explains crime in terms of power & economic inequality. they say deviance & crime is a normal response to competition & conflict over scarce resources. suggest lower social classes are driven to deviance & crime to meet their basic needs & as a way to act out their frustration. upper classes use deviance to maintain their privileged status.
deviance/crime occurs when people experience some sort of disconnection, when norms seem week or absent. when this happens they are likely to experience anomies. 2 theories that explain these are the strain theory & social bond theory.
symbolic interactionist perspective
believe crime is learned through every day activities either learned with people we associate with or sometimes b/c of a label we required or used to become a self-fulfilling activity, it is the most direct. 1st- Primary deviance & 2nd- Secondary deviance.
violation of social norms but is not caught or is excused.
deviant behavior that a person adopts to describe who you are.
(Robert Merton)- suggests we live in a world that teaches us to set or go after our goals but we don't all have the same opportunity to achieve these goals & therefore it creates a strain.
social bond theory
the probability of delinquency & crime increases when a person's social bond is weak & friends promote anti-social behavior. bonds consists of: attachment, commitment to conformity, involvement in conventional activities, & belief in the legitimacy in conventional values & norms.
Merton's 5 ways of dealing with the strain:
1) conformity- provides stability for society. 2) innovation- people pursue the cultural goals through illegal or other socially disapproved means. 3) ritualism- occurs when an individual almost compulsively accepts the culturally approved means but doesn't use them to achieve cultural goals.
5 ways of dealing with the strain (continued)
4) retreatism- rejecting both the culturally approved goals & legitimate for achieving them. 5) rebellion- occurs when people reject both the socially approved goals & the socially approved means & then seek to replace them with new goals & means.
depends on the following: mental capability, place or time of your existence, one's reference group, the audience of those observing or sanctioning your behavior, physical characteristics, social level of acceptance, chemical make-up, one's wish to be a conformer.
being a conformer:
comprises behaviors & appearances that follow & maintain the standards of a group.
is ideally voluntary. if it isn't, other mechanisms are used to help convince you that it is a good thing to do. the enforcement of these norms often comes about through sanctions which can be informal/formal
a crime is an act that violates the criminal code, these acts carry w/ them penalties. the type of deviance sociologists are most concerned w/ is criminal deviance.
an act considered to be a violation of norms. it often comes with a mark of disgrace, or what is known as a stigma. sociologists maintain that deviance is relative, it may change.
3 factors are primary to define deviance
1) time, 2) place, 3) consequences (influence of a group making up laws)
several theories of how & why deviance occurs
hormones, diet & nutrition, genes, having low intelligence, lack in moral development, temperament/personality, poor nutrition or drug use during pregnancy, demons/possessed.
commit crimes due to internal forces.
commit crimes due to external forces
differential association theory
view that deviant behavior is learned in interaction with other people in a process of communication and that this learning occurs for the most part within intimate primary groups such as families & friendship groups.
inconsistencies that arise when people are taught to strive for certain goals but are not provided with the culturally approved means necessary to attain those goals.
theory of deviance suggesting that whether others label or define a person as deviant is a critical determinant in the development of a pattern of deviant behavior.
rewards or punishments people receive for conforming to or violating norms.
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