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Chapter 7
Deviance and Crime
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What Is Deviance?
Functionalist Perspectives on Deviance
Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives on
Deviance
Conflict Perspectives on Deviance
Postmodernist Perspective on Deviance
Chapter 7
Deviance and Crime
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Crime Classifications and Statistics
The Criminal Justice System
Deviance and Crime in the U.S. in the Future
The Global Criminal Economy
Deviance
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Behavior, belief, or condition that violates
social norms in the society in which it occurs.
Deviance is relative and it varies in its degree
of seriousness.
Functionalist Perspectives
Deviance is universal because it serves three
important functions:
 Clarifies rules.
 Unites a group.
 Promotes social change.
Strain Theory
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People feel strain when they are exposed to
cultural goals they are unable to obtain.
Merton identified 5 ways people adapt to
cultural goals and approved ways of achieving
goals.
Merton’s Five Modes of Adaptation
1.
2.
Conformity - accept culturally approved
goals and pursue them through approved
means.
Innovation - accept culturally approved goals
but adopt disapproved means for achieving
them.
Merton’s Five Modes of Adaptation
3.
4.
5.
Ritualism - give up on societal goals but not
the approved ways of achieving them.
Retreatism - abandon approved goals and
the approved means of achieving them.
Rebellion - challenge approved goals and
advocate an alternative set of goals.
Symbolic Interactionist
Perspectives on Deviance
Three approaches:
1. Differential association and Differential
reinforcement theory
2. Control theory
3. Labeling theory
Control Theory: Social Bonding
Deviant behavior is related to social bonds:
 Attachments to other people.
 Commitment to conformity.
 Involvement in conventional activities.
 Belief in conventional values and norms.
Labeling Theory
Stages in the labeling process:
1. Primary deviance - initial act of rule
breaking.
2. Secondary deviance - acceptance of
identity as a deviant.
3. Tertiary deviance - normalizing deviant
behavior by relabeling it as nondeviant.
Conflict Perspectives on Deviance
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People in positions of power use the law to
protect their own interests.
Laws ensure that individuals at the bottom of
the social class do not infringe on the property
or threaten the safety of those at the top.
Feminist Perspectives
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Liberal - women's deviance is a rational
response to gender discrimination.
Radical - women's deviance and crime is
related to patriarchy.
Socialist - women's deviance and crime is the
result of women's exploitation by capitalism
and patriarchy.
Sociologists Classifications of
Crime
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Conventional (street) crime
Occupational (white-collar) a crime
Corporate crime
Organized crime
Political crime
Four Types of Political Crime
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Secrecy and deception designed to
manipulate public opinion.
Abuse of power.
Prosecution of individuals due to their political
activities.
Official violence, such as police brutality
against people of color or the use of citizens
as unwilling guinea pigs in scientific research.
Functions of Punishment
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Retribution - a penalty is imposed on the
offender.
Social protection -restricting offenders so they
cannot commit further crimes.
Rehabilitation -returns offenders to the
community as law-abiding citizens.
Deterrence - instilling a fear of punishment.
Deviance and Crime in the U.S.
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People agree that crime is an important issue
but are divided over what to do about it.
The best approach for reducing delinquency
and crime is prevention.
As long as racism, sexism, classism, and
ageism exist, people will see deviant and
criminal behavior through a selective lens.
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