Chapter Seven Deviance, Crime, and Social Control

Chapter Seven
Deviance, Crime, and
Social Control
What is deviance?
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Deviance is any behavior, a belief, or condition
that violates significant social norms in the
society or group in which it occurs
deviance is a formal property of social situations
and social structure
deviance is a property conferred by audiences
deviance is relative and it varies in its degree of
seriousness
What is deviance?
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some forms of deviant behavior are officially
defined as a crime
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Crime is behavior that violates criminal law and is
punishable with fines, jail terms, or other sanctions
all societies have norms that govern acceptable
behavior and mechanisms of social control
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Social control is systematic practices developed by
social groups to encourage conformity and to
discourage deviance
Studying Deviance
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criminology is the systematic study of
crime and the criminal justice system,
including police, courts, and prisons
Functionalist perspectives on
deviance
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Emile Durkheim regarded deviance as a
natural and inevitable part of all societies
deviance is universal because it serves
three important functions
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deviance clarifies roles
deviance unites group
deviance promotes social change
Strain Theory
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According to strain 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
those goals
Strain Theory
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Robert Merton identified five ways in
which people adapt to cultural goals and
approved ways of achieving them
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conformity
innovation
ritualism
retreatism
rebellion
1910-2003
Opportunity Theory
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according to Richard Clower and Lloyd
Ohlin, for deviance to occur people must
have access to illegitimate opportunity
structures
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circumstances that provide an opportunity for
people to acquire through illegitimate
activities what they cannot achieve through
legitimate channels
symbolic interactionist
perspectives on deviance
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differential association theory states that
individuals have a greater tendency to
deviate from societal norms when they
frequently associated with those who are
more favorably inclined towards deviance
and conformity
symbolic interactionist
perspectives on deviance
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criminologist Ronald Akers has combined
differential association theory with
elements of psychological learning theory
to create differential reinforcement theory
deviant behavior and conventional
behavior are learned through the same
social process
symbolic interactionist
perspectives on deviance
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social bond theory holds that probability of
deviant behavior increases when a person's ties
to society are weakened or broken
social bonding consist of
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attachments to other people
commitment to conformity
involvement and conventional activities
belief in the legitimacy of conventional values and
norms
symbolic interactionist
perspectives on deviance
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Labeling Theory states that deviants are those
people who have been successfully labeled as
such by others
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primary deviance is the initial act of role breaking
secondary deviance occurs when a person who has
been labeled a deviant accepts that new identity and
continues the deviant behavior
tertiary deviance occurs when a person has been
labeled a deviant seeks to normalize the behavior by
re-labeling it as non-deviant
Conflict perspectives on deviance
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according to conflict theorists, people in
positions of power maintain their advantage by
using laws to protect their own interests
according to the critical approach, the ways laws
are made and enforced benefits the capitalist
class by ensuring that individuals at the bottom
of the social class structure do not infringe on
the property or threaten the safety of those at
the top
postmodernist expressions on
deviance
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according to the postmodernist such as Foucault, the
intertwining nature of power, knowledge, and social control
is the nexus and which deviance and crime are defined
in explaining prisons, Foucault uses the concept of
Panoptican -- -- a structure that his prison officials the
possibility of complete observation over criminals at all times
to demonstrate social control
crime classifications and statistics
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crimes are divided into felonies and
misdemeanors based on a seriousness of the
crime
sociologists categorize crimes based on how
they are committed and how society views the
offenses
conventional or street crime is all violent crime,
certain property crimes, and certain moral
crimes
crime classifications and statistics
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occupational or white-collar crime are
illegal activities committed by people in the
course of their employment or financial
affairs
corporate crime is an illegal act committed
by corporate employees own behalf of the
corporation and with its support
crime classifications and statistics
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organized crime is a business operation that
supplies illegal goods and services for profit
political crime refers to illegal or unethical acts
involving the usurpation of power by government
officials or:
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illegal unethical acts perpetrated against the
government by outsiders seeking to make a political
statement
Attempting to undermine or overthrow the
government
crime classifications and statistics
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official crime statistics such as those found in
the uniform crime report provide important
information on crime
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however the data reflect only those crimes have been
