest of society was is expected.
  • 28. More Benefits of Deviance  Deviance can also serve as a temporary safety valve.  Teen’s music, clothing, and behavior is relatively deviant behavior which may serve to relieve some of the pressure teens feel from authority figures in their lives.
  • 29. Benefits (cont.)  Deviance increases unity within a society or group. When deviance remind people of something they value, it strengthens their commitment to the value. Bonds them together.  Deviance promotes social change - Civil Rights Movement and civil disobedience. Riots too sometimes help bring reform.  Deviance provides jobs for those who deal with deviants.
  • 30. Strain Theory  Robert Merton, a sociologist, created the strain theory in 1968.  The strain theory is the theory that suggests that deviance is more likely when a gap exists between cultural goals and the means (ability/way) to achieve these goals by legitimate methods.
  • 31. Strain Theory – The Norm  Our society stresses goals of success and material possessions.  Education and hard work are the accepted means to those goals.  When people accept these goals and means, there is conformity.
  • 32. How do people respond to strain?  Innovation- accepting the goal but using illegal means to achieve it. This is the most widely spread deviant response to the strain.  Ritualism- legitimate means are used but the goals are rejected. People go through the motions but don’t believe in the process.  Retreatism- reject means and the goals are rejected. As if they drop out of society  Rebellion- reject success and the approved means to get there, and they substitute a new set of goals and means.
  • 33. GOALS ME ACCEPT REJECT Create AN ACCEPT C onformity Ritualis m S REJECT Innovation Retreatis m Create Re be llion
  • 34. Control Theory  Travis Hirischi’s control theory says that compliance with social norms requires us to have strong bonds between individuals and society.  According to the control theory, social bonds control the behavior of deviants. The more a person is bonded with society, the more he will follow norms. The less bonded, the less a person will follow norms.  People conform because they don’t want to lose face with family and friends.
  • 35. What are the basic elements of social bonds?  Attachment- stronger attachment leads to conformity.  Commitment- greater commitment to social goals leads to conformity. (believe hard work leads to rewards)  Involvement- participation in social activities increases the probability of conformity.  Belief- belief in norms and values leads to conformity.
  • 36. Section 3 Symbolic Interactionism and Deviance
  • 37. Differential Association Theory How is Deviance Learned?  Differential Association theory emphasizes the role of primary groups in transmitting deviance.  We learn deviance through association.  The more that we are exposed to those breaking the law, the more apt we are to become criminals ourselves.
  • 38. Three characteristics affect differential association  The ratio of deviant to non-deviant individuals -Someone who knows mostly deviants is more likely to learn deviant behavior.  Whether the deviant behavior is practiced by significant others - Someone is more likely to learn the behavior from significant others.  The age of exposure - Younger children learn deviant behavior more quickly than older children)
  • 39. Labeling Theory  The Strain theory, Control theory, and Differential Association theory help us understand why deviance occurs.  The Labeling theory explains why deviance is relative (when two people break the same norm and only one is labeled deviant).
  • 40. Is deviance defined by the act or by the individual?  Deviant behavior is always a matter of social definition, but there is a relativity to deviance.  For example: when a teenage couple gets pregnant, the girl is labeled the deviant because society expects the female to set the boundaries and to say “no”  Of course it is also easier to stigmatize the girl because the pregnancy is visible.
  • 41. Labeling Theory and Class  Labeling theory also explains why lower class people go to jail for stealing, whereas middle class kids get in trouble for “borrowing.”  Society “expects” that criminals are lower class youths, not middle class kids.
  • 42. Are there degrees of variance?  There is a distinction between primary and secondary deviance.  Primary deviance means that a person is engaged only in isolated acts of deviance.  EX: The vast majority of college kids have never been arrested, convicted, and labeled as criminals, but they have done questionable things.
  • 43. Another degree of variance  Secondary deviance, on the other hand refers to deviance as a lifestyle and a personal identity.  The individual’s life is organized around breaking society’s norms.  They identify themselves and others label them as such.  Deviance becomes a way of life.
  • 44. Are there consequences of labeling?  Stigmas are undesirable traits or labels that are used to characterize a person.  One stigma may be your record, which is then used to discredit the individual’s entire worth.  Stigmas are almost impossible to change.
