What Is Crime And Deviance?
- Crime is defined as the infraction of the criminal law.
- However, Heidenson suggests that the tern 'crime' covers a vast array of behaviour from the petty to the serious, it is important to make distinctions.
- Marxists argue that the term 'crime' is ideological in that it is used to describe the illegal activities of the working-class, e.g street crime, but rarely the illegal activities of the ruling-class, e.g. white collar crime and corporate crime.
- Deviance is refers to behaviour which breaks the norms and values of a society; e.g. swearing or wearing a wedding dress in town ((LOL XD))
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The Contexts Of Deviance
Deviance can take place in a number of different ways in society; secret/private deviance and open/public deviance.
- Secret/private deviance:
- This form of deviance is often concealed; it may be hidden in small places such as the workplace or at home.
- Open/public deviance:
- This type of deviance will often involve the following of the norms and values of an 'outsider' or deviant group.
- For example, new age travellers; they have a different lifestyle to the minority of the population.
- Downes and Rock:
- "Deviance may be considered as banned or controlled behaviour which is likely to attract punishment or disapproval"
- However, what constitutes banned or controlled behaviour varies according to history, culture, subculture, the social characteristics of the deviant, prevailing norms, values and laws.
- Deviance is socially constructed.
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Types Of Deviance
There are four types of deviance:
- Historical Deviance:
- Something which is deviant only at a certain time; i.e. gay marriage.
- Cross-Cultural Deviance:
- Something which is deviant in some cultures; i.e. American police have guns.
- Situational Deviance:
- Something that is only deviant in certain situations; i.e eating with your hands in a resturant is okay when eating chips.
- Deviance based on position/role:
- Something that is deviant for many but an occupation/ role may make it non-deviant; i.e. The police and Army can use violence.
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