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Deviance and Conformity

by: Angela Dela Llana

Deviance and Conformity Soci 1311

Angela Dela Llana

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Intro to Sociology
Jason Shelton
Class Notes
sociology, deviance, conformity
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Angela Dela Llana on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soci 1311 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Jason Shelton in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 45 views.


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Date Created: 10/02/16
SOCI 1311 Chapter 7: Deviance and Conformity Deviance vs. Conformity Deviance is any violation of a social norm. This is when you commit a folkway, more, taboo, etc. When we break the norm, we are being deviant Conformity is wh expected and following the norms. At any given moment, we are both deviants and conformists. We follow and break the norms. Range of tolerance is the scope of behaviors considered acceptable before defining someone as a deviant or a conformist. In other words, there is a line to be crossed, and you can get away with certain things before you get in trouble. Speeding is an example. Police can may or may not pull you over for going five mph over the speed limit, and when they do pull you over, they can still let you off with a warning instead of giving you a ticket. With over-conformity vs. under-conformity, an over-conformist is someone who follows the norm too closely. An under-conformist is someone who does just enough to get by and does the minimum. Both of these are considered deviant. In the context of a classroom, the t an over-conformist, while the class clown is an under-conformist. A stigma is any characteristic that sets a person apart and disqualifies him or her from full participation and acceptance in society. You lose the benefit of the doubt because of stigma. For example, blackness used to be a huge stigma because black people to sit in the back of the bus, etc. In the present day, being labeled as a felon is a stigma. Ways of Evaluating Deviance Time (History): What is considered deviant at one time in history might not be considered deviant at another time. Examples include women working, premarital sex, homosexuality, etc. Place (Environment): You can do certain things in certain places that are seen as acceptable, but me behaviors in other places. For example, you can yell at a football game but not at the library. Situation (Context): What is happening at the momen conformist. This action is generally considered wron example is murder being okay when it is done in self-defense. Culture: This is the most important out of the four way of evaluating deviance. What is acceptable in one culture might be considered unacceptable in other cultures. Examples include eating dog and breastfeeding in public. Popular Explanations for Deviance Genetics (Biology): Some of us are born to commit crimes. We are genetically wired to do certain things. If your father went to jail, ly go to jail too. This explanation has been around for centuries. Religious: Historically, the argument is that religious people are less likely to commit crimes than non- eople who are deeply religious commit crimes too. The Medical Model: This is the idea that we treat deviance as an illness rather than a social problem. It is fairly new theory that was developed in the 1970s, the only people who do these crimes are sick in some way, they can be treated Medicalization of Society: Instead of addressing the root of societal problems, we are giving people drugs to solve the problem instead. An example of this is the medicalization of ADHD. Children with ADD/ADHD are being given a lot of meds instead of the needed attention. Also, more and more children are being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Media: Does television and music make people violent? When does a child know that the things see and hear are real or fictional? For adults, it s pretty clear that they e responsible enough, but it is not as clear for children. The Bobo doll experiments showed that kids who observe violence tend to act violently. What they watch on television is key to their violence. Theories of Crime and Deviance Classic strain theory, which is related to structural functionalism, was developed by Robert Merton in 1942. It is still the most popular theory for explaining crime and deviance. Strain is the pressure we feel when we believe that we cannot reach our financial or professional goals. This theory addresses tensions between our personal goals and the reality of our social situation. Strain is essentially stress. Classic strain theory has two parts, explaining strain and adaptations to strain. Explaining strain: 1. All Americans believe in the American Dream. We live in a society that emphasizes achievement. Americans believe in a better tomorrow. 2. Not all of us have an equal opportunity to achieve our American Dreams. Just because we to achieve it. Adaptations to Strain: 1. Conformity: This is what most people do. People are disappointed achieve their American Dreams, but they do ime. The keep moving forward while conforming with the (The following adaptations are deviant.) 2. Innovation: This is the most deviant. The person believes in the American Dream but finds an illegal way to achieve it. They break the law to get rich. These can include drug dealers and con artists. It can be super serious like smuggling alcohol and prostitution to something minor like not being completely truthful. 3. Ritualism: Ritualists are people who no longer believe in the American Dream, but they still get up and go to work out of habit. These people are considered deviants because Merton said that Americans are always supposed to be moving forward. I . 4. Retreatism: A retreatist is a person who dropped out of society and no longer believes in the American D (sometimes), recluses , etc. 5. Rebellionism: This is a person who takes it farther than retreatist. These people want to provide an alternative to society. They believe society is wrong and want to do something about it. According to Merton, the cause of crime in America is the emphasis of success. Conflict Theory of Deviance Conflict theory of deviance states that norms and laws represent the values of the ruling class; powerful groups impose their values on less powerful groups. Powerful people make the laws and less powerful people have to follow them. Karl , but his ideas are very relevant to crime and race according to scholars. Conflict theory of deviance has four core postulates: 1. Some laws benefit some groups more than others. For example, taxes are more detrimental on the lower class than the upper class. 2. The enforcement of law is not equal. There is a lot of subjectivity in our law. What might be written in the book isn t always followed by law enforcement. 3. Laws and police are designed to control certain populations. More police are in impoverished areas, the black community, and the Latino community, not wanting the crime to spread to the nice communities. 4. There are different penalties for the same crime depending on your group membership. Blacks and Latinos are far more likely to get the death penalty than whites. Black jurors are harder on other blacks than whites and Latinos. Labeling Theory Labeling theory builds on the idea of stigma, stating that society places a stigma, or label, on individuals in ways that help to create more deviance. Labeling as ultimately about self-concept. How do you see yourself as a person? Do you see yourself as good or bad? A primary deviant is a in a deviant way. T . For example, a guy might have had to rob a store to feed his starving kids. Secondary deviants see themselves as criminals. I m a bad dude, tomorrow. We give people who have committed a crime too hard of a time. P get rid of their bad image and thus can t resume their normal lives. Because of this, they go from primary to secondary deviants, and the crime problem gets worse. The US as the highest recidivism rate (the highest rate of repeat offenders.) Differential association theory was developed by Edwin Sutherland in the 1940s, we learn deviance through the people we interact with. Birds of a feather flock together. Social control theory is particularly different from other theories. Instead of asking what makes people commit crimes, this theory asks why people follow the rules. This theory was developed by Travis Hirshi in the 1970s. It became popular in the 1980s Internal (self) control is controlling things within you, like your thought processes. Some of us have more self-control than others. External (social) control controlling things outside of us that influence us, like religion, the law, and family pressure (not wanting to let down our loved ones). Social bonds are a huge part of external control. If you feel like you have a lot to lose, you re less likely to become deviant. You are less likely to commit a crime if you have strong internal and external control. Types of Crime Crime is any violation of a legal norm. There are several types of crime: 1. Property: Someone else s property is threatened. This includes burglary, theft, vandalism, and arson. The most common crime in the US. 2. Violent: You sense that your life is threatened. Includes murder, rape, assault, domestic abuse. US has highest violent crime rate than every other nation. According to the FBI, a person is murdered every 33 minutes, and a person is raped every 5 mintues (maybe even every 3 minutes because a lot of rapes go unreported). 3. White collar: These are crimes where money/funds are taken from other people using technology. Examples include fraud, embezzlement of funds, etc. 4. Victimless/public order: This is the willing exchange of illegal goods and services among voluntary adults. The US views these crimes as voluntary and tim because you chose to do it. Examples include drug dealing/possession and prostitution. Over the years, some states have been legalizing marijuana. Marijuana went from the underground economy to legalization/government regulation. This makes it safer because competition is reduced, and there is less violence.


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