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Macionis Society the basics chapter 7 Terms and concepts


the recognized violation of cultural norms


the violation of a society's formally enacted criminal law


Studied criminals to find links between genetics and being a criminal. "Natural born criminal"

Biological Theories of deviance

Explains human behavior as the result of biological instincts

Psychological Theories of deviance

Sees deviance as the result of unsuccessful socialization

4 functions of deviance

Affirms values. Clarifies boundaries. Brings people together. Encourages social change.

Structural Functionalism of Deviance

It is a cultural universal. Deviance varies according to cultural norms

Symbolic Interaction of Deviance

People become deviant as others define them that way. People are viewed as respectable members of society until others find out about their deviant actions.

Social Conflict Theory of Deviance

Rule making and rule breaking involve social power. Powerful people make rules that protect or benefit them.

Social control

Attempts by society to control or regulate people's thoughts and behavior. Mass media influences our views and rules

Criminal Justice System

the organizations-police,courts,and prison officials- that respond to alleged violations of the law.


Deviance comes from the structure of society and it is beneficial to society


Deviance comes from limited opportunities in society

Merton Strain theory

Explains deviance in terms of a society's cultural goals and the means available to achieve them

Merton's Cultural goal

What we want to achieve. Usually financial wealth.

Merton's Conventional means

A way to achieve the goal through working, inheritance, school, and the lottery

Merton's Unacceptable means

Taking illegal actions to achieve the goal such as theft and selling drugs


Rejects goal but accepts conventional means. People who are satisfied with mediocre jobs and lifestyle.


Accepts goals and conventional means. Doctors and business professionals


Accepts goals but rejects conventional means. Drug Dealers

Deviant Subcultures

It is normal to be deviant within this subculture. Examples are gangs and mobs

Labeling theory

The idea that deviance and conformity result not so much from what people do as from how others respond to those actions

Primary Deviance

Committing occasional some what normal deviant acts. Examples include drinking under age, skipping school.

Secondary Deviance

Repeatedly breaking the rules and changing one's self concept by taking on a new identity as a habitual deviant and changing social circles to associate with below deviants


a powerfully negative label that greatly changes a person's self-concept and social identity

Retrospective Labeling

A reinterpretation of someones past in light of some present deviance. Thinking back to things you never said but you thought.

Projective Labeling

Using a person's current deviant identity to predict a their future actions

Thomas Szasz

People wrongfully label those who are different as deviant or mentally ill.

Medicalization of deviance

The transformation of moral and legal deviance into a medical condition. Saying alcoholism is a disease. Bad or good is diagnosed as sick or well

3 things that define deviance as moral or medical

Who responds such as police or medical professionals. How people respond do they think the person should be punished or do they need medical treatment. And the competency of the person can they be held responsible for their actions or are they mentally ill and unable to control what they do.

Sutherland's Differential Association Theory

Links deviance with how much others encourage or discourage such behavior. It matters who you hang out with

Hirschi's Control Theory

States that imagining the possible consequences of deviance often discourages such behavior. People who are well integrated into society are less likely to engage in deviant behavior.

Alexander Liazos

Powerless people are defined and treated as deviants

Steven Spitzer

People who interfere with capitalism are treated and labeled as deviants

White collar crime

Crime committed by people of high social position in the course of their occupations. Rarely prosecuted

Corporate crime

The illegal actions of a corporation or people acting on its behalf. Most cases go unpunished


A repayment; a deserved punishment


the attempt to discourage criminality through the use of punishment


a program for reforming the offender to prevent later offenses

Societal protection

rendering an offender incapable of further offenses temporarily through imprisonment or permanently by execution

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