Deviance, crime and control

Deviance, crime and control

Deviance and social control This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA Culture and norms regarding appropriate behavior Social Control

Social control: techniques and strategies employed for preventing deviant human behavior in any society Parents Peer groups Government Bureaucratic organizations

Why do we accept these norms? Social Control and sanctions Sanctions: penalties and rewards for conduct concerning a social norm If we fail to live up to the norm we may face informal sanctions (fear and ridicule) or formal

sanctions (jail sentences or fines) Conformity and Obedience The Milgram Experiment Experimenter instructed people to administer increasingly painful electric shocks to a subject Conformity: going along with peers who have no

special right to direct behavior Similar status peer group, minority status group Obedience: compliance with higher authorities in a hierarchical structure Higher status police officers

Conformity and Obedience Reflecting on the Milgram Experiment Two-thirds of participants fell into category of obedient subjects People in modern industrial world accustomed to submitting to impersonal authority figures Recent replications of experiment confirm findings

The Milgram Experiment am+Obedience+Study+1961&&view=detail& mid=E6932729D07FCF62245FE6932729D07FC F62245F&FORM=VRDGAR

Reflecting on the Milgram experiment Why did these subjects obey? why were they willing to inflict painful socks on innocent people? Submission to authority Power of symbols people in uniform Shift of responsibility to authority figure

Informal and Formal Social Control Informal social control: used casually to enforce norms Smiles, laughter, raised eyebrows, ridicule

Formal social control: carried out by authorized agents Informal social control can undermine formal social control, encouraging people to violate social norms Example Binge drinking Law and Society

Some norms are so important to a society that they are formalized into laws Law: governmental social control Regulations hunting regulations How laws are created? Laws are passed due to perceived need for social

control Nixon's private comments about marijuana showed he was the epitome of misinformation and prejudice. He believed marijuana led to hard drugs, despite the evidence to the contrary. He saw marijuana as tied to "radical demonstrators." He believed that "the Jews," especially "Jewish psychiatrists" were behind advocacy for legalization, asking advisor Bob Haldeman, "What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob?" He

made a bizarre distinction between marijuana and alcohol, saying people use marijuana "to get high" while "a person drinks to have fun." He also saw marijuana as part of the culture war that was destroying the United States, and claimed that Communists were using it as a weapon. "Homosexuality, dope, immorality in general," Nixon fumed. "These are

the enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists and the left-wingers are pushing the stuff, they're trying to destroy us." His approach drug education was just as simplistic: "Enforce the law. You've got to scare them.

Source: This article originally appeared on Points, an Atlantic partner site. The legal order reflects values of those in a position to exercise authority Medical use of marijuana These values are internalized through the process of socialization

- We are socialized to want to belong and be fearful of being viewed as different of deviant Control Theory Control theory: connection to members of society leads people to systematically conform to societys norms

Social connections Induce conformity Family

Peer group Mores Folkways Self-control Socialization

Internalization Social norms What Is Deviance? Deviant behavior

What Is Deviance? Deviance: behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society Involves violation of group norms, which may or may not be formalized into law Subject to social definition within a

particular society and at a particular time What makes action deviant? Presence of some social audiences that regard the behavior or appearance as deviant and take action to discourage and punish it. Deviance is not inherent to a particular

behavior. (Example marrying first cousin). It is important to understand social context What Is Deviance? Deviance and Social Stigma Stigma: labels society uses to devalue members of certain social groups

Mental illness and perception of crime Overweight people Sociological Perspectives on Deviance Why do people violate social norms? Early explanations blamed supernatural

causes or genetic factors (bad blood) Socio-biologists critical of emphasis on genetic roots of crime and deviance Lombroso (1835-1909) Italian physician his theory all criminals have some physical traits in common

Durkheim on Deviance Ideas about what is deviant vary, but is present in all societies Deviance is act that offends collective sentiment Deviance will be present in most perfect societies

Functionalist Perspective Durkheims Legacy Punishments established within a culture help define acceptable behavior and contribute to stability Erikson illustrated boundary-maintenance

function of deviance Anomie: loss of direction felt in society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective Table 24-1: Mertons Deviance Theory

Interactionist Perspective Cultural Transmission Cultural transmission: humans learn how to behave in social situations, whether properly or improperly Differential association: process through which exposure to attitudes favorable to criminal acts leads to the violation of rules (Sutherland)

Social disorganization theory Interactionist Perspective Social Disorganization Theory Increases in crime and deviance attributed to absence or breakdown of communal

relationships and social institutions Some claim social disorganization theory seems to blame the victim Labeling Perspective Labeling theory: attempts to explain

why some people are viewed as deviants while others are not; also known as societalreaction approach Societal-reaction approach: another term for labeling theory, designed to remind us that the response to an act, not the behavior, determines deviance

Labeling Perspective Labeling and Agents of Social Control Focuses on police, probation officers, psychiatrists, judges, teachers, employers, school officials, and other regulators of social control Social constructionist perspective: deviance is a product of the culture we live in

Conflict Perspective People with power protect their own interests and define deviance to suit their needs Contends that the entire criminal justice system in the United States treats suspects differently based on their race, ethnicity, or

social class Differential justice: differences in way social control is exercised over different groups Conflict theory of deviance Who has power?