  • 45. Section 4 Conflict Theory and Deviance
  • 46. Deviance in the Industrial Society  To the Conflict theorist, deviance in an industrial society is behavior that those in control see as threatening to their interests.  As a result, the powerful and rich use their positions to determine the acts of deviance and how the deviants should be punished.
  • 47. Conflict Theory Defense  The culture of the industrial society defends itself using these statements:  “If you criticize an industrial society, you must be deviant because you are criticizing our belief in economic, political, and social ways.”  An industrialized society requires a work force, so if “you don’t work, you are deviant.”  Those who threaten private property, especially that owned by the rich, are prime target for punishment.  Because industrial societies need respect of authority, any challenge to that is deviant (protests included).
  • 48. Gender and Crime  Femininity Theory – “abuses suffered by women are rooted in the patriarchal capitalists [rich men] system”  Causes: gendered division of labor, and socialization of children  Cultural attitude of crimes against women differ based on the status of women in society.  Women are less often in a position to commit crimes and often commit crimes that are different from crimes committed by men.
  • 49. Race, Ethnicity, and Crime  What is the relationship between race, ethnicity, and crime?  Conflict theorists believe that minorities get unequal treatment in the justice system.  They cite statistics that show African – Americans and Hispanic – Americans are dealt with more harshly than Caucasian - Americans.  Even when the offense is the same, minorities get harsher sentences and serve more time in prison than Caucasian – Americans.  African – Americans make up 12% of the total population, but they account for 43% of the inmates on death row.
  • 50. Race, Ethnicity, and Crime (cont.)  Prosecutors are less likely to seek the death penalty when the victim is African - American.  Judges and juries are less likely to impose the death penalty on Caucasian - Americans.  Nearly half of all homicide victims are African -American.  Yet, there is an overwhelming majority of prisoners on death row for killing Caucasian – Americans not African Americans.
  • 51. Race, Ethnicity, and Crime (cont.)  Why are different races and ethnicities treated so differently?  Conflict theorists say that minorities get harsher treatment because many don’t have the resources to buy good legal services.  Another idea may be due to what sociologists call: victim discounting- the process of reducing the seriousness of a crime that injures people of lower socio-economic status.  According to this idea, if the victim is less valuable, the crime is less serious, the penalty is less severe.
  • 52. White Collar Crime  White-collar crime is a financially motivated, economic, non-violent crime committed for illegal monetary gain.  White collar crime includes things like price fixing, insider trading, illegal rebates, embezzlement, tax evasion, toxic polluting.
  • 53. What are the costs of white collar crime?  The costs of white collar crime are 18 times higher than the costs of street crime according the Depart of Justice.  Illegal work environments (places that expose people to toxic chemicals) account for more than 1/3 of all workrelated deaths in the U.S.  Five times more Americans are killed each year from illegal job conditions than are murdered on the streets.
  • 54. What kinds of punishment do the majority of white collar criminals get?  It costs the taxpayers billions of dollars every year but many white collar criminals are given very lenient sentences.  Most is tried in Federal court and probation is granted 40% of the time for anti-trust violations, 61% for fraud, 70% for embezzlement.  If imprisoned, they get shorter sentences, private rooms and extra privileges.
  • 55. Section 5 Crime and Punishment
  • 56. Measurement of Crime  Crime- actions that violate the law.  How much crime is there in the United States?  One larceny (theft) every 4.5 seconds  One burglary (breaking in with intent to steal) every 14.7 seconds  One motor vehicle theft every 25.5 seconds  One aggravated assault every 36.9 seconds  One robbery every 1.3 minutes  One rape every 5.6 minutes
  • 57. How are crime statistics collected?  American crime statistics comes from the FBI’s “Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)  Their stats come from police departments across the country.
  • 58. What do UCR statistics cover?  9 types of crime are tracked:  Murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and hate crimes.  Violent and property crime have declined since 1990.  The murder rate in the United States has declined more than 39% since 1980.  One of the major reasons for the decrease in crime rate includes a reduction in juvenile crime.
  • 59. How reliable are UCR statistics?  There are some limitations with the UCR:  It tends to over-represent the lower classes and undercount the middle and upper classes.  Some crimes (minor assaults) are not as likely to be reported to the police  About 2/3rds of crimes are not reported at all  Crime reports vary from place to place and white-collar offenders are seldom included.
