Sociology Feb 05 - Sociology Feb 05, 2008 Deviance and...

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Sociology Feb 05, 2008 Deviance and Crime - issues that are of interest to many people outside of sociology - heavy representation of crime and deviance in the media - there’s no objective definition of a deviant - deviance as deviation from a social norm or cultural standard of behaviour - deviance can be criminal or heroic (i.e. Mahatma Ghandi) - how we define deviance changes with time o a lawyer who engaged in sexual harassment (20 years ago it wasn’t, today it is) o A person who was charged and fined for selling condoms through the mail (it used to be illegal to sell birth control) - public crime knowledge and the media creates a common sense criminology (having strong opinions on the justice system without any professional expertise) o crime shows are the number 1 drama (Law and Order, CSI, Life) o the effect of crime shows feeds the public hunger for revenge against the bad guy o they create the impression that the criminal justice system is weak o they create a Moral Panic (getting people worked up and wanting to toughen justice) - Defining deviance (relative and time bound): legal, moral or community standards. Also defined by harmfulness (Marijuana vs. Murder), rarity/rate of occurrence (when it becomes mainstream its no longer deviant like tattooing your body), power interests who define what is acceptable behaviour (who says what’s cool? It relates to the concept that deviance is socially constructed). - not all deviance is criminal, most criminality is deviant - the social construction of deviance - deviance and social control – if society defines something as deviant and harmful then there will be efforts made to control that behaviour. It can take a number of
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Sociology Feb 05 - Sociology Feb 05, 2008 Deviance and...

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