Deviance and Social Control



sense of loss and normlessness because of the breakdown of social bonds

conflict theory

theory that society is characterized by conflict between social groups. Groups with unequal power and competing interests compete for scarce resources.


in Merton's strain theory model, accepting culturally accepted goals and using accepted means to pursue those goals


behavior that breaks a law


nonconformity to a given set of norms that are accepted by a significant number of people in a community or society

deviant identity

sense that one does not conform to or follow accepted norms of society

due process

promise of fair treatment of those who are accused, regardless of the crime


theory that views and understands society as a system of parts working together to maintain a social equilibrium


in Merton's strain theory model, behavior that occurs when people embrace the goals of their culture but pursue them through unapproved means

labeling theory

theory that explains deviant behavior by suggesting that people given a negative or deviant label by society can be influenced by that label


norm defined by a government that people are obligated to follow

mass incarceration

extremely high rates of imprisonment

mechanical solidarity

sense of unity between people who share ties, values, and beliefs, leading to cooperation


behavior or way of thinking that does not comply with social norms


cultural expectation for behavior

organic solidarity

social unity that develops when individuals depend on one another for labor and services

prison-industrial complex

system of private management of prisons that ties incarceration to the profit motive that drives businesses


in Merton's strain theory model, a type of behavior that seeks to replace the approved goals and methods of a culture, creating new ones in their place


return to the criminal justice system after release from prison

reinforcement theory

theory that social behavior is shaped by the consequences that follow the behavior


in Merton's strain theory model, the behavior of people who reject the goals and methods that society approves but do not replace them with anything else


in Merton's strain theory model, a type of deviant behavior by people who reject cultural goals but still work within accepted means


reward or punishment that reinforces accepted behavior

social cohesion

sense of being bound together as a group


process through which people learn the values, norms, beliefs, and expectations of their society


negative views and attitudes that convey social disapproval of a behavior

strain theory

model that represents the ways a society pressures people to achieve certain goals, whether or not they have access to the approved means of reaching those goals

street crime

crime that occurs in a public space

symbolic interactionism

view of social behavior that emphasizes subjective understanding and interaction of the individual and society

white-collar crime

nonviolent crime that is financially motivated and committed by a government worker or business professional