Deviance and Society:Why Do People Break the Rules (Follow me on Twitter@detectivebogart)
WHY DO PEOPLE BREAKTHE RULES?DEFINING DEVIANCESSC 04: SOCIETY & CULTUREDR. VIVENCIO “VEN” O. BALLANO
DEFINING DEVIANCE OR RULE-BREAKING BEHAVIORABSOLUTISTDEFINITION( Popularly espoused in religion,ethics, morality, especially byconservatives, “moralentrepreneurs”)1. DEVIANCE RESIDES IN THE ACTITSELF, THE “EVILNESS” OF ANACT IS IN THE NATURE OF THEACT ITSELF.2. DEVIANCE IS ALWAYSDEVIANCE REGARDLESS OFTIME, PLACE & MOTIVATIONEXAMPLES• Abortion is always evil.• Issue: How about aborting the fetusto save the life of the mother• Pope Paul VI: “Masturbation isintrinsically evil, therefore it isalways a mortal sin”• Issue: How about masturbation forpurposes of scientific research? Isit still a serious sin if the intention isgood?• This definition is obviouslyinadequate.
DEFINING DEVIANCESTATISTICAL DEFINITION• (Popularly used by people tolabel the disabled or peoplewith peculiarphysical/personal traits1. AN ACT, PERSON OR TRAIT ISDEVIANT IF IT IS DIFFERENTFROM THE AVERAGESTANDARDS SET BY SOCIETY.2. The law on averages is thenorm to judge an act/personas deviant or not.EXAMPLES• A person is deviant ifhis/her height is below theaverage Filipino height, likea woman standing 3 feettall.• A person with 11 fingers isdeviant.• Issue: Is there a positivedeviance? Like a personwith very high IQ?
DEFINING DEVIANCEPOSITIVE DEFINITION• AN ACT/PERSON/ TRAIT ISDEVIANT IF IT/S/HE ISEXTRAORDINARY ANDDIFFERENT FROM THEMAJORITY• ISSUE: IS POSSESSINGPOSITIVE QUALITIESDEVIANT?EXAMPLES• A WOMAN WHO ISCONSIDERED EXTREMELYBEAUTIFUL.• BEING THE TALLESTPERSON WITH A HEIGHT OF7 FEET.• IN GUINNESS BOOK OFRECORDS• BEING A ‘KURYENTE KING’
DEFINING DEVIANCERELATIVIST DEFINITION1. DEFINING AN ACT ASDEVIANT OR CRIMINALDEPENDS ON THESITUATION, MOTIVATIONOF THE PERSON.2. AN ACT WHICH IS DEFINEDAS DEVIANT TODAY MAYNOT BE SO IN THE FUTUREEXAMPLES• TATTOOING ONE’S BODY ISCONSIDERED A MARK OFCRIMINALITY OR CONVICTIONOF A CRIME, SAVAGERY—BUTFOR SOME PEOPLE TODAYCONSIDER TATTOOES ASCOOL AND SMART.• BEING A MEMBER INFREEMASONRY TODAY IS NOTAS STRONGLY CONDEMNEDAS BEING A MEMBER IN 19THCENTURY.
DEFINING DEVIANCEREACTIVIST DEFINITION1. AN ACT IS DEVIANT IFTHERE IS A DISCOVERY &CONDEMNATION BY THECOMMUNITY.2. IF THERE IS NO NEGATIVEREACTION TO THE ACT,THERE IS NO DEVIANCE.3. ONE IS NOT A SINNER ORCRIMINAL IF S/HE IS NOTCAUGHTEXAMPLES• 1. A BANK TELLER IS NOTDEVIANT IF S/HE IS NOTCAUGHT STEALING MONEY.• 2. A POLITICIAN IS NOTCORRUPT IF S/HE IS NOTCAUGHT OR CONVICTED INCOURT.• This is still inadequate. Aperson may not be publiclyknown as deviant but s/hestill broke a social norm.
DEFINING DEVIANCENORMATIVE DEFINITION• A ACT, PERSON OR TRAIT ISDEVIANT IF IT/SHE/VIOLATES THE SOCIALNORMS IN SOCIETY.• SOCIAL NORMS IN SOCIETYCAN BE INFORMAL(CUSTOMS, TRADITIONS)OR FORMAL (LAWS, RULES)EXAMPLES• RAPE IS DEVIANT & CRIMINAL BECAUSE ITVIOLATES THE LAW ON RAPE.• USING HANDS IN A FORMAL DINNER IN AHOTEL IS DEVIANT. WHY?• ISSUE: A MARRIED WOMAN HAVINGINTERCOURSE WITH ANOTHER WOMAN ISNOT GUILTY OF ADULTERY? WHY?• This definition is more acceptable andscientific. But some powerful people brokesocial norms and yet they are not condemnedas deviant. E.g. Pres. Erap Estrada is a knownwomanizer and yet he is not alwayscondemned for this publicly.• White-collar crimes of CEOs or corporateofficials are rarely condemned for breakingcorporate laws in their discretionary powers.
SOCIOLOGICAL DEFINITION OF DEVIANCE• The sociological definition considers both thenormative and reactive definition.• Deviance or rule-breaking behavior orcharacter is one that breaks social normsand/or generate public condemnation.• Thus criminals are deviants because theybreak the criminal law and their acts generatepublic condemnation.
