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CHAPTER 4 DEVIANCE AND SOCIAL CONTROL CHAPTER OUTLINE SOCIAL CONTROL Conformity and Obedience Informal and Formal Social Control Law and Society DEVIANCE What Is Deviance? Explaining Deviance CRIME Types of Crime Crime Statistics 93
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Sociology Matters CHAPTER SUMMARY The term social control refers to techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human behavior. Social control occurs in families, peer groups and bureaucratic organizations. Members of society are expected to act properly. Sanctions , which may be either penalties or rewards, help to induce behavior consistent with social norms. Conformity is defined as going along with one’s peers even though they have no special right to direct our behavior. Obedience is defined as compliance with higher authorities in a hierarchal structure. People casually through such means as smiles, laughter, and ridicule carry out informal social control. Authorized agents, such as police officers, physicians, school administrators, employers, and military officers, carry out formal social control. Law is defined as governmental social control and reflects continually changing standards of what is right and wrong. Sociologists define deviance as behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society. Deviance involves the violations of group norms that may or may not be formalized into law. It is a comprehensive concept that includes not only criminal behavior, but also many actions not subject to prosecution. Deviance can only be understood within its social context. Stigma was coined by Erving Goffman to describe the labels society uses to devalue its members of certain social groups. People are often stigmatized for deviant behaviors they may no longer engage in. According to the functionalist view, deviance is a normal part of human existence. Functionalists suggest deviance helps to define the limits of proper behavior. Robert Merton adapted Emile Durkheim’s notion of anomie to explain why people accept or reject the goals of a society. Merton’s theory posits five basic forms of adaptations: 1) conformity, 2) innovation, 3) ritualism, 4) retreatism, and 5) rebellion. Merton’s anomie theory of deviance, though popular, has had relatively few applications. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Define and discuss the elements of social control. 2. Discuss informal and formal social control. 3. Define deviance and social stigma. 4. Discuss the various functionalist concepts and views explaining deviance. 5. Discuss the various interactionist concepts and views explaining deviance. 6. Discuss the explanations of deviance from the conflict and feminist perspectives. 7. Describe the various types of crime. 8.
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