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Deviance and Crime

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Phillip S

on 28 August 2018

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Transcript of Deviance and Crime

Deviance, Crime, and Social Control
Behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society
Who Defines Deviance?
In Sociology, we generally acknowledge that deviance is "relative"-meaning an act becomes deviant when it is socially defined that way
Social Control
the techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human behavior in any society
Functionalist Perspectives on Deviance
Durkheim: Strains---->Anomie
Social norms are weak, absent or conflicting
Merton's "Strain Theory"
People feel strain when they are exposed to cultural goals that they are unable to obtain because they do not have access to culturally approved means of achieving those goals
Conflict Perspective on Deviance
Among conflict theorists, there are different approaches to the question
Can mean many different things
Behavioral, Belief system, Appearance, etc.
Degrees of Deviance-folkways, mores, crimes
Modern Functionalists identify deviance as universal and even useful for 3 reasons
1)Deviance clarifies rules
2)Deviance unites a group
3)Deviance promotes social change
However, these theorists would acknowledge that certain deviance can be dysfunctional
Merton identified five ways in which people adapt to cultural goals
(p.159 has a great chart of these five ways)
People accept culturally approved goals and means to achieve the goal
People accept society's goals, but use unapproved ways to achieve the goal
People give up on societal goals but still adhere to the socially approved means for achieving them
People give up on the approved goals and the approved means
The same as retreatism, but in rebellion, people actually seek to replace both the goals and the means
Respond-Which category do you feel Chris from "Into the Wild" fit in with? Discuss why.
Crime Statistics Trends
The National number of "index crimes" has fallen substantially over the past 30 years

page 168
Who determines what kinds of behavior are deviant?
Deviance and Power Relations
Political/Economic elites determine deviant definitions, thus norms and laws are established to benefit those in power not to truly reflect right and wrong
Deviance and Feminist Approaches
Predominantly beginning in the 1970's, some Sociologists began examining gender and deviance (Adler and Simons)

There have been multiple branches of the feminist approach, with some focusing on gender discrimination, and differing norms based on gender
Often enforced through sanctions
Two techniques that enforce social control are conformity and obedience-the difference between the two is that one deals with how we go along with peers, and the other deals with how we obey the demands of an authority figure
Research has shown that pressure to conform may cause group members to say they see something that is contradictory to what they actually see, or do something they otherwise would not do
Asch and Milgram Studies (p. 153-154)
Crime Statistics
Most crime stats in the U.S. are based on
index crimes
(8 types tabulated by the FBI) which include murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, auto theft, and arson

Crime Trends
Tech based crime has increased with the growing reliance on technology
(identity theft, bank fraud, insider trading, etc.)
Full transcript