: however at some point deviance may become dysfunctional for society, therefore disrupting that status quo ->Anomie Theory • Normlessness (aka “structural strain”) • Anomie occurs when: *Social bonds are weakened *Rapid social change occurs • Social conditions often structured in such a way that they unintentionally produce deviance • Merton’s Strain Theory of Deviance * Similar to Durkheim, believed that the structure of society contributes to deviance! *Deviance is a normal response in an anomic society *Built off Durkheim’s theory of deviance – BUT also included focus on societal goals and constraints *Non-achievement causes –> strain, which causes –> deviance/crime *Society structured in a way that there is unequal access to legitimate opportunities *Strain results from our culture’s emphasis on wealth and limited opportunity gives rise to deviance/crime *This causes some individuals to experience STRAIN and therefore adapt in 1 of 5 ways -> Merton’s Typology of Adaptation ->Symbolic Interactionism • Examines hoe deviance arises based on how we construct our worlds through interaction and negotiation • Importance of how we assign meaning to our social environment • Micro perspective ->Sutherland’s differential Association • Deviance is learned from one’s subculture and is based on “excess definitions favourable to violation of the law” • Must be presented with an OPPORTUNITY to engage in deviance
• Within small, intimate groups, individuals learn both HOW and WHY to engage in deviant behaviour ->Differential Association • Learning deviance involves: 1. Opportunity: Defining certain situations as the appropriate occasions for deviant behaviour 2. Techniques: Mastering the techniques (skills) of successful deviant activity 3. Motives: Acquiring motives, drives, attitudes and rationalizations which justify deviant behaviour ***These are learned via our subcultures *** Techniques of Neutralization • Verbal/linguistic strategies chosen by individuals by deviant to rationalize their deviant/criminal behavior ->Use these to ward of normative attacks of the social world ->Help to counteract moral dilemma posed by illegal activities • 5 Techniques of Neutralization: 1. Denial of responsible: “I didn’t know there were drugs here” 2. Denial of injury: “Well I didn’t hurt anyone” 3. Denial of victim: “They had it coming” 4. Condemnation of the condemners: “The police are corrupt, the government is more violent than we are” 5. Appeal to higher loyalties: “I did it for my country” Social Construction of Deviance via Labels • The meaning of deviance derives NOT from the act a person commits, but rather from society’s LABELING of an act as deviant • Labeling: ->Imposing a definition on a person ->The process through which they come to see themselves as indistinguishable from the label ->Labeling Theory (Becker) • Social groups create deviance by making rules whose infraction constitutes deviance • Deviance is not a quality of the act, but a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an offender • Those labeled as deviants are subsequently labeled and treated as “outsiders” ->Deviance = application of successful labeling
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