Here is a Q&A-type study guide for students of Social Deviance.
- Sociologically, deviance is a matter of degree.
- In defining what’s deviant, sociologists reject the concept of absolutism.
- Sociologists agree that, for the most part, just about everyone has done something deviant.
- Social control is both formal and informal.
- The positivistic study of deviance is possible both with physically harmful and harmless forms of behavior.
- Situational and Societal deviance are viewed the same by researchers. (False)
- Ervin Goffman is important in the study of defiance because he came up with the concept of stigma.
- Deviance usually has nothing to do with mental disorders or illness. (True).
- The “positivism perspective,” when studying deviance, is the perspective that deviance is good for society. (False)
- The difference between positivism and the constructionism approach to deviance is that one focuses on explaining the deviant behavior itself, the other focuses on how society reacts to deviance.
- What is the central explanatory factor of self-control theory? A disjunction between the culture, which stresses success motivation, and society’s social and economic structure.
- Which of Merton’s adaptations is exemplified by becoming a drug addict? Retreatism.
- According to functionalist sociologists, prostitution is good for society.
- In the past two decades or so in the study of deviance, the influence of Marxist theory has decreased.
- The central, guiding, foundation concept in all constructionist perspectives toward deviance is social control.
- The seventeenth century in Europe was referred to as the age of reason and crime was explained as humans exercising free will (False). It was the 18th century.
- In the United States, judgments of deviance come from culture and religion, and depend on geographic regions.
- The concept of androcentrism refers to a bias towards androids. (False)
- The “Social Disorganization” theory argues that deviance is not located in the person or individual. (True)
- Sociologist Samuel Stouffer’s research found that on the issue of the death penalty there was only a small difference between the religiously devout and the nonreligious.
- Which of the following is exclusively a statutory crime?
- possession of illicit drugs (Correct)
- All crime is deviant. (False).
- Research that can be categorized into qualitative methods include ethnography.
- The three sources of data that are used by Sociologist who study crime include DAWN, ADAM, and Uniform Crime Reports.
- Surveys are best when given to a small group of respondents so you can interview each person individually. (False)
- Theft is prevalent in most societies that emphasize material values.
- Taking someone’s life is a primal crime.
- Theories on Rape include individual, sociocultural , and situational explanations. (True)
- According to Goode, when Sociologists study deviance it is not much different than when they study other topics in society. (False)
- The results of a sample of 60,000 Americans, where they were asked to rate the severity of a crime, indicated that crimes in which people were killed or injured were ranked higher.
Define deviance from a sociological perspective.
Deviance is a relative concept that involves three main things: attitudes, behaviors, and conditions. Deviant attitudes are those that break away from mainstream ideologies, and are generally unpopular because either not a lot of people think them, or the only people who do think them are incarcerated. Deviant behavior is any type of action that will receive negative sanctions from society. For example, graffiti in most urbanized cities is considered a deviant activity. The final aspect of deviance is conditions. Deviant conditions are any sort of trait or characteristic that would cause others to consider someone deviant. For example, having a tattoo is neither an attitude nor behavior, but it is a condition in a lot of people’s minds that means “deviant.” It’s important to note that deviant attitudes, behaviors and conditions are not inherently deviant, but become deviant when they violate someone else’s (or all of society’s) folkways and norms.
What is the microlevel perspective of deviance?
Microlevel perspectives on deviance is the taking into account of small social and societal influences that define, act out, and inhibit deviant behavior. Microlevel perspectives on deviance would include, for example, intra family norms that are defined and persecuted when violated - “We don’t leave our clothes on the ground in this family, young lady!” Society as whole may not adopt this attitude, which makes this a micro level instance.
What is the macrolevel perspective of deviance?
Macrolevel perspectives on devance involve larger, wholly-encompassing groups, like religion, the democrat party, and your workplace, and defines social norms and relative deviance according to the acceptable standards of that institution. For example, a macro level perspective might look to see why society thinks that murder is wrong (something that is inherently passed on as a norm in all levels of society). Since deviance is relative, established norms that are adopted by an entire society are persecuted much worse than smaller, micro level norms established by small groups.
What is the positivist theory of deviance?
In positivistic theories, people try to understand the world by asking “Why do people do what they do?” This sort of mentality generally opens themselves up to making spurious correlations between attitudes and behavior, and more of then not, restricts him or herself to matters of struct absolutism: Why did he steal that car, why did she shoot her husband, why did they riot? Positivists tend to focus on the effect, then the cause.
