Topic 1 deviance and control theories

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  • Deviance is a behavior that does not follow the expectations of a particular group and what is regarded as deviant varies from time to time and place to place which means it is culturally determined.
  • behavior can be deviant but not a crime
  • deviance is relative theres no way to to define a deviant act and can only be defind to a particular standard. and what is said to be deviant varies from different countries.
  • sociologists have distinguised 2 definitions of deviance:
  • NORMATIVE DEFINITION: this suggests that deviance is behavior which differs from the accepted standards of a society or deviance is the violation of social norms. It provides a simple and clear image of society and the chared values of it snd person who is deviant breaks these values.
  • RELATIVISTIC APPROACH:argues that societies are too complex to have a clear set of shared values which eveybody agrees on, and that there is a conflict of intrests and diversity of beliefs and values which makes up modern society. HAS 2 MAIN APPROACHES:interactionallist/ labelling approach & Marxism- vaues of society are dominated  by the ruling class.
  • See society as essentialy (value) consensual.
  • Dirkheim suggests that society shares a core set of vslues which he called 'collective conscience' &identified two differen sides of c+d for the functioning of society: a postitve side which helped chsnged society and a negative side that saw too much crime leading to socisal disruption.
  • Positive aspect of crime : social cohesion 
  • Dirkheim said that crime is inevetable and an be functional (it reaffirms boundries)
  • functs ephasises the importance of shared norms an values as the basi of social order hoever dirkheim sugguests that crime is inevitable because not every member of society csn be equally comitted to those shared values and norms.
  • in 1895 he suggest tht a certain amount of crime was useful and had a necceary purpose in society and argued that the basis of societ was a shared set of values called collective conscience 
  • it provides a framework with boundries which distingusishes between actions that are acceptable or not, however these boundries are unclear and  that alsothey change over time.
  • REAFFIRMING BOUNDRIES: the publification of court cases in the media from law breakings reaffirms the existing values
  •  CHANGING VALUES: When a degree of sympathy occours when a person is charged, thi may result in a public…


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