reported to the police
The national crime victimization survey has
made researchers aware that the incident of
some crimes such actually is substantially higher
than reported in the UCR
crime classifications and statistics
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Crime statistics do not reflect many crimes
committed by persons of professional
economic status in the course of business
because they are handled by
administrative or quasi-judicial bodies
gender and crime
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the three most common arrest categories
for both men and women are
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driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
larceny
minor criminal mischief types of offenses
gender and crime
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liquor law violations such as underage drinking,
simple assault, and disorderly conduct are
middle range offenses for both men and women
the rate of arrest for murder, arson, and
embezzlement are relatively low for both men
and women
there is a proportionately greater involvement of
men in major property crimes and violent crimes
age and crime
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arrest rates for index crimes are highest
for people between the ages of 13 and 25,
with the most between 16 and 17
rates of arrest are higher for males than
females at every age and for nearly all
offenses
social class and crime
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individuals from all social classes
commit crimes
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they simply commit different kinds of
crimes
persons from lower socioeconomic
backgrounds are more likely to be
arrested for violent and property
crimes
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only a very small proportion of
individuals who commit white-collar
worker crimes will ever be arrested or
convicted
race and crime
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in 2010, whites accounted for 64 percent of all
arrest for index crimes
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arrest rates for whites were higher in nonviolent
property crimes such as fraud and larceny theft
but were lower than for the rates of AfricanAmericans in crimes such as robbery in murder
In 2010 whites constituted about 66 percent of
all arrests for property crimes and more than 59
percent of arrest for violent crimes
African-Americans account for over 30 percent
of arrest for violent crimes and 31 percent of
arrest for property crimes
race and crime
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arrest records tend to produce over
generalizations about who commits crime
because arrest statistics are not an
accurate reflection of the crimes actually
committed in our society
crime victims
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men are more likely to be victimized by crime,
although women tend to be more fearful of
crime, especially those directed towards them
such as forcible rate
the elderly also tend to be more fearful crime,
but are the least likely to be victimized
young men of color between the ages 12 and 24
have the highest criminal victimization rates
crime victims
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the burden of robbery victimization falls
more heavily on
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males than females
African-Americans more than whites
young people more than middle age or older
persons
the criminal justice system
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the criminal justice system includes the police,
the courts, and prisons
the system is a collection of bureaucracies
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The system possesses considerable discretion
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the use of personal judgment regarding whether to take
action on a situation and so what kind of action to take
the police are responsible for crime control and
maintenance of order
the courts determine the guilt or innocence of
those accused to committing a crime
the criminal justice system
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punishment is any action designed to deprive a
person of the things of value including Liberty
because of something that the person is thought
to have done
Disparate treatment of the poor, people of color,
and women is evident in the prison system
the medicalization of deviance is the
transformation of deviance into a medical
problem that requires treatment by physician
the criminal justice system
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for many years capital punishment or the
death penalty has been used in the United
States
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about 4000 executions have occurred in the
U.S. since 1930, and scholars document race
and class biases in the imposition of the
death penalty in this country
What to do about crime?
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Although many people in the United States
agree that crime is one of the most important
problems facing the country, they are divided
about what to do about it
the best approach for reducing delinquency and
crime is prevention
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work with people before they become juvenile
offenders so as to help them establish family
relationships, of self-esteem, choose a career, and
get an education which will help them pursue the
Career
What to do about crime?
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as long as racism, sexism, the class
system, and ageism exist in our society
people will see deviant and criminal
behavior through selective lenses
The global criminal economy
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global crime
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networking of powerful criminal organizations and
their associates and shared activities around the
world is relatively new phenomenon
networking and strategic alliances between
criminal networks have been key factors in
successive criminal organizations that have
sought to expand the criminal activities over the
past two decades
The global criminal economy
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recent studies have concluded that
reducing global crime will require a global
response including the cooperation of lawenforcement agencies prosecutors and
intelligence services across geopolitical
boundaries.
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