47 terms


defining deviance, typology, theories, functions
Relativist viewpoint of deviance
- no universal feature of deviance
- deviance is relative to time, place, and across culture
Normative definition of deviance
- deviance is the violation of social norms that vary over time, across and within cultures/societies
Proscriptive norm
societal rules that tell you what you should not do in the world (folkways, mores, laws, taboos)
prescriptive norm
societal rules that tell you what you should do
within society normative variation
range of acceptance, enforcement, transmission, conformity required
Reactive definition of deviance
- deviance determined by reactions of others
any attitude, behavior, or condition considered to be a norm violation by public consensus (ranges from low to high); incorporates relativism (time and place matters), normative behavior (violation of norms on public consensus?) and reactive definition (response of audience)
ABCs of deviance
attitude, behavior, condition (physicality of self that's debatable for deviance)
Typology of deviance: Consensus crime
high agreement of deviance, harmful for society, severe social response. Hurt not only victim but broader e.g. family and society (rape, murder)
Typology of deviance: Conflict crimes
b/w somewhat and very harmful to society/agreement, moderate social response (abortion, drug use, assisted suicide)
Typology of deviance: Social deviation
b/w relatively harmless and somewhat harmful, somewhat disagreement to sometimes confusion or apathy, moderate severity (low level thefts, underaged drinking, speeding)
Typology of deviance: Social diversion
absolute confusion or apathy, mild severity, relatively harmless (folkways violation, subculture (fork tongue, colored hair, weird tattoos)
Positivist Theory of Deviance
- look for social factors that drive people to deviance
- ask what causes strain and learning
Positivist theory of deviance: Strain theory
Anemie strain: people become deviant when experience strain, which is due to goals/means gap
Goals/Means to Strain Explanation of Positivist theory
- Every society sets goals for people (wealth) and approved means for achieving goals (education, job).
- Goals/means not equally distributed in society (even though society may claim otherwise)
- Strain arises because of goals/means gap
Conformity in terms of goals/means (wealth example)
accepts goals and achieve goals by following approved means (wants wealth, get education and job)
Innovation in terms of goals/means (wealth example)
Accepts goals but deviates from approved means to achieve goal (wants wealth but don't want education/job: ex. prostitution, drug dealing)
Ritualism in terms of goals/means (wealth example)
Deviates from goals but conforms to means (getting a job to earn money but not necessarily to become wealthy: ex. Peace Corps)
Retreatism in terms of goals/means
ignore means and goals (accepts goal but don't want to try to achieve it)
Rebellion in terms of goals/means
reject goals and want to replace them (counterculture)
Positivist Theory of Deviance: Learning theory
- explains how people end up into Merton's box
- differential association: techniques, motives, rationalizations, etc. for deviance can be learned through interactions with deviant; associations can vary with teacher
Variables that affect teacher/student associations in differential associations
frequency (how often interaction is), duration (how long in contact with teacher), priority (primary, secondary, tertiary socialization), intensity (feelings about teacher)
differential opportunity
opportunity to learn specific forms of deviance are unequally distributed (ex. type of drugs use/deal, types of good to steal)
Constructionist theory of deviance
-deviance definition created by society; audience involved in creation of deviant
- labeling and conflict theory
Constructionist theory of deviance: labeling theory
- deviance manifests in interaction between a deviant, the audience, and whatever the audience attributes to behavior
- those with power labels powerless
- focuses on what audience thinks/meanings audience give, not much what deviant does
What does labeling result in
stigma, self-fulfilling prophecy
attribute that disqualifies one from social acceptance
types of stigma
- abomination of body (physicality e.g. scars, disability that defines deviance)
- blemish of individual's character
- tribal stigmas: stigmatized by group you belong to
Self-fulling prophecy
when we attach a label to someone and the individual internalize the label and start to live up to it
Constructionist theory of deviance: conflict theory
- deviance arises from conflict between the powerful and powerless
- legal reality theory (Chambliss)
two types of laws
1. law on the book (written law; idea that people will be equally treated)
2. law in action: how law practiced daily (injustice; powerful treated better than powerless)
organizational imperative
enforcement of law; injustice in enforcement because enforcing groups (police) have to keep powerful pleased so crack down on powerless
Deviant identities
- discredited: when people know of deviant
- discreditable: when deviance is a secret from public
Strategies to manage deviant identities
secrecy, withdrawal, preventive telling
Strategy of Deviant Identity Management: Secrecy
- deviant try to pass as normal by avoiding stigma symbols (clues that allow people to see deviance)
- use disidentifiers (status symbols that misdirects people to actual identity)
- identity substitution (substitute less deviant identity)
Strategy of Deviant Identity Management: withdrawal
- avoids audience so hey wouldn't stigmatize
- joins expressive group (non-political group devoted to you)
- joins instrumental groups (political group for cause; activist)
Strategy of Deviant Identity Management: Preventive Telling
tell public about deviance to avoid feelings that may result from secrecy and withdrawal
status symbols that misdirects people to real identity
identity substitution
substituting less deviant identity (ex. alcoholic would say that s/he only drinks a little each day or only on weekends)
primary deviance
first time you deviate
secondary deviance
second time you deviate and consequent times after
Functions of deviance
- there is deviance in every society
- deviance is helpful to society (Durkheim)
- deviance create cohesion, clarification, and change
Function of deviance: cohesion
brings "good" people of different races, religions, statuses together when pointing a finger at deviant
Function of deviance: clarification
deviance aid in defining norms and what's deviance; define who we are/aren't as humans and what we should/shouldn't do
Function of deviance: change
deviance help propel us forward (ex. creation of new laws, new consensus on issues)
Theory of Control/Deterrence Doctrine
- punishments are arranged to deter someone from doing something
- punishment has to be certain (zero-tolerance), swift (no lag time, immediate effect), severe
- theory assumes that violators are rational
social control/sanctioning
- informal (not written e.g comments, looks)
- formal (written- anything that goes to permanent records)