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FSU SYG 1000 - Chapter 7: Conformity, Deviance, and Crime

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IntroductionThe Study of Deviant BehaviorWhat is Deviance?Defining Deviance: The Sociological DebateNorms and SanctionsPositive (reward)Negative (punishment)Informal (less organized and more spontaneous reactions to non conformity)Formal (applied by a specific group or agency to ensure that a particular set of norms are followed)Courts and prison main typesThe Biological View of DevianceLombroso (1870s)Believed that criminal types could be identified by the shape of the skullSocial learning influences the development of criminal behavior but most criminal were biologically defectiveDiscreditedHeredity and Criminal tendenciesImpossible to detangle heredity and environmentCorrelation between Human physique and delinquencyMesomorphs (muscular) more likely to be delinquent than ectomorphs (thin people) or fleshy people (endomorphs)Muscular people may be drawn toward criminal activities because they offer more opportunities to display athleticismResearch in New Zealand tried to link children’s propensity to aggression with biological factors present at birthOnly show that some individuals might be biologically more irritable and aggressive which could be reflected in crimes of physical assaultNo decisive evidence that personality traits are inheritedThe Psychological View of DevianceAssociate criminality with particular types of personalityIn a small portion of a society an amoral psychopathic personality developsPsychopaths (individuals who lack the moral sense and concern for others held by most) do sometimes commit violent crimes but psychopathic traits are not inevitably criminalMight engage in crime but also might seek challenges in socially respectable waysPsychological theories of criminality can explain only some aspects of crimeIt is implausible that perpetrators share specific psychological characteristicsBecoming involved in criminal group can influence outlooks rather than outlooks producing criminal behaviorBiological and psychological explanations of crime can only account for why an individual violates the law but neither can explain differences in crime rates among groupsSociety and Crime: Sociological TheoriesFunctionalist TheoriesFour Types of Adaptive Strategies (result from tensions between socially endorsed values and limited means of achieving them)Conformist: accept generally held values and ways to achieve themInnovators: accept socially approved values but use illegal means to follow themRitualists: conform to social standards but have lost sight of underlying valuesRetreatist: abandon competitive outlookRebels: reject existing values and means to achieve success, replace values with new belied systemContradictions within American society is the main cause of crimeFrustrated boys in lower working class often join delinquent subcultures to replace middle class values with norms that celebrate nonconformity and devianceDeviant subcultures arise when there is a lack of opportunity for non-deviant successAgree with Cohen that most delinquent youth emerge from lower working classBut gangs arise in subcultures communities where the chances of achieving success legitimately are slimInteractionist TheoriesLearned Deviance: Differential AssociationLabeling TheoryConflict TheoriesControl TheoryThe Theory of Broken WindowsLinking Microsociology and Macrosociology: Saints and RoughnecksTheoretical ConclusionsCrime and Crime StatisticsVictims of PerpetratorsGender and CrimeCrimes Against Gays and LesbiansYouth and CrimeCrimes and The PowerfulOrganized CrimeCybercrimeCrime-Reduction StrategiesAre Prisons the Answer?The Mark of a Criminal RecordSituational Crime PreventionPolicingCrime and the CommunityChapter 7: Conformity, Deviance, and Crime Introduction• US incarceration rate is the highest in the world• State population of prisoners is in decline• Increase in incarceration has affected African American and Latino populations• Imprisonment increases likelihood of long term unemployment• Prisons don’t prepare prisoners for release (almost 2/3 of all released prisoners are rearrested within three years)• Deviant- someone who refuses to live by the rules that the majority of us follow (violent criminals, drug addicts, down-and-outs, who don’t fit normal standards of acceptability)• A deviant is not so easy to define• Norms: Rules of conduct that specify appropriate behavior in a given range of social situations. A norm either prescribes a given type of behavior or forbids it. All human groups follow definite norms, which are always backed by sanctions of one kind or another-varying from informal disapproval to physical punishment• Breaking the law is often normal behavior• We are all rule breakers as well as conformists (no one breaks all the rules or follows them all)• Those who deviant might be expelled from the group The Study of Deviant Behavior• None of us are normal • Any act can be seen as rational if we understand the reasons behind it• Deviance is a matter of social power and in the influence of social class• Social norms are influenced by individuals of power and class What is Deviance?• Deviance: modes of action that do not confirm to the norms to values held by most members of a group or society. What is regarded as deviant is as variable as the norms and values that distinguish different cultures and subcultures from one another. Forms of behavior that are highly esteemed by one group are regarded negatively by others.• Hackers: while some see it as a crime some see it a skill that has strict codes of conduct• Bundy: a person can seem entirely normal while secretly engaging in acts of extreme deviance• Deviance can be applied to a groups (cults)• Deviant subculture: a subculture whose member hold values that differ substantially from those of the majority Defining Deviance: The Sociological Debate• Durkeim: deviance is important in a well ordered society because by defining what’s deviant we become aware of the standards we share as a societyo Don’t eliminate deviance but keep within acceptable limits• Eriksono Agencies of control (police and courts) define their jobs as keeping deviance within bounds not obliterating ito Societies need their quotas of deviance and function to keep them intact• Moynihano Levels of deviance has increased so much that we have redefined deviance as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized and raising the normal level to include some measure of deviance


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