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72 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Common Views on Crime
America is a fair society ruled by law. Most of its citizens are law-abiding and decent.

An individual is deviant or criminal when he/she breaks well established rules/laws in our society.

Criminals are bad people. They are people who have something wrong with them.

It is the responsibility of the criminal justice system to use its agents to enforce the law. Police and courts are key protagonists in solving the crime problem.

It has proven very effective to be tough on crime by giving harsh sentences and long prison terms to criminals.
Two Perspectives on Deviance
Biological/Psychological (Individual)

Sociological (Society)
Deviance (psychology)
Individual personality factors as the underlying cause of deviant behavior. The origin of deviance is found in the individual.
Medicalization of deviance (psychology)
Explanations of deviant behavior that interpret deviance as the result of individual pathology or sickness. Someone who commits a very deviant act is "sick" or is a sociopath.
Solution to deviance (psychology)
To "cure" the deviant through therapy or other psychological treatment.
Deviance - Sociological

Society and Crime
The sociological definition of deviance stresses social context, not individual behavior.
Deviance - Sociological

Deviance and Culture
The sociological definition of deviance recognizes that not all behaviors are judged similarly by all groups.
Deviance - Sociological

Deviance and Power
Understanding what society sees as deviant also requires understanding the context that determines who has the power to judge some behaviors as deviant and others not.
Deviance - Sociological

Social Construction of Deviance
The sociological definition of deviance recognizes that established rules and norms are socially created, not just morally decreed or individually imposed.
Functionalist Theory of Deviance
Deviance tends to stabilize society. By defining some forms of behavior as deviant, people are affirming the social norms of groups.

Societies actually need deviance to know what presumably normal behavior is.

Deviance produces strong social solidarity.

Deviance is society's way to integrate and socialize people into social norms.
Durkheim's Suicide Theory:

Egoistic Suicide
When people feel totally detached from society. That is, there is a low degree of solidarity or social integration in society.
Durkheim's Suicide Theory:

Altruistic Suicide
When there is excessive regulation of individuals by social forces. That is, when there is a very high degree of solidarity or integration in society.
Durkheim's Suicide Theory:

Anomic Suicide
When the disintegrating forces in the society make individuals feel lost or alone. There is little or no "society."
Durkheim's Suicide Theory:

The condition that exists when social regulations in a society break down; the controlling influence of society are no longer effective and people exist in a state of relative normlessness.
Hirshi's Social Control Theory
Deviance occurs when a person's (or group's) attachment to social bonds is weakened.

-common value system within society and breaking allegiance to that value system is the source of social deviance.
-most of the time, people follow the rules of behavior.
-people internalize social norms because of their attachment to others.
-people care what others think of them and therefore conform to social expectations because they accept what people expect.
-when conformity is broken, deviance occurs.
Merton's Structural Strain Theory:

Societal Goals and Opportunity Structures
Deviance occurs when there are tensions caused by the gap between cultural goals and the means people have to achieve those goals.
Merton's Structural Strain Theory:

Types of Deviancy
Merton's Structural Strain Theory:

Types of Deviancy
Has cultural goals
Does not follow rules
Merton's Structural Strain Theory:

Types of Deviancy
Does not have cultural goals
Does follow rules
Merton's Structural Strain Theory:

Types of Deviancy
Does not have cultural goals
Does not follow rules
Merton's Structural Strain Theory:

Types of Deviancy
Has some cultural goals
Sometimes follows rules
Merton's Structural Strain Theory:

Types of Deviancy
Has cultural goals
Follows rules
Anomie Theory
Suggests that deviance arises when people striving to acheive culturally valued goals, such as wealth, find that they do not have any legitimate way to attain these goals.
Legitimate means
Norms that define acceptable ways of striving for goals.
When a person who strives to attain a legitimate goal but is denied access to legitimate means will experience a state that reduces commitment to norms or the pursuit of goals.
Opportunity Theory
Another influence on an individual's adaptation is access to deviant roles.
Opportunity Theory:

Learning Structure
An environment in which an individual can learn the information an skills required.
Opportunity Theory:

Opportunity Structure
An environment in which an individual has opportunities to play a role, which usually requires the assistance of those in complementary roles.
Functionalism: Strengths and Weaknesses
- Emphasizes that social structure, not just individual motivation produces deviance.

