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Chapter 7(3-18-08)

Chapter 7(3-18-08) - Chapter 7 Deviance What is Deviance...

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Chapter 7 - Deviance (3-18-08) What is Deviance? Deviance – the recognized violation of cultural norms. Crime- one form of deviance, violation of a society’s formally enacted criminal law. Ex.- rule breaking, stealing, abusing child, driving while drunk and also people who volunteer to much in class or over enthusiastic about new computer technology. (“outsider”) Even just existence of some categories of people can be troublesome to others. Social control- attempts by society to regulate people’s thoughts and behavior. (Informal= parents praise or scold children or friends make fun of music taste.) Criminal justice system- a formal response by police, courts, and prison officials to alleged violations of the law. The Biological Context Cesare Lombroso (1876)- people who are criminals have apelike features. But people with those characteristics may not be criminals. William Sheldon (1949)- people who are criminals usually are boys with muscular, athletic builds. But biological theories offer a very limited explanation of crime. Personality Factors Psychological explanations of deviance focus on individual abnormality. Deviance, then, is viewed as the result of “unsuccessful” socialization. However, most serious crimes are committed by people whose psychological profiles are normal. The Social Foundations of Deviance 1. Deviance varies according to cultural norms 2. People become deviant as others define them that way. 3. Both norms and the way people define situations involve social power. The functions of Deviance: Structural-Functional analysis Durkheim’s Basic Insight 1. Deviance affirms cultural values and norms.
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There can be no good without evil and no justice without crime. Deviance is needed to define and sustain morality. 2. Responding to deviance clarifies moral boundaries. 3. Responding to deviance brings people together. 4. Deviance encourages social changes Deviant people push a society’s moral boundaries; their lives suggest alternatives to the status quo and may encourage change. Merton’s Strain Theory Specifically, the extent and kind of deviance depend on whether a society provides te means (such as schooling and job opportunities) to achieve cultural goals (such as financial success).
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