  • 60. Are any other crime statistics available?  In response to these criticisms the National Crime Victimization Survey was launched in 1970’s.  This is conducted twice a year by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (Census Bureau)  It helps because it makes up for underrepresented crimes and its surveys are more scientifically sound. (methodology)  Together, both sets of statistics give a more accurate account of crime.
  • 61. Based on your notes....  Identify the different types of crime  List specific kinds of crime under that type  Classify the severity of the crimes using movie ratings (X, R, PG13, PG, G)  Assign a punishment 61 61
  • 62. Juvenile Crime  Juvenile crime refers to violations from those under 18.  Juvenile offenders make up the third largest category of criminals.
  • 63. What is the trend in juvenile crime?  Violent juvenile crime reached its lowest level in a decade in 1999.  Juvenile murder arrest rate dropped 68%  Arrests for juveniles with weapons declined by 1/3  Juvenile rape arrest went down by 31%
  • 64. Why has the Juvenile rate gone down?  One reason-there has been a decline in the demand for crack cocaine.  Repeat violent offenders have been given stiffer sentences.  Police have been cracking down on illegal guns on the streets.  Freakonomics Theory: Roe v. Wade effects
  • 65. Approaches to Crime Control  The criminal justice system is made up of the institutions and processes responsible for enforcing criminal statutes.  It includes the police, courts, and the correctional system.  The justice system draws on four approaches to control and punish lawbreakers: deterrence, retribution, incarceration, and rehab.
  • 66. Does punishment discourage crime?  The deterrence approach uses the threat of punishment to discourage crimes because it serves as an example for others.  Research is mixed on the effectiveness of this.  They have found that deterrence works IF people know they are likely to be caught and the punishment will be severe.
  • 67. Does punishment discourage crime?  However, in the United States, punishment for crime is not usually certain, swift, or severe.  As a result, punishment does not have the deterrence effect that it could have.  Capital punishment is a special case.  Over 4000 people have been executed in the United States since 1930.  Even the death penalty does not deter crime, we know this because the murder rates have remained constant and have even dropped when the death penalty has not been an option.
  • 68. Do Americans believe capital punishment deters criminals?  Yes, despite the findings, about 3/4th of us believe the death penalty is a deterrent to crime.  3/4ths also say that they would still favor the death penalty even if they were confronted with evidence that the death penalty did not deter crime.  Feelings of revenge and retribution appear to be the reasoning behind this.
  • 69. Approaches to Crime Control  Why does the attitude towards the death penalty vary?  Attitudes towards the death penalty vary according to race and ethnicity.  75% of Caucasian – Americans support it  40% of African – Americans support it  52% of Hispanic – Americans support it  The discrepancy is understandable considering that African – Americans and Hispanic – Americans are more likely to get the death penalty than Caucasian - Americans.
  • 70. What is retribution?  A type of punishment intended to make the criminals pay compensation for their acts.
  • 71. Why does society keep criminals in prison?  The basic idea behind incarceration – keeping prisoners in jail is so that they cannot commit more crimes.  Revenge and/or retribution  Remove dangerous individuals from society  Deterrence
  • 72. Do prisons rehab criminals?  Rehab is an approach that attempts to re-socialize criminals.  Most prisons have programs aimed at helping criminals rehab provide both work and social skills that will help them assimilate back into society.  Unfortunately, 30 to 60% are sent back to prison in 2-5 years.  The criminal return rate is called recidivism
  • 73. The reasons for recidivism?  The basic nature of the offenders  Influences learned from the more hardened criminals  The stigma of being an ex-convict  Inside the prison sub-culture, there is an “inmate code” that stresses loyalty among inmates.  The toughness learned in prison is then sometimes transferred to the outside world.
  • 74. What are some alternatives to prisons?  If prisons do not rehab, then what?  A combination of prison and probationa mix or split sentence known as “shock probation” prisoners serve part of their time in an institution and the rest on probation. The hope is that the shock of prison life would deter someone from committing crime again.
  • 75. What are some alternatives to prisons?  Community based programs- designed to reintroduce criminals into society. They get out of prison for at least part of the day and become a part of the community under guidance and supervision.  Diversion strategy- a referral to a community based program rather than to prison. The offenders are handled outside of the criminal justice system and are not labeled.
  • 76. Will any of the alternatives work?  They have not yet been sufficiently evaluated.  Recently, Americ gans have taken a harsher view towards criminals, so support for alternatives may be eroding.