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Chapter 3--DEVIANCE

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Professor Sellers

on 2 November 2016

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Transcript of Chapter 3--DEVIANCE

Constructionist Theories
for Discussing Deviance

Chapter 3
Positivist theories look at deviance as a type of action that needs to be explained

Constructionist theories look at how deviance is defined, conceptualized, and represented AND how deviants are thought of and treated by society
Deviance is socially constructed
The Impact of Social Control*
*Not the theory mentioned in Ch 2, but the general idea

Social Control: Efforts to ensure conformity to a norm and maintain social order
Internal social control (via "agents of socialization")
External social control

Every society has "Norms" (rule that calls for proper behavior) and "Sanctions" (rewards or punishments)
Some norms are universal, but many are relative
Positive Sanction: College diploma or a smile
Negative Sanction: Imprisonment or a frown
Formal & Informal Social Control
Informal Social Control takes place in our interactions with others (a frown or smile)

Formal Social Control takes place in a formal setting and process, such as the criminal justice system or at college (imprisonment or graduation)

Both can operate at once. EX: Child molester
Labeling/Interactionist Theory
Application of Symbolic Interactionist theory to study deviance
Importance of meanings, interactions, and interpretations
People are not robots

Lemert's Primary Deviation & Secondary Deviation
1. The deviant act (note: no interest in what caused it)
2. How the deviant deals with and manages social reactions to his/her act
Labeling/Interactionist Theory
Audiences determine if something or someone is deviant
Labeling = a deviant behavior + someone who does the deviant behavior (or has been accused)
Labels--->Stigma--->society thinks of the person as having a "spoiled identity"
Reflexivity is when we ask ourselves "How would others react to me and my behavior?"
"Stickiness of labels"
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Researchers interested in the "inner world" of deviance
Conflict Theory
Social stratification benefits dominant groups, like the wealthy (laws, their enforcement, what is defined as deviant, etc. are all biased)
Saints and Roughnecks
Crack vs. powder cocaine discrepancy

Capitalism causes certain types of crime to take place
Opposite of Functionalist approach

Society is full of struggles between groups who have competing interests and values
Androcentrism: Male-centered bias

Patriarchy: Institutions of male dominance

Feminists seek an egalitarian society

Women have been ignored in research about deviance or treated as a "specialty"

Women as victims were underplayed or not studied (EX: rape and domestic violence)
Rape and domestic violence have often been socially accepted or legitimized
The New Sociology of Social Control
Michel Foucault

Sees social control as oppressive, centralized and state sponsored

Torture and execution led to disorder instead of compliance

Panopticon architecture in prison
The few observing the many
Society controlling its citizens in a wide variety of contexts
The New Sociology of Social Control
Main tenets:
Social control is problematc; it should not be taken for granted
Social control is typically coercive, repressive and far from benign
Social control is coterminous with state/statelike control
The social control apparatus is unified and coherent
Full transcript