What is the constructionist theory of deviance?
Social constructionist theories, on the other hand, take a step back and examine the cause before the effect - that is, they will look at the factors that influence the person to do something before they try to determine why that person did it in the first place. Constructionists ask the question “why is that rule in place, who made that rule, and who is being accused?” An inherent misleading occurs when people look at the definition of the theories, because there’s nothing really “positive” about positivism - it’s rather absolute.
What are free will and rational calculations of deviance?
Free will is a theory of deviance that is generally attributed to the school of criminology. It was during the 18th century that people started to figure that people did wicked and evil things not because they were possessed by some type of demon or satanic thought, but because they freely chose to do it. In other words, people commit deviant acts by exercising free will. This was an important break from traditional criminology because it finally declared that people are basically rational and not (as a puritan may put it) “full of sin.”
Rational calculations refers to a sort of contemporary approach to a original school of thought. In this, theorists base deviant behavior not on some outside force (again), but attribute criminal behavior to being motivated by three types of things: first, by adequate motivation to commit a deviant act; Second, by there being a suitable target of the act; and third, the lack of oversight, whether from a parent, friend, or police officer.
What is Eurocentrism?
Eurocentrism is the believe that Europe (and by default, Europeans) is the center of the world’s history and progress, and that if it wasn’t for Europe, there would be no modern societies. This sort of ideology is commensurate with human history, especially in the time of Galileo, when the church used to hail the Earth as the center of the universe. Much like child thinking that there is nothing else more important than themselves, Eurocentrism creates a sense of ethnocentrism toward the rest of the world, making anything that is not having to do with Europe or the promotion of European ideologies deviant.
What is Androcentrism?
Androcentrism can relate to our previous essay on rape culture. When men feel that they are responsible for everything that is important in this world, women are forced by default to take to their shadows. If an androcetric society (like America) starts to have to deal with criminal cases in which women are the victim, questions like “What was she wearing” are asked more often then “What was he (the rapist) thinking?” Since deviance is relative, androcentrism will often vouch for male behavior as just “being one of the guys”, when in reality it could be oppressive or down right immoral.
- According to Goode, any drug use can be considered deviant when the wrong drug is taken, when it is taken too often, and/or when it is taken under the wrong circumstances.
- Attitudes toward marijuana among high school students in the US were most tolerant in the the late 1970s.
- The drug that is most likely to lead to a lethal overdose on a dose-by-dose, use by user basis is heroin.
- Sexuality tends to shape our social conduct. (False)
- The magnitude of public concern and fear of drug use in the US reached a peak in the late 1980s.
- Sociologically speaking, a sexual disorder/pathology is considered sexual deviance. (False)
- The essentialist position on sexuality is that sex is an immanent, indwelling force.
- Adultry is considered deviant because it is so tempting, yet is prohibited.
- Drug use can be considered a “human universal” because almost all cultures use psychoactive drugs. (True)
- Homosexuality is still regarded deviant by a substantial proportion of Americans, "departing from deviance", and no longer listed in the DSM manuals.
- ESP is deviant because it tends to be condemned or ridiculed by mainstream scientists.
- A mental disorder that is not a mental illness is autism.
- Essentialist look at the etiology, epidemiology, and treatment effectiveness when it comes to mental disorders. (True)
- When Constructionist discuss the issue of intersexuality they argue sex and gender is culturally determined.
- Deviance and Stigma do not really relate to each other because you choose to be deviant, but cannot do anything about a stigma. (False)
- Obesity can be considered deviant in the United States because it violates the “normative” standards of our society, the obese person is considered “immoral”, and it invites retribution in much of the public’s eye.
- When Sociologist discuss cults, they are often seen as “defending cults” because they are trying to understand this phenomena from the view of those who participate in cults. (True)
- A “crank”, as it applies to paranormal beliefs, is someone who is not connected to the scientific community.
- The “Just World Hypothesis” is the idea that we have the widely held belief in society that we get what we deserve.
- Organizational deviance differs from institutional deviance in that organizational deviance can be viewed as not deviant within an organization but deviant by society as a whole.
- All white-collar crime can be considered corporate crime. (False)
- Sexual contact between an adult and a child is always a crime.
- Corporate Crime is more about risk than intended harm. (True).