Chapter 7. Deviance, Crime, and also Social Control
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Figure 7.1. Psychopaths and also sociopaths are some of the star deviants in modern popular culture. What renders them for this reason appealing as fictional characters? (Photo courtesy that Christian Weber/Flickr)

Learning Objectives

7.1. Deviance and also Control

Define deviance and also categorize different species of deviant behaviour.Determine why particular behaviours are defined as deviant while others are not.Differentiate between different methods of society control.Understand social regulate as develops of federal government including penal social control, discipline, and risk management.

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7.2. Theoretical Perspectives top top Deviance

Describe the functionalist view of deviance in culture including society disorganization theory, regulate theory, and also strain theory.Define how crucial sociology understands the relationship between deviance, crime, and also class inequality.Explain feminist theory’s unique contributions come the an important perspective on crime and also deviance.Describe the symbolic interactionist method to deviance, including differential combination theory and labelling theory.

7.3. Crime and also the Law

Identify and also differentiate between different types of crimes.Differentiate the various sources that crime statistics, and also examine the falling rate of crime in Canada.Examine the overrepresentation of various minorities in the corrections device in Canada.Examine alternatives to prison.

Introduction to Deviance, Crime, and Social Control

Psychopaths and also sociopaths are some of the favourite “deviants” in modern popular culture. Native Patrick Bateman in American Psycho to Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The silence of the Lambs to Dexter Morgan in Dexter, the number of the dangerous individual who lives among us offers a fascinating fictitious figure. Psychopathy and sociopathy both refer to personality obstacle that involve anti-social behaviour, reduced empathy, and lack the inhibitions. In clinical analysis, these analytical categories should be identified from psychosis, which is a condition involving a debilitating break with reality.

Psychopaths and sociopaths are frequently able to manage their condition and pass together “normal” citizens, although their capacity for manipulation and cruelty deserve to have devastating after-effects for people approximately them. The term psychopathy is frequently used come emphasize the the resource of the disorder is internal, based on psychological, biological, or genetic factors, vice versa, sociopathy is offered to emphasize primary social components in the disorder: The social or familial resources of its breakthrough and the inability to be social or abide by societal rules (Hare, 1999). In this feeling sociopathy would be the sociological disease par excellence. It entails an incapacity because that companionship (socius), yet many accounts that sociopaths explain them as being charming, attractively confident, and outgoing (Hare, 1999).

In a modern-day society defined by the predominance of secondary rather than primary relationships, the sociopath or psychopath functions, in popular culture at least, together a prime table of contents of modern social unease. The sociopath is choose the nice neighbour following door who at some point “goes off” or is revealed come have had actually a sinister 2nd life. In numerous ways the sociopath is a cypher for numerous of the anxieties us have about the loss of community and also living among people we carry out not know. In this sense, the sociopath is a very contemporary sort of deviant. Contemporary approaches to psychopathy and sociopathy have concentrated on biological and genetic causes. This is a heritage that goes ago to 19th century positivist philosophies to deviance, which attempted to uncover a biological cause because that criminality and also other types of deviant behaviour.

Cesare Lombroso (1835–1909), an Italian professor of legitimate psychiatry, was a key figure in positivist criminology who believed he had actually isolated specific physiological qualities of “degeneracy” that might distinguish “born criminals” from normal individuals (Rimke, 2011). In a much more sophisticated way, this was additionally the premise that James Fallon (b. 1947), a neuroscientist at the university of California. His research associated analyzing brain scans of serial killers. He discovered that areas of the frontal and temporal lobes linked with empathy, morality, and also self-control are “shut off” in serial killers. In turn, this absence of mind activity has actually been linked with particular genetic markers arguing that psychopathy or sociopathy was passed down genetically. Fallon’s premise was the psychopathy is gene determined. An individual’s genes determine whether they are psychopathic or no (Fallon, 2013).

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Figure 7.2. Lizzie Borden was tried however not judge of the axe murders of her father and also stepmother in 1892. The famous rhyme of the moment went, “Lizzie Borden take it an axe, and also gave her mother 40 whacks.When she experienced what she had done, she provided her father 41. ” (Photo courtesy the Wikimedia Commons).

However, in ~ the same time the Fallon was conducting research on psychopaths, the was researching the mind scans of alzheimer’s patients. In the Alzheimer’s study, he discovered a brain scan from a control subject that shown the symptom of psychopathy he had seen in the mind scans of serial killers. The scan was taken indigenous a member that his own family. He broke the seal that protected the identification of the subject and also discovered it was his own brain scan.

Fallon to be a married man who had raised children and also held down a demanding career as a successful scientist, and also yet the mind scan shown he to be a psychopath. As soon as he researched his own genetic history, the realized that his family members tree contained seven alleged murderers including the renowned Lizzie Borden (1860–1927) who allegedly killed her father and stepmother in 1892. He began to an alert some of his own behaviour trends as being manipulative, obnoxiously competitive, egocentric, and aggressive, just not in a criminal manner. He determined that he to be a “pro-social psychopath” — an individual who lacks true empathy because that others however keeps his or her behaviour within acceptable social norms — as result of the loving and nurturing family he prospered up in. He had to identify that environment, and not just genes, play a far-ranging role in the expression of genetic tendencies (Fallon, 2013).

