Sociological perspectives on crime and deviance

The "dark triad" of three personality traits: Sometimes called "dark personality. Psychopathy is a psychological condition in which the individual shows a profound lack of empathy for the feelings of others, a willingness to engage in immoral and antisocial behavior for short-term gains, and extreme egocentricity.

Sociological perspectives on crime and deviance

Review of Psychopathy.

ArtsSociology Topic: Being so open-ended a concept, it is natural that there should be some disagreement, even among learned scholars, about what exactly deviance is.

Deviance as a violation of social norms Norms are specific behavioural standards, ways in which people are supposed to act, paradigms for predictable behaviour in society.

They are not necessarily moral, or even grounded in morality; in fact, they are just as often pragmatic and, paradoxically, irrational. A great many of what we call manners, having no logical grounds, would make for good examples here.

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Norms are rules of conduct, not neutral or universal, but ever changing; shifting as society shifts; mutable, emergent, loose, reflective of inherent biases and interests, and highly selfish and one-sided. It is often hard, therefore, to come to a broad consensus about which behaviours are acceptable and which are not.

It is all very subjective, and definitions of deviance, accordingly, are subjective, too. It is important to consider how norms come into being. Usually they are instituted to regulate behaviour, especially in favour of those doing the regulation; certainly, it is true that norms are used and abused for various ends.

The norms held by the most powerful groups in society tend to be accepted as reference points by others. There is a differenceof course, under this definition between norms and formal law, and accordingly their respective violations.

The law, concerned greatly with morality and social order, strives to be objective; norms, although they have some of this in common, are by their very nature subjective. Deviance need not always be negative; indeed, it is often a vehicle for changing society for the better.

As one widely-circulated motivational tome has it,A quick glance at history reveals that the individuals who impacted their generations and affected the world most dramatically were individuals who, because of a circumstance, pressure, or decision, challenged the tide of convention, stretched the boundaries of traditionand violated the expectations of the norm.

Few great things have ever been done within the confines of the accepted norm. In essence, history is always made by individuals who dare to challenge and exceed the accepted norm. Why follow a path when you can make a trail? Have we settled for the norm? Traditions are powerful enemies of potential because they are full of security.

Although generally unpopular and occurring in small pockets, deviance can have a telling impact; indeed, it has the capacity eventually not to be deviant at all, but rather to become socially acceptable, or even ultimately the norm.

Such were the goals of, for instance, the racial-equality movements.

Deviance, Basic Concepts of Sociology Guide

Deviance as reactive construction This definition of deviance is concerned with the process whereby the conduct of one person comes to be viewed as deviant by others, through labelling and social typing. Most commonly it is seen as a rejection of biological, psychological and other innate traits.

Although in some perspectives humans are thus seen as little more than automatons, this is not a pervasive view among those who hold to this definition; the counter view believes us to be active agents who can think and give meaning to any situation.

Theories The sociology of deviance involves a number of theorems that seek accurately to describe trends and patterns discernible in the study of social deviance, the better to understand social behaviour.

There are three broad sociological classes describing deviant behaviour, namely structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism and conflict theory.

Structural-Functionalism Social integration is the attachment to groups and institutions, while social regulation is the adherence to the norms and values of the society. Altruistic suicide death for the good of the groupegoistic suicide death for the removal of the self due to or justified by the lack of ties to othersand anomic suicide death due to the confounding of self-interest and societal norms are the three forms of suicide that can happen due to extremes.

Where Durkheim states that anomie is the confounding of social norms, Merton goes further and states that anomie is the state in which social goals and the legitimate means to achieve them do not correspond.

Sociological perspectives on crime and deviance

Often, non-routine collective behavior rioting, rebellion, etc. Merton expanded on the idea that anomie is the alienation of the self from society due to conflicting norms and interests by describing five different types of actions that occur when personal goals and legitimate means come into conflict with each other.

When an individual accepts the goals and means together, he is working under conformity. White collar employee who holds a job to support a family. When an individual accepts the goals but uses illegitimate means in order to achieve them, he commits crimes in order to emulate the values of those who conform; in other words, they must use innovation in order to achieve cultural goals.

Drug dealer who sells drugs to support a family. An individual may lose faith in cultural goals but still feel obligated to work under the routines of legitimate daily life.

This person is practicing ritualism. A white collar employee who holds a job, but has become completely discontent with the American Dream. A young waif steals a pair of boots. Individuals may also reject both goals and means and fall under retreatism, when they ignore the goals and the means of the society.

Drug addicts who have stopped caring about the social goals and choose a drug induced reality in favour of the socially accepted lifestyle.The Gender of Crime is theoretically sophisticated, examining the topics of import for teaching students to think critically about the relationships of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, class, and inequality with crime and justice.

In addition to its thorough research coverage, the authors use concrete examples to make key concepts readily . A level sociology revision – education, families, research methods, crime and deviance and more!

The symbolic interaction perspective, also called symbolic interactionism, is a major framework of sociology theory. This perspective focuses on the symbolic meaning that people develop and rely upon in the process of social interaction.

Sociological perspectives on crime and deviance

Review of Psychopathy. William D. Tillier; Calgary Alberta; Update: Under construction. and before. Table of contents. 1). Synopsis of Psychopathy. A brief overview of some sociological perspectives on crime and deviance – from Functionalism through to Right Realism.

Theory Summary Functionalism Argue that societies need a limited amount of crime, because crime is inevitable (society of saints argument) and that Continue reading →. Academy of Social Sciences ASS The United Kingdom Association of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences formed in gave rise to the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences incorporated , which became the Academy of Social Sciences on ASS Commission on the Social Sciences Notes from the meeting on by Ron Johnston.

American Sociological Association |