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refers to any thought, feeling, or behavior that departs from accepted practices in a society or group


refers to any thought, feeling, or behavior that departs from accepted practices in a society or group


widely held beliefs in society


less-serious rules of behavior in a group or society

Symbolic Interactionist Approaches of Deviance

The interactionistapproach to deviance views it as a manifestation of social interactions, like any other thought, feeling, or behavior- labeling theory

Ethnomethodology coined by

•Harold Garfinkel(1917 -2011)

Ethnomethodology and sociology

•EM: Not interested in those things, except to understand how a sense of those structures are created in everyday life.

sociology and ethno

Sociology: bureaucracy, capitalism, the division of labor, social systems, culture

Ethnomethodologist and social order

assume that social order is illusory.
•Social life merely appears to be orderly; in reality it is potentially chaotic.
•Social order is constructed in the minds of social actors as society confronts the individual as a series of sense impressions and experiences
-We must somehow organize into a coherent pattern.


•More simply: EM is the study of the ways in which people make sense of their social world.
Seeks to discover the "methods" that persons use in their everyday life in constructing social reality
•Arduously Empirical; Often atheoretical
•Discovery of "essential features"
-To uncover what is generally true and not limited to culturally or temporally relative conclusions
-Goal: to find essences of the human condition which are universally true

assumptions of ethno-

ethnomethodologists assume that order in the social world is an accomplishment, not a given;
-order in the social world is emergent;
-individuals constantly shape and (re)create it through their interactions with others.

Method of Ethno-

one of the most important forms of interaction is conversation, thus conversation analysisis important for ethnomethodology
•Study of talk in interaction

Documentary Method

The process through which immediately given information (documents) are used to infer meaning and motive in the behavior of others.
-appearance, reputation, past events, actual documents
selecting certain facts from a social situation, which seem to conform to a pattern and then making sense of these facts in terms of the pattern.


people make sense of a remark, sign or particular action by reference to the context in which it occurs; that is they index it to particular circumstances.

Breaching Experiments

The taken-for-granted world we all inhabit is to some extent necessary in order to avoid confusion which would be experienced if we saw everything as if it were the first time.
Disrupt temporarily the world which people take for granted and see how they react.
-Deviate from normative expectations (Deviance!)

point of breaching expierements

The point of this is to expose background assumptions that have been accepted as reality for a long time.

Labeling theory

argues that deviance is a consequence of a social process in which a negative characteristic becomes an element of an individual's identity
-An individual becomes a deviant through the acceptance of a deviant label

Types of Deviance coined by

Tannenbaum's(1938) early research focused on the process by which juvenile delinquents are "tagged" as deviants
•Edwin Lemertextended Tannenbaum'swork by arguing that there

primary deviance

refers to the initial act that causes others to label the individual a deviant

secondary deviance

occurs after an individual accepts the deviant label and continues to commit deviant acts, thus supporting the initial label

Agents of social control

represent the state's attempts to maintain social order, to enforce the moresof society;

Moral Careers and Deviant Subcultures

Lives a deviant lifestyle

moral careers coined by

Howard Becker (1973) elaborated the processes through which people become outsiders:
-An individual commits a deviant act (primary deviance)
-The person begins to accept the deviant status (secondary deviance)
-The deviant joins a deviant subculture

stigma coined by

Presentation of self is important


: an attribute, behavior, or reputation which is socially discrediting in a particular way


Physical deformities or other deviations


Affiliation with a specific nationality, religion, race, or other marginalized group that constitutes a deviation from the normative

Known deviations in personal traits

Other socially undesirable "character flaws" (culturally relative): Mental disorders, addictions, sexually promiscuous (double-standard)


Attempt to hide stigmatized characteristic
-Only possible when stigma can be obscured


downplaying stigma to reduce tensions to "normals"
-Undomiciled inviduals

"Being Middle Eastern..." (Marvasti2009)

Being "Middle Eastern-looking" as a stigma.
-How do people manage in the face of discrimination

Retrospective Interpretations: Narratives are subject to participants' interpretations

Narratives are subject to participants' interpretations

Accounting Practices (presented)

Humorous Accounting
•Educational Accounting
•Defiant Accounting

Social Structure and Deviant Behavior

Deviant behavior may be a choice but those choices are made in context of a larger set of factors
-Choices are constrained by the information and resources we have available to cope with our situation
-Larger societal norms create limitations on how we can achieve legitimate goals in life

Anomie coined by

Durkheim argued that individuals can lose their sense of place in society, especially in times of great social change when norms and values become less clear
•Under these conditions, individuals may develop a sense of anomie
-"normlessness," where there is little consensus about what is right and wrong
•Without a clear sense of right and wrong, individuals lack the guidance to make clear decisions in life

Social Strain Theory coined by

Robert merton

social strain theory-

Deviance is a function of imbalance between socially acceptable goals and the legitimate means of reaching them.

social control theory,

deviance results when individuals' bonds with conventional society are weakened in some way
-Related to the proximity principle

Four ways that individuals are bonded to society:

Four ways that individuals are bonded to society:

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