Criminal Deviance

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The type of deviance I choose for this assignment is the convicted criminal. I feel that once someone has been convicted of a crime and either served time or been placed on probation a stigma is attached to their name. This stigma affects their ability to obtain employment, get credit, and have relationships with friends, family and/or romantic partners. One would think that there are two directions for a criminal to go after release, either return to prison or make changes to remain free. However, I think when one looks deeper, one can see that the decision is not that black or white, or that easy. After being designated as a convicted criminal, something that is typically hard to conceal without moving to a new area, the person is labeled …show more content…
The delineation is whether the criminal is dealing with peers that suffer from the same stigma or the rest of the unlabeled population. When a criminal is released from prison or parole, they are sent back into the normal population without any coping mechanisms for dealing with their new stigma amongst those who are not criminals. First, I will look at his methods for dealing with the normal population, then I will look at his dealings with other stigma-related peers. I feel that in the case of a criminal thrust back into society they begin with attempting to blend in using “out-group” strategies and be “normal” more so than “in-group” strategies. As their blending in fails, they utilize more of the “in-group” strategies, and eventually fall back into their criminal ways, typically leading them back to the criminal justice system. “Out-group” strategies that a criminal might use to try and blend in with society include passing, covering, and defiance. The criminal tries to blend in with society by passing himself off as non-stigmatized. He may avoid talking about his past or may even invent a past history that doesn’t exist. He will avoid any and all contexts where someone may recognize him from his criminal past and he will avoid any locations where he may come into contact with previous criminal associates. Should he be exposed as a criminal he will do his best to cover it, if lying fails to work, then he might attempt to excuse and/or justify his actions. He could say that he stole to get money for food. While this wouldn’t make the stigma disappear, he could hope it would make it seem less criminal and nobler. If these strategies fail, he may become openly or contained defiant, essentially daring those confronting him in an attempt to minimize the focus on his stigma. He may begin to fall back on old “in-group” habits such as drinking to forget the turn

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