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Chapter 6 Deviance

  1. The Real World An Introduction to Sociology 4th Edition Chapter 6: Deviance
  2. Defining Deviance • Deviance is a behavior, trait, belief, or other characteristic that violates a norm and causes a negative reaction. • Defining something as deviant requires us to examine the group norms and how the group reacts to the behavior.
  3. Deviance: What Is It? (con’t.) • Basically, what is deviant in one culture may not be deviant in another culture. 3
  4. Norms and Sanctions Review • Norms are rules/guidelines regarding what kinds of behavior are acceptable and appropriate within a culture. • Norms can be either formal, such as a law (a common type of formally defined norm that provides an explicit statement about what is permissible and what is illegal in a society) or the rules for playing soccer, or informal, which are not written down and are unspoken. 4
  5. Norms and Sanctions Review • Types of norms can also be distinguished by the strictness with which they are enforced. • A folkway is a loosely enforced norm that involves common customs, practices, or procedures that ensure smooth social interaction and acceptance. 5
  6. Norms and Sanctions Review • A more is a norm that carries greater moral significance, is closely related to the core values of a group, and often involves severe repercussions for violators. • A taboo is a norm engrained so deeply that even thinking about violating it evokes strong feelings of disgust, horror, or revulsion for most people. 6
  7. Norms and Sanctions Review • Sanctions are positive or negative reactions to the ways that people follow or disobey norms, including rewards for conformity and punishments for norm violators. • Sanctions help to establish social control, the formal and informal mechanisms used to increase conformity to values and norms and thus increase social cohesion. 7
  8. Values Review • Norms are strongly influenced by Values. • Values, shared beliefs about what a group considers worthwhile or desirable, guide the creation of norms, the formal and informal rules regarding what kinds of behavior are acceptable and appropriate within a culture. 8
  9. Sociology and Deviance • We ask the following questions: – How are norms and rules created? – How do certain norms and rules become especially important? – What types of sections are dispensed to society’s violators? – How do people who break the rules see themselves and how do others see them? – How have sociologists attempted to explain rule making, rule breaking, and responses to rule breaking?
  10. Deviance Across Cultures • It is important to remember that when sociologists use the term “deviant,” they are making a social judgment, never a moral one.
  11. Deviance Across Cultures (cont’d) • If a particular behavior is considered deviant, it means that it violates the values and norms or a particular group, not that it is inherently wrong. • Much of the literature on deviance focuses on crime, and how different cultures define very different behaviors as criminal or not and the vast differences seen in how crimes are punished.
  12. Deviance Across Cultures (cont’d) • Most serious crime in the United States today is punished by imprisonment, but many other societies lack the resources to build and maintain prisons (money for buildings, to pay guards, and to feed/clothe prisoners). • Because of this, other forms of punishment are used. These include shunning, total banishment from a community, or corporal punishment.
  13. Deviance Across Cultures (cont’d)
  14. Structural Funtionalism THEORIES OF DEVIANCE
  15. Theories of Deviance • Functionalists argue that deviance can serve a positive social function. Emile Durkhiem identified 2 functions of deviance; – First – Deviance can help a society clarify its moral boundaries – Second – Deviance can help promote social cohesion (people can be brought together as a community in the face of crime or other violations.
  16. Conflict Theory THEORIES OF DEVIANCE
  17. Theories of Deviance • Conflict theorists, who study inequalities of wealth and power, note that inequalities are present in our definitions of deviance as well. – Deviance is a result of social conflict. – In order for the powerful to maintain their power, they marginalize and criminalize the people who threaten their power. Inequality is reproduced in the way deviance is defined. – Basically, they believe that rules are applied unequally and that punishments for rule violators are unequally distributed; those at the top are subject to different rules and sanctions than those nearer to the bottom.
  18. Theories of Deviance • Conflict Theory Continued… – “Who’s on Top?” by Kate Bornstein (1998) – She described a hierarchy of power and privilege in society with regard to deviant behavior. – She used a pyramid to illustrate her point; the person at the top of the pyramid is an imaginary person who represents the “perfect identity.” – The more we deviate from this perfect identity (and all of us do in one way or another), the lower we fall on the pyramid.