Feminist Perspective Adler and Chesney-Lind suggest existing approaches to deviance and crime developed with men in mind Great effort undertaken by feminist organizations to redefine legal definitions

of rape Cultural views and attitudes toward women influence how they are perceived and labeled Crime Crime

Crime: violation of criminal law for which governmental authority applies formal penalties Six types differentiated by sociologists:

Victimless crimes Professional crime Organized crime White-collar and technology-based crime

Hate crimes Transnational crime Types of Crime Victimless Crimes Willing exchange among adults of widely desired, but illegal, goods and services drug abuse, gambling

Should these be regulated? Are these crime really victimless? Professional Crime Committed by a professional criminal: person who pursues crime as a day-to-day occupation

Professional Crime Edwin Sutherland Highly organized Specialization in a crime Burglary, Con artists Spend lot of time perfecting the crime Develop skill to avoid arrest, convictions Connected to other criminals develop a sub

culture Types of Crime Organized Crime Group that regulates relations between various criminal enterprises involved in illegal activities Prostitution, gambling

Dominates world of illegal business, just as large corporations dominate conventional businesses Serves as means of upward mobility for groups of people struggling to escape poverty Can be characterized by the process of ethnic succession

Types of Crime White Collar and Technology-Based Crime White-collar crime: illegal acts committed in the course of business activities Computer crime: use of high technology to carry

out embezzlement or electronic fraud Corporate crime: any act by a corporation that is punishable by the government Corporate Crime Changing views about corporate crime

How corporate crime is dealt with? Generally, corporate wrong-doers get off easily Few exceptions Martha Steward (2004) Enron's bankruptcy in December 2001 led to thousands of layoffs, the collapse of the companys stock price and the loss of billions of dollars by investors, including many of the companys own employees.

Two billion dollars in employee pensions were wiped out, as well as $60 billion in stock. Five thousand employees lost their jobs, and 20,000 people lost their entire life savings. ENRON Jeff Skilling was never convicted of causing Enron's bankruptcy or losing its employees'

retirement plans millions of dollars. Federal judge approved a deal resentencing Skilling to just 14 years, six of which he has already served. While that is still quite a long stint behind bars, the reduction means that Skilling is no longer effectively jailed for life.

White collar crime and stigma Types of Crime Hate Crime Perpetrators action and purpose of their conduct Offender is motivated to choose a victim based on race, religion, ethnic group, national origin, or

sexual orientation, and when evidence shows that hatred prompted offender to commit the crime In 2013, official reports of more than 7,200 hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents Hate Crime Statistics Act, 1990 Official mandate to record hate crime

Definitions of hate crime Punishment for hate crime fines and jail Race highest motivator for hate crime Vandalism, intimidation Assaults, rape and murder Types of Crime

Transnational Crime Crime that occurs across multiple national borders Once often limited to shipment of goods across single border; now, spans the globe Slavery Trafficking in endangered species, drugs, stolen art and antiquities

Crime Statistics Index Crimes and Victimization Surveys Index crimes include eight types of crime tabulated by the FBI Violent crimes against people Murder, rape, robbery, assault

Crimes against property Burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, arson Crime Statistics Index Crimes and Victimization Surveys (continued)

Crime index is disproportionately devoted to property crimes Only crimes reported to law enforcement agencies tracked Under-reporting of crime serious issue Victimization surveys: surveys of ordinary

people, not police officers, to determine whether they have been victims of crime Media and public perception of crime Crime Statistics Crime Trends

Public regards crime as major social problem, yet rate of crime being reported in 2012 was comparable to what it was in 1963 Violent crime and property crime has dropped by about 20% in the last 10 years Why the decline?

Crime Statistics International Crime Rates Violent crimes much more common in U.S. than western Europe in 1980s and 1990s England, Ireland, Denmark, and New Zealand have higher rates of car theft than U.S. Rapid rise in homicide rates in developing countries

that supply drugs to industrialized countries Why are violent crimes higher in the US? Can we use Mertons Strain Theory?

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