Deviance and crime social construction, labeling, power and function

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Deviance and crime social construction, labeling, power and function

  1. 1. DEVIANCE AND CRIME, SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION, LABELING AND POWER AND POWER Dr. Rajan Bikram Rayamajhi School of Public Health and Community Medicine B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences Dharan, Nepal 1
  2. 2. DEVIANCE DEVIANCE IS ANY ACTION THAT IS PERCEIVED AS VIOLATING OF SOME WIDELY ACCEPTED VALUE OR NORMS OF SOCIAL GROUP’S CULTURE. DEVIANCE CAN BE DEFINED AS BEHAVIOR THAT IS CONTRARY TO THE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT OR SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS OF A GIVEN GROUP OR SOCIETY”. LOUISE WESTON. SIMPLY IT IS DEFINED AS ACT OF GOING AGAINST THE GROUP SHARED EXPECTATIONS AND NORMS. BECAUSE MORAL STANDARDS CHANGE OVER TIME AND VARY FROM ONE SOCIETY OR GROUP TO ANOTHER, IDEAS OF WHAT IS DEVIANT VARY AND CHANGE. 2
  3. 3.  In some cases cultural standards are codified into law and deviance constitutes criminal behavior. Not all violations of law are considered deviant. Deviant behavior which is not considered as illegal. Failing to return library book Ran a red light Lifted pen paper from office they work Professor dating his or her students Buying pornographic magazines. 3
  4. 4. SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF DEVIANCE Deviance is matter of social definition It exists only in relation to the social norms that prevail in a particular place time group and situation Regardless of how heinous an act may be, no behavior is inherently deviant. 4
  5. 5. THE CULTURAL RELATIVITY OF DEVIANCE % WHO THINK ACT SHOULD BE PROHIBITED BY LAW.Type of act India Iran Italy US YugoslaviaHomosexuality in private 74 90 87 18 72between consenting adultsPublic, nonviolent political 33 77 35 6 46protestFailure to help other person in 45 56 80 28 77dangerAir pollution caused by a 96 98 96 96 92factory 5
  6. 6. In US which is more deviantPerforming abortionsPerforming violence against abortion clinics. Deviance varies between -Different ethnic groupsAsian and Hispanics –failure to care elderly is deviant actWhite - accepted in whites Different social classesUrban setting- Unmarried pregnancy is acceptedMiddle class setting – Deviant act. 6
  7. 7. Between occupational groupsPsychoanalyst – dating a patient is considered deviantDentist- acceptedBetween different geographic regions.Urban cities like Ktm, Brt, Dhrn- greetings strangers isdeviant actRural village like Dopla, Mustang- It is not.Between sexes.Girls- getting into fist fights is deviant actBoys- it is not 7
  8. 8. Deviance varies from situation to situationDeviant act- killing another human beingNormal- Killing in self defense or at war. Deviance varies from time to timeDeviant act – before 1960 living together without marriageAcceptable- if the couple is young, childless, heterosexual cohabitation is done.Changes in definitions of deviance are an important part ofsocial change. 8
  9. 9. LABELING AND POWER Nearly everyone breaks the law occasionally or acts a little ‘odd’ at times. But most people do not think of themselves as deviant. According to labeling theory, derived from symbolic interactionism, being publicly branded as deviant has long term consequences for a person’s social identity. Who gets labeled as deviant not only depends just on what person does but also on other social characteristics such as race or ethnicity, age, social class etc. 9
  10. 10. American society- wealth and race help determine who holds power to influence definitions of deviance.Actions that threaten of offend middle and upper class whites are most likely to be defined as deviant.Power also helps elites to avoid being labeled deviant for instance, savings and loan executives defrauded Americans of billions of dollars in the1980s. But their wealth connections and respectable reputations protected them. 10
  11. 11. Karl Marx held that a small ruling class of economic elites determines moral norms (and thus definitions of deviance) because these norms support the existing economic order.How severely society responds to violations of norms depends on how much violation threatens established power relations.Drug addiction- Minor problem- when affected poor and backward peopleMajor problem- when drug use and drug related problems increased among high class whites. Action was intensified against drug addictions 11
  12. 12.  Social Conformity:Continuing to seek culturally approved goals by culturally approved meanings despite the discrepancy between expectations and opportunities. Social Deviance Innovation:Society set forth goals for individual and also lay down means to achieve them. Sometimes people may accept goal but not means. He/she innovates mean to achieve goal.E.g. poor people may be forced to innovate or resort to illegitimate means to get money. Ritualism:Sometime people give up important social values yet does lip service to them by observing related norms.They abandon the pursuit of success and regard rules as sacred. They take refuge in neutral.E.g. person stabbed to death within a sight of number of neighbours who refuse to get themselves involved in the case. 12
  13. 13.  Retreatism:The rejection of both values and norms is retreatism. It is like dropping out of society.Ex: those who retreat from society pursue wealth either by legal or illegal means. psychotics, outcastes, vagrants, vagabonds, tramps, chronic drunkards and drug addicts. Rebellion:Rebellion is another response open to those who reject both ends and means. They try to substitute new ends and means for those that exist.Ex: A student giving up education in the name of doing greater things is rebellion.Political and religious revolutions etc. are examples or rebellion. 13
  14. 14. FACTORS FACILITATING DEVIANCE Faulty socialization Weak sanctions: sanction refers to reward or punishments used to establish social control or to enforce norms in society. Poor enforcement Ease of rationalization : Ex: I could not help myself. I did not do it for myself, they asked for it, it is all matter of luck. Unjust or corrupt enforcement Ambivalence of agents of social control Subcultural support of Deviance. Sentiments of loyalty to deviant group. Indefinite range of norms. Secrecy of violations. 14
  15. 15. SOCIAL FUNCTIONS OF DEVIANCE In defining certain kinds of behavior as deviant .A group or community also defines what behavior is acceptable. By testing the boundaries of permissiveness, deviants force other members of society to think about what they believe is normal and right. Deviance tends to unite members of society in opposition to the deviant, thus reaffirming their social solidarity. It may serve as a catalyst for social change. Safety valve for excessive amount of discontent. 15
  16. 16. SOCIAL CONTROLSocial control refers to the efforts of a group or society to regulate the behaviors of its members in conformity with established norms.As socialization is never perfect and compliance with norms is not automatic so there must be sanctions or externally imposed constraints.Social control refers to the system of devices where by society brings its members into conformity with the accepted standards of behavior – Fairchild. 16
  17. 17. It can be classified into two major types.Formal:Law, legislation, military, policy, administration. It is deliberately created. Violators are given punishments depending upon nature and type of violation.Informal:Gossip, slander, resentment, public opinion, sympathy, sense of justice, folkways, mores, customs, morality etc. It is not purposefully created. They become deep-rooted with people in their practices. 17
  18. 18. AGENCIES OF SOCIAL CONTROL Control by law Control by education Control by public opinion Control by propaganda Control by customs Folkways and mores Control by religion 18 Morality
  19. 19. Thank You 19

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