  19. Theories of Deviance • Conflict Theory Continued… – William Chambliss looked at the history of vagrancy laws to demonstrate the relationship between power and deviance. – A vagrant is a person in poverty, who wanders from place to place without a home or regular employment or income. – Vagrancy laws have been used to target various groups depending on who seems the most threatening at any given time. – Example would be when a city prepares for a big event, they sweep the “undesirables” from downtown areas to create the illusion that the city is free of poverty.
  20. Theories of Deviance • Conflict Theory Continued… – Other Examples • Jim Crow Laws/Black Codes • Laws that prevented women from owning property or from voting • Curfews on Young People • Laws against homosexuality/Banning of gay marriage/Anti-Sodomy Laws
  21. Theories of Deviance • Merton’s structural strain theory argues that the tension or strain between socially approved goals and an individual’s ability to meet those goals through socially approved means will lead to deviance as individuals reject either the goals (achieving success), the means (hard work, education), or both. • Merton identifies 5 ways in which people adapt:
  22. Merton’s Strain Theory Mode Method Conformity Accepts approved goals, pursues them through approved means. Innovation Accepts approved goals; uses disapproved means. Ritualism Abandons society’s goals; conforms to approved means. Retreatism Abandons approved goals and approved means. Rebellion Challenges approved goals and approved means.
  23. Merton’s Strain Theory
  24. Symbolic Interactionism THEORIES OF DEVIANCE
  25. Theories of Deviance • Symbolic Interactionist theories of deviance focus on how interpersonal relations and everyday interactions shape definitions of deviance and influence those who engage in deviant behavior.
  26. Theories of Deviance • Differential association: –A symbolic interactionist perspective developed by Edwin Sutherland –States that we learn deviance from hanging around deviant peers 2
  27. Theories of Deviance • Differential association theory states that we learn to be deviant through our associations with deviant peers. – This theory simply says that interacting with people who break rules will socialize you to break rules as well. – However, the issue is that some cases, deviance is not the result of a willful act (example: mental illness). Also, not all who associate with deviants actually turn out to be deviants.
  28. Theories of Deviance • Labeling theory: –A symbolic interactionist perspective developed by Howard Becker –States that deviance is caused by external judgments (labels) that change a person’s self-concept and the way that others respond to that person 2
  29. Theories of Deviance • Labeling theory claims that deviance is a consequence of external judgments, or labels, which both modify the individual’s self-concept and change the way others respond to the labeled person. • Labels will vary depending on the culture, time period, and context. – Rosenhan Study “On Being Sane in Insane Places” • Labeling theory is also concerned with how individuals think of themselves once a deviant label has been applied. How we perceive ourselves depends in part on how others see us, so if others react to us as a deviant, we are likely to internalize that label.
  30. Labeling Theory
  31. Theories of Deviance (cont’d) • Symbolic Interactionist • Labeling theory is also related to the idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy – an iaccurate statement or belief which, by altering the situation, becomes accurate. – Basically, this is a prediction that causes itself to come true merely by being stated.
  32. Theories of Deviance (cont’d) • Symbolic Interactionist • Labeling Theory consequences: In our society, deviant labels can override other aspects of individual identity and exert powerful effects on self-image, treatment by others, and even social and institutional policies.
  33. Stigma and Deviant Identity • In Ancient Greece, criminals and slaves were branded with hot irons, making a mark called a stigma, from the Greek word for “tattoo.” The stigma was meant to serve as an outward indication that there was something shameful about the bearer, and to this day we continue to use the term to signify some disgrace or failing. Even though we don’t do this anymore, stigmatized identities still carry serious social consequences. • A stigma is Erving Goffman’s term for any physical or social attribute that devalues a person or group’s identity, and which may exclude those who are devalued from normal social interaction.
  34. Stigma and Deviant Identity (cont’d) • Once an individual has been labeled as a deviant, he is stigmatized, and acquires what Goffman calls a “spoiled identity.” • There are three main types of stigma: – physical (including physical or mental impairments), – moral (signs of flawed character), or – tribal (membership in a discredited or oppressed group).