- Social conditions exert pressure on individuals to behave in conforming or non conforming ways.

-Types of deviance are linked to one's place in social structure.

-Does little to explain why some behaviors are defined as normative and others as illegitimate

-Sees deviance as having stabilizing consequences in society, but overlooks the injustices that labeling someone deviant can produce.

-Rarely considers the differential effects that the administration of justice has on various social groups.
Functions of Punishment
Retribution - the punishment should fit the crime.

Social Protection - restrict offenders so they can't commit further crimes

Rehabilitation - Return offenders to the community as law-abiding citizens.

Deterrence - Reduce criminal activity through a fear of punishment.

Socialization - It teaches cultural values

Inequality - Privileges some groups at the expense of others.
Symbolic Interaction Theories
Differential Association Theory

Labeling Theory
Symbolic Interaction theories of deviance look directly at the interactions people have with one another and the meaning that people attribute to situations.
Deviance originates in the interaction between different groups and is defined by society's reaction to certain behaviors.
Situational Analysis
Meaning that people's actions and the subjective meanings attributed to these actions, including deviant behavior, must be understood in terms of the social framework or context people faced.
Differential Association:

Cultural Differentials
Although the law provides a uniform standard for deviance, one group may define a behavior as deviant, whereas another group defines it as desirable
Differential Association:

Differential Learning
Attitudes about behaviors are learned through associations with others, usually in primary group settings. People learn motives, drives, and techniques of engaging in specific behaviors.
Differential Association:

Differential Associations
What they learn depends on whom they interact with - that is, on their differential associations.
The Principle of Differential Association
States that a person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of the law over definitions unfavorable to violation of the law.

People become criminals when they are more strongly socialized to break the law than to obey it.

Deviance is culturally transmitted - that is, people pass on deviant expectations through the social groups in which they interact.
Deviant communities
Groups that are actually organized around particular forms of social deviance. Deviance takes place within a group context and involves group response.

Deviant communities maintain their own values, norms, and rewards for deviant behavior. They also create communities also create a worldview that solidifies the deviant identity of their members.

Deviant symbols
In-Group Rewards
Joining a deviant communitiy closes one off from conventional society and tends to solidify deviant careers, because the deviant individual receives rewards and status from the in-group. Disapproval from the out-group may only enhance one's status within.
Organized Crime
Crime committed by structured groups typically involving the provision of illegal goods and services to others, such as the drug tirade, illegal gambling, prostitution, weapons smuggling, or money laundering.

Often based on racial or ethnic ties, with different groups dominating and replacing each other in different criminal industries.
Criticism of Differential Association
Overlooks the deviance that occurs in the middle-class culture and among elites.

Tends to blame deviance on the values of the particular groups.

Differential association has been used, for instance, to explain the higher rate of crime among the poor and working class, arguing that this is because they do not share the values of the middle class.
Labeling Theory:

Rule Breaking
Most people break rules but not all are identified as "deviants." Only after an act is discovered and labeled "deviant" is the act recognized as such.
Labeling Theory:

Reactions of Others
It is the people's reactions, not the action itself, that produces and sustains deviance.
Labeling Theory:

Once a person is recognized as deviant, he/she is labeled as such by the criminal justice system.
Types of Reactions to Labeling



Reactions to Labeling Depend on...
Actor Characteristics: (characteristics of the deviant)

Audience Characteristics: The reaction to a violation of rules also depends on who witnesses it.

