Terms in this set (39)
Deviance is relative
It is not the act itself that makes an action deviant, but rather how society reacts to it
people who violate rules, whether the infraction is minor (jaywalking) or serious (murder)
Make social life possible by making behavior predictable
are used to reward conformity (ex. smiles or formal awards)
Reflect disapproval of a particular behavior
(frowns for breaking a folkway; imprisonment for breaking a more)
used by members of a primary group or small community.
2. Mutual sanctioning
4.Separation of activities
We learn cultural symbols which help in interaction, we learn appropriate modes of conduct and norms, and we learn appropriate behavior for roles and
groups which we belong.
2. Mutual sanctioning
Taking the role of the other and the looking glass self both allow us to formally and informally sanction each other's behavior (i.e. through the norm of reciprocity).
Rituals maintain social order by helping us categorize and typify others
- maintain predictability over chaos
4. Separation of activities
Social order is maintained by defining boundaries that compartmentalize role behaviors and normative expectations.
ex. family and work, church and casinos
Social disorder is a function of three forces
1. Population size
2. Social differentiation
1. Population Size
- Large populations are difficult to control as face-to-face encounters become more problematic
-The larger a population, the weaker the emotional attachment among members.
-The larger a population, the more likely sub-cultures will form which define themselves as different from others
2. Social differentiation
Differentiation regards the process of creating differences in culture, occupational roles, income, family structure, economic arrangements, etc.
The more a population grows and a surplus of resources emerges, the greater a population's inequality among members
Functionalist reasons for deviance
1. Deviance serves to maintain
boundaries regarding right and
2. Deviance promotes social solidarity by reemphasizing the norms and values of a society
3. Deviance is a mechanism for
promoting social change.
Robert K. Merton proposed
strain theory (also called
anomie theory) to explain deviance
- All societies have culturally defined goals and various legitimate means to achieve such goals
-High rates of deviance emerge when legitimate means are limited—this creates a structural
strain between means and goals for those without the means.
Merton identified 5 types of people regarding deviance
Illegitmate Opportunity Theory (IOT)
suggests that differences in styles of crime are due to differential access to institutionalized means
llegitimate opportunity structures
opportunities for crimes such as
robbery, burglary, or drug dealing that are woven into the texture of
opportunities exist to
make money through "hustles" such as robbery, drug dealing, and other crimes
from an illegitimate opportunity structure among higher classes
Routine activities theory
The theory states that ineffective
societal controls against crime will lead to criminals preying upon attractive targets
involves interaction of 3 factors:
1. Lack of capable guardians
2. Motivated offenders
3. Suitable targets
emphasizes that resources are not equally (or fairly) distributed in modern societies
Conflict theory addresses the following
1. Why norms of some groups are transformed into laws thereby creating criminals out of conflicting groups
2. Why certain laws are enforced but not others, thereby making criminals out of those who violate such laws but not others
3. Why laws are enforced against certain social groups, thus creating criminals out of certain rule violators but not others
Utilitarian theories of deviance
based on the rational-choice ideology that people conform to rather than deviate from norms because of the costs involved with being a deviant
Utilitarian theories believe deviance is a function of:
1. One's level of social integration to others
2. The degree of time and emotional energy invested in non-deviant activities.
3. The degree of belief one has in society's norms.
Symbolic interactionist theories of deviance
addresses the effects of
positive or negative attributionsplaced on acts, individuals, or groups
symbolic interactionist theory that focuses on the idea that deviance and conformity result not so much from what people do, but from how others respond to those actions.
negative self-fulfilling prophecies
Once labeled negatively by others, an internalized label
ex. criminal labels often follow a person throughout their life; escape from being a deviant is difficult or impossible
Gresham Sykes and David Matza
cite 5 "techniques of neutralization" that deviants
employ to resist society's label:
1. Denial of responsibility (I didn't do it.)
2. Denial of injury (who really got hurt?)
3. Denial of a victim (she deserved it!)
4. Condemnation of the condemners (who are you to judge me?)
5. Appeal to higher loyalty (I had to help my friends)
Edwin Sutherland and Donald
Cressey's differential association theory (1966)
claims that deviance is a group phenomenon: "the result of
an excess of definitions favorable to violation of
believes that everyone
is propelled towards deviance, but
two systems of control work against
motivations to deviate:
1. Inner controls
2. Outer controls
The learning process of differential association
is a function of:
1. Frequency of communication
2. Duration of communication
4. Intensity of differential association
capacity to withstand temptations toward deviance due to an internalized morality, integrity, fear of punishment, and desire to be good
are external social forces that influence us not to deviate (e.g. groups, family, friends, the police)
Travis Hirschi's social control theory (SCT)
seeks not to discover why people commit deviant acts, but rather why DON'T people commit deviant acts?
Social control theory has four elements:
The American penal system has
steadily become more punitive and severe. Why?
1. Many crimes have mandatory minimum sentences
2. Many states have implemented "three-strikes laws" which carry life prison sentences for multiple felony offenses.
3.Parole has been severely limited (or sometimes abolished).
4. Many more arrests have been drug related.