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In this unit candidates will build upon their understanding of norms and values, of conformity and deviation, and further consider issues of power, control and ideology. Particular emphasis is given to exploring the social construction of reality as manifested in evidence and ideas about the composition of official crime statistics, the activities of the lawenforcement agencies, and the notions of deviancy amplification, moral panics, labelling, and self-fulfilling prophecy.

1. The Social Construction of Crime and Deviance
- Definitions of crime and deviance; the relativity of crime and deviance.
- Societal reaction to crime and deviance, including the role of the mass media; labelling, stigma, stereotyping, moral panics and self-fulfillingprophecy.
- The relationship between deviance, power and social control.

2. Measurement and Patterns of Crime
- The strengths and limitations of official crime statistics.
- Self-report and victim surveys.
- Different explanations of the social distribution of crime by age, social class, ethnicity, gender and locality.

3. Theories of Crime and Deviance
- Comparisons between biological,psychological and sociological theories of crime and deviance.
- Positivist and functionalist theories, including explanations in terms of anomie, social disorganisation and delinquent sub-cultures.
- Interactionist approaches, including labelling and deviancy amplification.
- Marxist criminology; left realism and new right theories; feminist perspectives.

Crime and Deviance in Our SocietyDeviant behaviour refers to actions that transgress commonly held norms. What is regarded as deviant can shift from time to time and place to place; "normal" behaviour in one cultural setting may be labelled "deviant" in another.
Sanctions, formal or informal, are applied by society to reinforce social norms. Laws are norms defined and enforced by governments; crimes are acts that are not permittedby those laws.
Crime and deviance to all different degrees is a normal part of our society. No thought or action is inherently deviant, it is only seen in that way in relation to a society’s particular norms. What is considered deviant in one society may be socially acceptable in another. For example, Mr X who went on vacation to Texas and stated that it is legal to consume alcohol in a car. Thismay be legal in Texas but is greatly frowned upon and highly illegal in most other States. Gambling is another act that is only legal in certain States, elsewhere gambling is illegal. These examples seem understandable but if you explore other countries of the world you will find that normal everyday acts that we don't think twice about, are considered illegal. In Albania, it is a criminal act topublicly display religious faith such as the act or "crossing" ones self, and in Singapore people are arrested for selling chewing gum. So, as you can see any act can be considered deviance depending upon Society's cultural norms.
The Structural - Functional Paradigm as studied by Emile Durkheim looks at deviance as a necessity.

The Development of Human Culture
[pic]  Functionalist theoriessee crime and deviance as produced by structural tensions and a lack of moral regulation within society. Durkheim introduced the term anomie to refer to a feeling of anxiety and disorientation that comes with the breakdown of traditional life in modern society. Robert Merton extended the concept to include the strain felt by individuals whenever norms conflict with social reality. Sub-culturalexplanations draw attention to groups, such as gangs, that reject mainstream values and replace them with norms celebrating defiance, delinquency, or nonconformity.
[pic]  Interactionist theories focus on deviance as a socially constructed phenomenon. Sutherland linked crime to differential association, the concept that individuals become delinquent through associating with people who are carriers...