What deserve to we discover from Fallon’s instance from a sociological point of view? Firstly, psychopathy and sociopathy are recognized as problematic creates of deviance due to the fact that of widespread social anxieties about serial killers as a type of criminal that “lives following door” or “blends in”. This is partly due to the fact that we live in a kind of society where we do not understand our neighbors well and partly due to the fact that we are pertained to to discover their identifiable traits space otherwise concealed. Secondly, Fallon recognized that there is no purely organic or genetic explanation for psychopathy and also sociopathy.

Many individuals with the biological and genetic mite of psychopathy room not threats to culture — vital to pathological expressions of psychopathy are elements of an individual’s society environment and social upbringing (i.e., nurture). Finally, in Fallon’s own account, that is an overwhelming to different the discovery of the aberrant brain scan and also the discovery and acknowledgement that his an individual traits the psychopathy. Is it clear which come first? He just recognizes the psychopathology in self after seeing the brain scan. This is the trouble of what Ian Hacking phone call the “looping effect” (see the conversation of looping effect in 7.1 “Deviance and Control”) the affects the sociological study of deviance (2006). In summary, what Fallon’s example illustrates is the intricacy of the study of social deviance.

7.1. Deviance and also Control

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Figure 7.3. Much of the very nice of city hall entertainers perform in drag comes from the humour inherent in seeing daily norms violated. (Photo courtesy of Cassiopeija/Wikimedia Commons)

What, exactly, is deviance? and also what is the relationship between deviance and also crime? follow to sociologist william Graham Sumner (1840–1910), deviance is a violation of developed contextual, cultural, or society norms, even if it is folkways, mores, or codified regulation (1906). Together we learned in thing 3, folkways are norms based upon everyday cultural customs worrying practical matters like how to hold a fork, what type of apparel are ideal for various situations, or just how to greet someone politely. Mores are an ext serious ethical injunctions or taboos the are generally recognized in a society, favor the incest taboo. Codified laws are norms that are specified in clear codes and enforced by federal government bodies. A crime is therefore an action of deviance that breaks not only a norm, but a law. Deviance can be together minor together picking one’s nose in publicly or as major as committing murder.

John Hagen provides a typology come classify deviant acts in regards to their viewed harmfulness, the level of consensus concerning the norms violated, and the severity that the an answer to them (1994). The most serious plot of deviance are consensus crimes around which there is near-unanimous windy agreement. Acts like murder and sexual assault are usually regarded as ethically intolerable, injurious, and subject to harsh penalties. Conflict crimes room acts favor prostitution or cigarette smoking marijuana, which may be illegal but around which over there is considerable public disagreement worrying their seriousness. Social deviations are acts prefer abusing serving employee or behaviours developing from mental disease or addiction, which are not illegal in themselves yet are widely pertained to as significant or harmful. Human being agree that these behaviours call for institutional intervention. Ultimately there are social diversions favor riding skateboards ~ above sidewalks, too many tight leggings, or face piercings that violate norms in a provocative means but are usually regarded as distasteful, or for some cool, but harmless.

The point is that the question, “What is deviant behaviour?” can not be answer in a straightforward manner. No plot or human is intrinsically deviant. This adheres to from two crucial insights of the sociological approach to deviance (which differentiate it from moral and also legalistic approaches). Firstly, deviance is defined by its social context. To understand why part acts room deviant and also some space not, the is vital to know what the context is, what the existing rule are, and how these rules became established. If the rules change, what counts together deviant also changes. As rules and also norms vary throughout cultures and time, it renders sense the notions of deviance also change.

Fifty years ago, public institutions in Canada had actually strict dress codes that, among other stipulations, frequently banned females from wearing pants to class. Today, that is socially agree for females to wear pants, yet less therefore for men to undertake skirts. In a time that war, acts usually considered morally reprehensible, together as taking the life that another, might actually it is in rewarded. Lot of the confusion and ambiguity regarding the usage of violence in hockey needs to do through the different sets of rules that apply inside and outside the arena. Action that are acceptable and even encouraged on the ice would be punished v jail time if they developed on the street.

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Whether an action is deviant or not counts on society’s an interpretation of that act. Acts are not deviant in themselves. The second sociological understanding is that deviance is not an intrinsic (biological or psychological) attribute of individuals, no one of the plot themselves, but a product of social processes. The norms themselves, or the society contexts that identify which acts space deviant or not, room continually defined and redefined through recurring social processes — political, legal, cultural, etc. One method in which certain activities or civilization come to be understood and also defined as deviant is v the intervention of ethical entrepreneurs.

Howard Becker (b. 1928) identified moral entrepreneurs as individuals or teams who, in the company of their own interests, publicize and also problematize “wrongdoing” and have the power to create and also enforce rules to penalize wrongdoing (1963). Judge Emily Murphy, commonly known this day as among the renowned Five feminist suffragists who battled to have actually women legally known as “persons” (and in order to qualified to hold a place in the Canadian Senate), was a moral entrepreneur important in transforming Canada’s drug laws. In 1922 she wrote The black color Candle, in which she demonized the usage of marijuana: