Week 6: Crime & Deviance Deviance ●The recognized violation of cultural or social norms ○Typically recognized as “bad” ○Deviance is at the most basic level, acts that “differ” (deviate) from accepted behavior ●Crime and Deviance ●Deviance and crime overlap, but are not identical ○Deviant, but not criminal ○Criminal, but common (alternately) ○All crime is deviant, but not all deviance is crime ■Example of something deviant, but not criminal: punk rock, jaywalking ■Example of something criminal, but common: speeding ■If something is criminal, is it deviant? YES How do we explain deviance? ●The Biological View ○It is in ourgenes■Physical features ●“Degeneration” ■Heredity ●Is disentangling heredity & socialization possible? ■Questionable methods ●Measuring Skull size, ear shape, etc. ●Psychological View ○It is in ourheads ■Amoral Personality ●Psych. deficiencies → Crime something about us psychologically that makes us commit these deviant acts ●1000s of types of crime/deviance, all of them share a specific set of psychological characteristics? (sociologists’ response) ●Both of these approaches (Biological and psychological approaches) assume that crime and deviance occur because there is something wrong with the individual. 1.Overly deterministic ○Free will? 2.Social construction of crime/deviance ○Context? ➔personal andsocietal characteristics matter Three Foundations of Social Explanations ●Deviance varies according to social norms ○Different laws for different places ●People become deviant as others define them that way ○For a crime to become a crime, others have to define it as one. ●Both norms and the way people define situations involve social power ○Norms/Punishments often unequally applied
○Laws are often created/used by powerful to protect interests The Functionality of Crime ●“Imagine a society of saints…” ●Deviance is inevitable ○Affirms cultural values and norms ○Clarifies moral boundaries ○Brings people together ●Strain Theory (Merton) ○Assumes that people want to achieve the same goals ■What happens when people are socialized to desire cultural desire cultural goals, but are denied the institutional means to reach them?Access to means of success Yes No Cultural Goals (ex: wealth) Yes Conformity -college and job Innovation -entrepreneur Dealing drugs No Ritualism -just going throug h the motions without caring Going to college and not caring Retreatism -give up hobos Rebellion ●Examples: ○Conformity: ________________________ ○Innovation: ________________________ ○Ritualism: _________________________ ○Retreatism: _________________________ ○Rebellion: _________________________ ●Criticisms ○Explains some deviance (theft), but not others (crimes of passion) ○Not everyone seeks wealth (or has the same interests/desires) ○Presumes everyone defines right/wrong in the same way Symbolic Interactionists ●Labeling Theory-- The labels people are given affect people’s perceptions of themselves andhow others percieve them. (Drawing off Goffman's’ theory of the self) ○Being labeled deviant can lead to conformity (______________ with society) or deviance (accept ______________)
●Primary Deviance - The initial act or transgression.