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From book "Introduction to Sociology" by Kendall.


Refers to any behavior, belief, or condition that violates significant norms in the society or group in which it occurs.


Refers to any physical or social attribute or sign that so devalues a person's social identity that it disqualifies the person from full social acceptance.

Deviant is Relative

Refers to an act becomes deviant when it is socially defined as such.


Refers to a behavior that violates criminal law and is punishable with fine, jail terms, and/or other negative sanctions.

Juvenile Delinquency

Refers to a violation of law or the commission of a status offense by young people.

Social Control

Refers to the systematic practices that social groups develop in order to encourage conformity to norms, rules, and laws and to discourage deviance.

Internal Social Control

Type of social control mechanism that takes place through socialization process.

External Social Control

Type of social control mechanism like the criminal justice system, which includes the police, the courts, and the prisons.


Refers to the systematic study of crime and the criminal justice systme, including the police, courts, and prisons.


Refers to a social condition in which people experience a sense of futility because social norms are weak, absent, or conflicting.

Strain Theory

According to this theory, people feel strain when they are exposed to cultural goals that they are unable to obtain because they do not have access to culturally approved means of achieving goals.


It occurs when people accept culturally approved goals and pursue them through approved means.


It occurs when people give up on societal goals but still adhere to the socially approved means of achieving them.


It occurs when people abandon both approved goals and the approved means of achieving them.


It occurs when people challenge both the approved goals and the approved means for achieving them and advocate an alternative set of goals or means.

Opportunity Theory

Expanding on Merton's strain theory, sociologist Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin suggested that for deviance to occur, people must have access to illegitimate opportunity structures.

Illegitimate Opportunity Structures

Circumstances that provide an opportunity for people to acquire through illegitimate activities what they cannot achieve through legitimate channels.

Criminal Gang

They are devoted to theft, extortion, and other illegal means of securing an income.

Conflict Gang

They emerge in communities that do not provide either legitimate or illegitimate opportunities.

Retreatist Gang

They are unable to gain success through legitimate means and are unwilling to do so through illegal ones.

Deviance and Power Relations

According to this approach, norms and laws are established for the benefit of those in power and do not reflect any absolute standard of right and wrong.

Deviance and Capitalism

It is based on the assumption that the laws and the criminal justice system protect the power and the privilege of the capitalist class.

Liberal Feminist Approach

According to this approach, women's deviance and crime are a rational response to the gender descrimination that women experience in families and the workplace.

Radical Feminist Approach

This approach views the cause of women's crime as originating in patriarchy. It focuses on social forces that shape women's lives and experience and shows how exploitation may trigger deviant behavior and criminal activities.

Marxist Feminist Approach

This approach is based on the assumption that women are exploited by both capitalism and patriarchy because most females have relatively low-wage jobs and few economic resources.

Differential Association Theory

States that people have a greater tendency to deviate from societal norms when frequently associate with individuals who are more favorable toward deviance than conformity.

Diferential Reinforcement Theory

States that both deviant behavior and conventional behavior are learned through the same social process.

Control Theory

According to the sociologist Walter Reckless, society produces pushes and pulls that move people towards criminal behavior.

Inner Containments

(Control Theory) Refers to self control, sense of responsibilities, and resistance to diversion.

Outer Containments

(Control Theory) Refers to supportive family and friends, reasonable social expectations, and supervision by others.

Social Bond Theory

Holds that the probability of deviant behavior increases when a person's ties to society are weakened or broken.

Labeling Theory

States that deviance is a socially constructed process in which social control agencies designate certain people as deviants, and they, in turn, come to accept the label placed upon them and begin to act accordingly.

Primary Deviance

Stage in labeling theory which refers to initial act of breaking the rules.

Secondary Deviance

Stage in labeling theory which occurs when a person who has been labeleled a deviant accepts that the new identity and continues the deviant behavior.

Tertiary Deviance

Stage in labeling theory which occurs when a person who has been labeled a deviant seeks to normalize the behavior by relabeling it as nondeviant.


A structure that gives prison officials the possibility of complete observation of criminals at all times.


Refers to a serious crime such as rape, homicide, or aggravated assault, for which punishment typically ranges from more than a year's imprisonment to death.


Refers to minor crime that is typically punished by less than one year in jail.

Uniform Crime Report

Major source of information on crimes reported in the United States.

Violent Crime

Crimes that consists of actions like murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault involving force or the threat of force against others.

Property Crime

Crimes that includes burglary (breaking into private property to commit a serious crime), motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft (theft of property worth $50 or more, and arson.

Public Order Crime

Crimes that involves an illegal action voluntarily engaged in by the participants, such as prostitution, illegal gambling, the private use of illegal crimes, and illegal pornography.

Victimless Crimes

Crimes that involve a willing exchange of illegal goods or service among adults.

Occupational Crime

Crime that comprises illegal activities commited by people in the course of their employment or financial affairs.

Corporate Crime

Illegal acts committed by corporate employees on behalf of the corporation and with its support.

Organized Crime

Business operation that supplies illegal goods and services for profit.

Political Crime

Refers to the illegal or unethical acts involving the usurpation of power by government officials.


Refers to the calculated, unlawful use of physical force or threats of violence against persons or property in order to intimidate or coerce a government, organization, or individual for the purpose of gaining some political, religious, economic, or social objective.


Occurs when people accept society's goals but adopt disapproved means for achieving them.

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