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Soc 202 Ch 7 - 82 Ch 7 Deviance Chapter 7 Deviance Detailed...

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__________________________________________________________________________ ____ 82 Ch. 7 · Deviance Chapter 7 Deviance ______________________________________________ Detailed Outline I. What Is Deviance? Deviance is defined as the recognized violation of cultural norms. One category of deviance is crime , the violation of a society’s formally enacted criminal law. What all deviant actions or attitudes have in common is some element of difference that causes us to regard another person as an “outsider.” Not all deviance involves action or even choice. A. Social Control All of us are subject to social control , attempts by society to regulate people’s thought and behavior. Cases of serious deviance may provoke action by the criminal justice system , a formal response by police, courts, and prison officials to alleged violations of the law. B. The Biological Context Early interest in criminality focused on biological causes; witness the work of Lombroso, Sheldon, and the Gluecks. Today, genetic research seeks possible links between biology and crime. 1. Critical Review At best, biological theories offer a very limited explanation of crime. C. Personality Factors Reckless and Dinitz’s containment theory suggests that strong moral standards and positive self-image can keep boys from becoming delinquent. 1. Critical Review Most serious crimes are committed by people who are psychologically normal. D. The Social Foundations of Deviance Deviance, like conformity, is shaped by society. There are three 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 them involve social power. II. The Functions of Deviance: Structural-Functional Analysis The key insight of the structural-functional approach is that deviance is a necessary element of social organization. A. Durkheim’s Basic Insight
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__________________________________________________________________________ ____ 83 Ch. 7 · Deviance Emile Durkheim made the surprising statement that there is nothing abnormal about deviance, and, in fact, it performs four essential functions: 1. Deviance affirms cultural values and norms. 2. Responding to deviance clarifies moral boundaries. 3. Responding to deviance brings people together. 4. Deviance encourages social change. 5. An Illustration: The Puritans of Massachusetts Bay Kai Erikson’s classic study of the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay brings Durkheim’s theory to life. Deviance may be found in every society, but the kind of deviance people generate depends on the moral issues they seek to clarify. B. Merton’s Strain Theory The “strain” between our culture’s emphasis on wealth and the limited opportunity to get rich gives rise, especially among the poor, to theft, the sale of drugs, or other street crime. Conformity lies in pursuing conventional goals through approved means. Merton specified four responses where the individual fails to do this: 1. innovation.
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