Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 Deviance and Crime Deviance and crime...

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Chapter 7: Deviance and Crime Deviance and crime vary among cultures, across history, and from one social context to another Rather than being inherent in the characteristics of individuals or actions, deviance and crime are socially defined and constructed. The distribution of power is especially important in the social construction of deviance and crime Following dramatic increases in the 1960s and 1970s, crime rates eased in the 1980s and fell in the 1990s, mainly because of more effective policing, a declining proportion of young men in the population, and a booming economy. Statistics show that a disproportionately large number of African Americans are arrested, convicted, and imprisoned, mainly because of bias in the way crime statistics are collected, the low social standing of the African Americans community, and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Many theories of deviance exist. Each theory illuminates a different aspect of the process by which people break rules and are defined as deviants and criminals As in deviance and crime, conceptions of appropriate punishment vary culturally and historically. In the same respectes, modern societies are characterized by less conformity than premodern societies, but in other respects they tolerate less deviance. Imprisonment is one of the main forms of punishment in industrial societies; in the united states the prison system has grown quickly in the past 30 years, and punishment has become harsher. Fear of crime is increasing, but it is based less on rising crime rates than on manipulation of commercial and political groups that benefit from it. There are cost-effective and workable alternatives to the punishment regime currently in place in the United States. The social definition of deviance and crime Most of you would consider the sexist and racist society of the past, rather than Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr., deviant or criminal. That is because norms and laws have changed dramatically. Today, anyone arguing that women or African Americans should not be allowed to vote is considered deviant. Preventing them from voting would result in arrest
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The differences between deviance and crime Deviance: occurs when someone departs from a norm Deviance is not merely departure from the statistical average. It implies violating an accepted rule of behavior Informal punishment: involves a mild sanction that is imposed during face-to-face interaction, not by the judicial system Stigmatization: people who are stigmatized are negatively evaluated because of a marker that distinguishes them from others. Formal punishment: takes place when the judicial system penalizes someone for breaking a law. Types of Deviance and Crime
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 001 taught by Professor Lovaglia during the Fall '07 term at University of Iowa.

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Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 Deviance and Crime Deviance and crime...

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