Situational Characteristics: Depends on the definition of the situation in which the behavior occurs.
Labeling Process
Because deviants are handled through bureaucratic organizations, bureaucratic workers "process" people according to rules and procedures, seldom questioning the basis for those rules or being willing or able to challenge them.
Those with the power to label an act or person as deviant wield great power in determining societal understandings of deviance - such as police, court officials, school authorities, etc. etc.
Deviant Identities:

Once applied, the deviant label is difficult to shed and it is difficult for the deviant to recover a non-deviant identity.
Deviant Identities:

Deviance refers not just to something one does, but to something one is labeled, and to something one becomes.
Types of Deviance
Primary Deviance

Secondary Deviance

Tertiary Deviance
Primary Deviance
The actual violation of a norm or law
Secondary Deviance
The behavior that results from being labeled deviant, like recidivism, regardless if the person has engaged in deviance.
Tertiary Deviance
Occurs when the deviant fully accepts the deviant role but rejects the stigma associated with it.
Deviant Careers
The sequence of movements people make through a particular subculture of deviance.

Deviants are recruited, given or denied rewards, and promoted or demoted.
Labeling: Strengths and Weaknesses
Strength: Recognizes that the judgments people make about presumably deviant behavior have powerful social effects.

Does not explain why deviance occurs in the first place. Does not explain why some people become deviant and others do not. Does not explain why officials define some behaviors as deviant or criminal but not others.
Conflict Theories:

The unequal distribution of power and resources in society produces deviance and crime.
Conflict Theories:

corporate and political crimes
Instead of focusing on street crimes, conflict theorist emphasize crimes of the rich and powerful such as corporate crimes and crime by governments for such crimes cause many times more economic and people damage than street crimes.
Conflict Theories:

Dominant Class
The class(es) or group(s) that controls the most important resources of society.
Conflict Theories:

Powerful groups use their powerful to create the institutional rules and belief systems that support such power.
Conflict Theories:

Power and the Law
Powerful economic groups are able to get laws passed and enforced that protect their interests.
Conflict Theories:

Deviant Invisibility
The upper class can also better hide crimes they commit because they have the resources to mask their deviance and crime.
Conflict Theories:

Criminal Label
Those with the least power are most likely to be labeled criminal by more powerful authorities.
Conflict Theories:

Elite Deviance
Refers to the wrongdoing of wealthy and powerful individuals and organizations such as tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions, corporate scandals, etc.
Conflict Theories:

Corporate Crime
Crime committed within the legitimate context of doing business.

Appropriating profit based on exploitation of the poor and working class is built into the fabric of capitalist society
The Aggregate Burden of Crime Reading
Aggregate Burden of Crime includes the overall annual expenditures of crime (police protection, corrections, loss of work and productivity, etc)

Opportunity Costs to Society: Society is deprived of resrouces and income that could have been produced or could have been spent on private goods or public services

1705 billion dollars a year (Equivalent to annual expenditures on health)
Powerless Groups
The classes or groups in society that are excluded from or have less access to social, political, and economic resources.
The excessive regulation of populations that are a potential threat to affluent interests.
Deviance as threat
Their behavior, especially the behaviors that threaten the powerful groups, as often defined as deviant
The Rich get Richer and the Poor Get Prison

Illusion of Justice

The goal of our criminal justice system: Not to eliminate crime or to achieve justice but to project to the american public a visible and distorted image of crime.

Keeping Crime High

Criminalizing the Poor: The criminal justice policies reinforce public fears of crimes committed by the poor helping maintain a criminal class of disadvantaged people

Criminal Class: It criminalizes the poor. It makes us beleive as if crime was the work of the poor.

Favoring Rich and Powerful Groups

Pyrrhic victory: Yields such benefits to those in positions of power that it amounts to success. It must fail in the fight against crime while making it look as if serious crime is the working of the poor and disadvantaged.

The crime rate has declined in recent years and the number of people in prison has tripled.
Crime and Race
African Americans and Latinos experience higher bails, have less success in plea bargaining, are found guilty more often, are likely to get longer sentences for the same crimes, are less likely to be released on probation, and receive longer sentences than White Americans