  35. Stigma and Deviant Identity • Almost any departure from the norm can have a stigmatizing effect. Examples: – Physical Disability – Past Battle with Drugs/Alcohol – Time Served in Jail – Past Sexual Transgressions • Some stigmatized identities can change over time depending on the culture or social context of the time. (Ex: Civil Rights Movement) • Goffman notes that not all stigmatized identities are just or deserved; only that they are specific to the norms and prejudices of a particular group, time period, or context. • He was particularly interested in the effects of stigmatization on the individual identity and interactions with others. – Macro and Micro Level
  36. Stigma and Deviant Identity (cont’d) • One strategy analyzed by Goffman that stigmatized individuals use to negotiate everyday interaction is called passing, or concealing the stigmatizing information. – Example: The Jewish of Nazi controlled areas.
  37. Stigma and Deviant Identity (cont’d) • Obviously, some people cannot “pass.” Either they can’t because of physical characteristics or refuse to “pass” as a matter of principle. • In some cases, these people don’t see themselves as deviants, and as a result, don’t believe the should have to change or conceal those identities just to make themselves more “normal.” • They have what Goffman called an in-group orientation, where stigmatized individuals follow an orientation away from mainstream society and toward new standards that value their group identity. – Examples: ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), The Human Rights Campaign, NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and NAAFA (the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance). • Activism in one of these groups can often times be difficult and exhausting.
  38. Stigma and Deviant Identity (cont’d) • Most people reject deviant labels. However, there are some who choose to be called deviant. • Howard Becker (1963) refers to such individuals as outsiders, people living in one way or another outside of the mainstream of society. • Ralph Turner (1972) – Finally, others choose deviance avowal, a process by which an individual self-identifies as deviant and initiates his or her own labeling process. It may be useful to conceive of deviance as a role rather than as an isolated behavior that violates a single norm. The deviant identity may even be beneficial.
  39. The Foreground of Deviance: The Emotional Attraction of Doing Bad Deeds • Most sociological perspectives on deviance focus on aspects of a person’s background that would predispose her to act in deviant ways. (Like Differential Association or Labeling Theory) • In contrast, Jack Katz (The Seductions of Crime – 1988) argues that researchers can better understand crime and deviance by considering how criminals experience their acts of deviance. • Katz looks at how emotionally seductive or thrilling crime can be. This explains why people who can easily afford what they’re stealing engage in shoplifting. Even a more traditional criminal can get a thrill of power over the victim he/she has just attacked.
  40. The Criminal Justice System CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
  41. Crime and Punishment • Crime is the violation of a norm that has been codified into law. • Violent crime is a crime in which violence is either the objective or the means to an end, including murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery.
  42. Deviance and Crime (cont’d.) • In the United States, serious crimes are punished by imprisonment. • In other cultures, types of punishments can include: –Shunning –Banishment –Corporal punishment 4
  43. Deviance and Crime (cont’d.) • Crime and punishments can change over time! 4
  44. Violent Crime
  45. Crime and Punishment (cont’d) • Property crime is crime that does not involve violence, including burglary, larceny theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. • White-collar crime is crime committed by a high status individual in the course of her or his occupation.
  46. Property Crime
  47. Crime and Punishment (cont’d) • In the United States the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), an official measure of crime collected and published by the FBI, allows sociologists to study the relationship between crime and demographics like class, age, gender, and race. • cjis/ucr/ucr
  48. Crime and Punishment (cont’d) • There is an ongoing debate about the role of punishment in the criminal justice system, a collection of social institutions (legislatures, police, courts, and prisons) that create and enforce laws.
  49. Crime and Punishment (cont’d) • Deterrence is an approach to punishment that relies on the threat of harsh penalties to discourage people from committing crimes. • Retribution is an approach to punishment that emphasizes retaliation or revenge for the crime as the appropriate goal.
  50. Crime and Punishment (cont’d) • Incapacitation is an approach to punishment that seeks to protect society from criminals by imprisoning or executing them. • Finally, rehabilitation is an approach to punishment that attempts to reform criminals as part of their penalty.