OVERVIEW1. Deviance is any behavior that violates social norms, and is usuallyof sufficient severity to warrant disapproval from the majority ofsociety. Deviance can be criminal or non-criminal.2. The sociological discipline that deals with crime (behavior thatviolates laws) is criminology (also known as criminal justice).Today… such activities as alcoholism, excessive gambling, beingnude in public places, playing with fire, stealing, lying, refusing tobathe, purchasing the services of prostitutes, and cross-dressing—toname only a few—as deviant.3. People who engage in deviant behavior are referred to asdeviantsSource: (http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/CliffsReviewTopic/Theories-of-Deviance.topicArticleId-26957,articleId-26873.html)
OVERVIEW OF THE DEFINITIONSNON-SOCIOLOGICAL• ABSOLUTIST• STATISTICAL• POSITIVESOCIOLOGICAL• REACTIVIST• NORMATIVE
TYPES OF SOCIAL NORMSFORMAL NORMS• WRITTEN• OFFICIAL• SYSTEMATICALLYENFORCED BY AUTHORITY(government, church, otherorganizations)Examples• RULES• REGULATIONS• LAWS, like:• Constitutional Law• Civil Law• Criminal Law• Tax Laws• Legal Ethics• Commercial Laws, etc.
TYPES OF SOCIAL NORMSINFORMAL NORMS• UNWRITTEN• UNOFFICIAL, HANDEDDOWN BY TRADITION• ENFORCEDPYSCHOLOGICALLY• WITH INFORMALPUNISHMENTEXAMPLES• CUSTOMS: EXISTINGPRACTICES• FOLKWAYS• TRADITIONS• MORES
WHY DO PEOPLE BREAKRULES?• THEORIES• 1. BIOLOGICAL• 2. PATHOLOGICAL• 3. SOCIOLOGICAL• EXPLANATION• Some people are borncriminals; deviance is inthe blood/biologicalmake-up• Deviance is caused bymental illness• Deviance is sociallylearned in society
SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES• 1. FUNCTIONALIST• 2. CONFLICT• SYMBOLICINTERACTIONIST• Deviance has functionsin society• Deviance is created bythe rich and powerful tocontrol the weak;prisons are for the poor& weak• Deviance is a result ofsocial interaction
SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIESON WHY PEOPLE BECOMERULE-BREAKERS
Social Differential Theory1. According to this theory, the environment plays a major role in decidingwhich norms people learn to violate.2. Specifically, people within a particular reference group provide norms ofconformity and deviance, and thus heavily influence the way other peoplelook at the world, including how they react.3. People also learn their norms from various socializing agents—parents,teachers, ministers, family, friends, co-workers, and the media.4. In short, people learn criminal behavior, like other behaviors, from theirinteractions with others, especially in intimate groups.5. People learn deviance from the people with whom they associate.6. They became criminals because they learn more bad norms from badpeople than good norms from good people. People learn deviance fromthe people with whom they associate. People learn deviance from thepeople with whom they associate.
ANOMIE THEORYORIGINATOR: ROBERT K.MERTON1. Anomie refers to the confusion that arises when social norms conflict or donteven exist.2. In the 1960s, Robert Merton used the term to describe the differencesbetween socially accepted goals and the availability of means to achieve thosegoals. Merton stressed, for instance, that attaining wealth is a major goal ofAmericans, but not all Americans possess the means to do this, especiallymembers of minority and disadvantaged groups. Those who find the “road toriches” closed to them experience anomie, because an obstacle has thwartedtheir pursuit of a socially approved goal. When this happens, these individualsmay employ deviant behaviors to attain their goals, retaliate against society, ormerely “make a point.”3. People become criminals if they are social expectations are high but thelegitimate means to attain them are limited.4. Example: A poor father is forced to steal to fulfill his obligation to his sickchild.
Control TheoryOriginator: Travis Hirschi1. According to Walter Recklesss control theory, both inner andouter controls work against deviant tendencies.2. People may want—at least some of the time—to act in deviantways, but most do not. They have various restraints: internalcontrols, such as conscience, values, integrity, morality, and thedesire to be a “good person”; and outer controls, such as police,family, friends, and religious authorities.3. Travis Hirschi noted that these inner and outer restraints form apersons self-control, which prevents acting against social norms.The key to developing self-control is proper socialization, especiallyearly in childhood. Children who lack this self-control, then, maygrow up to commit crimes and other deviant behaviors.
Labeling Theory1. A type of symbolic interaction, labeling theory concerns the meaningspeople derive from one anothers labels, symbols, actions, and reactions.2. This theory holds that behaviors are deviant only when society labels themas deviant. As such, conforming members of society, who interpret certainbehaviors as deviant and then attach this label to individuals, determine thedistinction between deviance and non-deviance.3. Labeling theory questions who applies what label to whom, why they dothis, and what happens as a result of this labeling.4. Powerful individuals within society—politicians, judges, police officers,medical doctors, and so forth—typically impose the most significant labels.Labeled persons may include drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals, delinquents,prostitutes, sex offenders, retarded people, and psychiatric patients, tomention a few.5. Social research indicates that those who have negative labels usually havelower self-images, are more likely to reject themselves, and may even actmore deviantly as a result of the label.
CONCLUDING REMARKSALWAYS REMEMBER THAT PEOPLE ARE NOTBORN CRIMINALS OR RULE-BREAKERS.CRIMINALITY OR RULE-BREAKINGBEHAVIOR IS SOCIALLY LEARNED FROM THEENVIRONMENT OR CULTURE.ONLY 10% OF PEOPLE’S BEHAVIOR IS INFLUENCEDBY HEREDITY OR BIOLOGY.IF PARENTS ARE CRIMINALS, IT DOESN’T FOLLOWTHAT THEIR CHILDREN ARE ALSO CRIMINALS,UNLESS THEY ARE INFLUENCED BY CRIMINALSOCIAL ENVIRONMENT
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