Lecture 5- Deviance

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Lecture 5: Deviance:

Lecture 5: Deviance Chapter 6 Deviance and Social Control

What Is Deviance?:

What Is Deviance? How Norms Make Social Life Possible Crime Social Order and Social Control Sanctions Competing Explanations of Deviance: Sociobiology, Psychology, and Sociology


This photo was taken outskirts of Hyderabad, India. Is this man deviant? If this were a U.S. street, he would be. But here? No houses have running water in his neighborhood, and the men, women, and children bathe at the neighborhood water pump. This man, then, would not be deviant in this culture. And yet, he is actually mugging for the camera, making the three bystanders laugh. Does this additional factor make this a scene of deviance?


Violating background assumptions is a common form of deviance. Although we have no explicit rule that says, “ Do not put snakes through your nose, ” we all know that it exists (perhaps as a subcategory of “ Don ’ t do strange things in public ” ). Is this act also deviant for this man in Chennai, India?

The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective:

The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective Differential Association Theory Families Friends, Neighborhoods, and Subcultures Prison or Freedom? Control Theory Labeling Theory

The Functionalist Perspective:

The Functionalist Perspective Can Deviance Really be Functional for Society? Strain Theory: How Mainstream Values Produce Deviance Illegitimate Opportunity Structures: Social Class and Crime Street Crime vs. White-Collar Crime


White-collar crime usually involves only the loss of property, but not always. To save money, Ford executives kept faulty Firestone tires on their Explorers. The cost? The lives of over 200 people. Shown here in Houston is one of their victims. She survived a needless accident, but was left a quadriplegic. Not one Ford executive spent even a single day in jail.

The Conflict Perspective:

The Conflict Perspective Class, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System The Criminal Justice System as an Instrument of Oppression

Reactions to Deviance:

Reactions to Deviance Street Crime and Prisons The Decline in Violent Crime Recidivism The Death Penalty and Bias The Trouble with Official Statistics The Medicalization of Deviance: Mental Illness The Need for a More Humane Approach


Ted Bundy is shown here on trial in Miami for killing two women, both college students. You can get a glimpse of his charm and wit and how, like most serial killers, he blended in with society. Bundy was executed for his murders.


A boy walks past a member of the unofficial “ community police ” in Cruz Grande, Guerrero, Mexico.


People whose behaviors violate norms are often called mentally ill. “ Why else would they do such things? ” is a common response to deviant behaviors that we don ’ t understand. Mental illness is a label that contains the assumption that there is something wrong “ within ” people that “ causes ” their disapproved behavior. The surprise with this man, who changed his legal name to “ Scary Guy, ” is that he speaks at schools across the country, where he promotes acceptance, awareness, love, and understanding.


Mental illness is common among the homeless. This photo was taken in Boston, but it could have been taken in any large city in the United States.

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