Chapter Seven Deviance, Crime, and Social Control What is deviance? 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? some forms of deviant behavior are officially defined as a crime 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 Social control is systematic practices developed by social groups to encourage conformity and to discourage deviance Studying Deviance criminology is the systematic study of crime and the criminal justice system, including police, courts, and prisons Functionalist perspectives on deviance Emile Durkheim regarded deviance as a natural and inevitable part of all societies deviance is universal because it serves three important functions deviance clarifies roles deviance unites group deviance promotes social change Strain Theory 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 Robert Merton identified five ways in which people adapt to cultural goals and approved ways of achieving them conformity innovation ritualism retreatism rebellion 1910-2003 Opportunity Theory according to Richard Clower and Lloyd Ohlin, for deviance to occur people must have access to illegitimate opportunity structures circumstances that provide an opportunity for people to acquire through illegitimate activities what they cannot achieve through legitimate channels symbolic interactionist perspectives on deviance 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 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 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 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 Labeling Theory states that deviants are those people who have been successfully labeled as such by others 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 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 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 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 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 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: 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 official crime statistics such as those found in the uniform crime report provide important information on crime 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 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 the three most common arrest categories for both men and women are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs larceny minor criminal mischief types of offenses gender and crime 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 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 individuals from all social classes commit crimes they simply commit different kinds of crimes persons from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to be arrested for violent and property crimes only a very small proportion of individuals who commit white-collar worker crimes will ever be arrested or convicted race and crime in 2010, whites accounted for 64 percent of all arrest for index crimes 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 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 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 the burden of robbery victimization falls more heavily on males than females African-Americans more than whites young people more than middle age or older persons the criminal justice system the criminal justice system includes the police, the courts, and prisons the system is a collection of bureaucracies The system possesses considerable discretion 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 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 for many years capital punishment or the death penalty has been used in the United States 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? 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 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? 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 global crime 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 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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