  51. Can Deviance Be Positive? • Positive deviance is defined as an act that is outside of the norm, but may actually be heroic rather than negative. • Examples: – Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus when asked – A student in class being the one to raise his or her hand and say that a test seemed unfair. If no one else in the class spoke up, this student’s action might be deviant, but it could also shed light on an issue that needed to be addressed. 5

Hinweis der Redaktion

  1. For discussion, ask your class to discuss whether these images represent examples of norms or deviance in the United States. You can also mention C. Wright Mills to remind students of how norms change over time. Was tattooing a norm in the 1900s? The 1950s? The 2000s? What social factors might influence changing norms?
  2. Edwin Sutherland suggested that the main reason that people become deviant is that they are learning to be that way from the people they associate with. This theory of deviance may remind you of social learning theory, which says that we tend to mimic significant role models in our life.
  3. Howard Becker asserted that when people are labeled, that label becomes part of their self-image. So if someone tells you that you are smart, you might start perceiving yourself as smart. Likewise, if someone tells you that you are bad and don’t behave well, that might become part of your image and you might begin to act out as a result of that label.
  4. Labeling a person can lead to that person acting out their label. This is especially true if that label is anchored, or confirmed among many agents of socialization. (So if a child is labeled as bad by a parent, and then by the school, and at afterschool care, and by friends, the label is increasingly likely to become part of that individual’s self perception.)
  5. Stigma can be physical, moral, or tribal. For instance, a physical impairment might stigmatize or devalue a potential employee at a workplace. A moral stigma could include character flaws—for instance, talking too much—which could devalue a person’s input in a group setting. A tribal stigma could be based on membership to a discredited group, which could be a group that a person chooses to belong to like a club or an organization or a group that a person is born into, like a race or socioeconomic status. Just like deviance, stigma will depend on the culture and context.
  6. Stigma can be physical, moral, or tribal. For instance, a physical impairment might stigmatize or devalue a potential employee at a workplace. A moral stigma could include character flaws—for instance, talking too much—which could devalue a person’s input in a group setting. A tribal stigma could be based on membership to a discredited group, which could be a group that a person chooses to belong to like a club or an organization or a group that a person is born into, like a race or socioeconomic status. Just like deviance, stigma will depend on the culture and context.
  7. Passing is certainly easier for some individuals than others. For example, morally stigmatized individuals may be able to conceal their beliefs, whereas a physically stigmatized individual may have a more difficult time trying to conceal the impairment that causes the stigmatization. This may also be the case with criminals who commit crimes but then go to work and live their lives as noncriminals.
  8. Many different countries, cultures, or regions may not have the resources to incarcerate criminals, so they find other means of punishing like those listed in this slide.
  9. During the 1920s and 1930s, alcohol was illegal in the United States, but it is legal in most areas in the United States now. In contrast, heroin used to be widely available in the United States. It was sold by Bayer until 1910, and the U.S. government even taxed it until it was eventually banned in 1924. For discussion, you can ask your class if they can think of other laws, crimes, or punishments that are different today than they used to be. [Prohibition agents destroying alcohol image:] [Bayer Heroin image:]
  10. Deterrence: if you are in a hurry to class and you start to exceed the speed limit, do you ever slow down because you think “I don’t want to get a speeding ticket”? If so, the potential penalty has deterred you from committing the crime. Retribution: have you ever heard the saying “an eye for an eye”? That’s the premise behind retribution—you’ve committed a crime, therefore, society has the right to retaliate in a certain way.
  11. Incapacitation may depend on the severity of the crime committed. If our society imprisoned every person who ever jaywalked, there would be few people left out in society. Then again, if the penalty for jaywalking was imprisonment, maybe fewer people would do it. That’s part of the logic behind creating sentences for crimes. Rehabilitation has different degrees of success or failure depending on the crime committed, however, even though rehabilitation is usually less expensive than incarceration, we tend to see more sentences of incarceration than rehabilitation. Why do you think this is? Are there certain crimes that you think should receive more rehabilitation that incarceration? What about drug use or possession?
  12. Can your class think of examples of positive deviance? Examples could be Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus when asked; or even a student in class being the one to raise his or her hand and say that a test seemed unfair. If no one else in the class spoke up, this student’s action might be deviant, but it could also shed light on an issue that needed to be addressed.