Last Updated 06 Jul 2020

Deviance and Social Control Critical Essay

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Deviance and Social Control Final Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for SOCL 101 Sociology By Social control is techniques and strategies used for preventing deviant human behavior in any society. All levels of society such as family, school, bureaucratic and government has some form of social control. Examples of family social control include obeying your parents rules, doing your homework and chores. School includes standards they expect of students such as being on time, completing assignments and following school ground rules.

The bureaucratic organization emphasizes the rules and procedures among their workers. The government expresses social control through law enforcement and other formal sanctions. There are positive sanctions such as rewards for obedience and there are negative sanctions such as penalties for disobedience. Positive sanctions can include a pleasant smile of approval or range to a ceremony of honor. Negative sanctions include informal penalties such as fear, ridicule, sarcasm and even criticism or formal penalties such as law enforcement, jail sentences, and fines. Conformity and obedience are two areas recognized for studying social control.

Conformity means to go along with peers or individuals of our own status with the tendency to change our perceptions, opinions, or behavior in ways that are accepted by the group’s norms. Factors relating to conformity include areas such as size of the group, age differences, gender differences and cultural differences. On the other hand obedience, which is compliance with higher authority, can have an impact on social control as well. Factors relating to obedience include complying with authority figures, the feeling of personal responsibility, and the escalation of harm.

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With awareness of these factors the more likely someone is to conform along with their peers and obey authority. Sanctions are used to encourage conformity and obedience and are carried out through informal and formal social control. Informal social control is carried out casually by ordinary people to enforce norms through laughter, smile, and ridicule. Formal social control is used to enforce norms through authorized agents such as police officers, judges, school administrators, and employers. Some laws, which are government social control, have been created due to society’s norms being important to people’s behavior.

For example the prohibition against murder is a law among every member of society. Whereas fishing and hunting regulations are a law among those specific groups. Our textbook points out that sociologist see the creation of laws as a social process because these laws are not passed from one generation to another, but are evolving from continuous change in society of what is right and what is wrong. Society has accepted and followed these laws not because of peer group or authority figure but by means of belonging or even the fear of being viewed as different or deviant.

In a sense we want to see ourselves and others to see us as loyal, cooperative, and respectful of others. Control theory is a view of conformity and deviance that stresses the social bond between society and individuals. Deviant acts, which violate social norms, may appear attractive to individuals but the social bond is used to help individuals from going toward those attractive deviant acts because of the fear of not belonging. A weak bond between society and an individual may actually push that individual toward a deviant act that he/she can benefit from.

As explained by Peter Wickman (2009), “Deviance is behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society” (p. 160). There are different degrees of deviance we all experience here in the United States. On one end of the spectrum there are accepted forms of deviance, like being late to a meeting, or texting while driving. On the other end of the spectrum there is criminal deviance, dog fighting, robbery, and possession of drugs are a few examples. However, the one thing that all deviant behavior has in common is it is all defined within a particular society and at a particular time.

Deviant behavior is socially constructed with the people in power defining what is expectable and what is deviant. An example of deviance here in the United States can be found in our freedom of religion. Our society was created with a strong Christian background; attending church on Sundays is widely accepted and practiced among many of our citizens. Conversely, state that you’re a satanic worshiper and you will most definitely carry a social stigma. There are other forms of deviant behavior that people can unwillingly acquire through a social stigma.

Being overweight can carry a stigma within our society because overweight people are assumed to be weak in character. Being grossly unattractive can also carry an unwanted social stigma. Social deviance is subject to different social interpretations and varies throughout different cultures. What is considered deviant in one culture may be considered normal in another. Dog fighting is an example of contrasting social deviance between the USA and Afghanistan. Getting caught dog fighting in the United States and you will be thrown in jail and carry a social stigma for the rest of your life.

The professional footballer Michael Vick is an example of this negative stigma. Conversely, dog fighting in Afghanistan is widely accepted and practiced every Friday morning (The Scoop, 2002). Oddly enough this was not always the case. When the Taliban was in control there were strict punishments for men who were caught fighting dogs. The Taliban encouraged sports like football, cricket, and martial arts in lieu of dog fighting. This is an example of how deviant behavior can be constructed by the people in power and how deviance can shift from one social era to another.

Deviance is a complicated subject. It can be widely accepted or rejected within a society, and will change over time. Throughout my life I have witnessed many forms of once deviant behavior becoming more and more accepted. I believe there are two primary reasons behind this shift. The first is Colorado Springs becoming a larger more populated city and the second is the mass media. When we think of the sociological perspective on deviance some people don’t even know what deviance means. Everyone has seen some type of deviance in an informal way or formal sense.

Society looks at people in a way that everyone should be the same. A person that has a lot of tattoos and piercing would get looked at that they are a bad person just because the way they look. Image, sexual act, and sexual orientation are a few ways that some cultures and people look to define deviance. Functionalist perspective is one key look into deviance. Durkheim focused on the study of crime. He believed that punishment within culture would help define normal behavior. The way he looked at things was in a way that he thought things could get fixed.

While reading this I believe everyone has their own way to express themselves no matter what culture they were raised in. The look into the functionalist perspective has a lot to do with the perspective of the people and how they look at things. Internactionist perspective explains why rule violations accrue and how people fight from conforming. They state that by not following rules, which are set by certain people, that you are a deviant. There are so many rules out there. Cultural transmission is or stated by the ethnic group or race groups.

When you are in school you tend to hang out with your ethic group or race because it’s where you fit in. Like when you see graffiti some people think it is a disgrace to the environment others think of it as art. Like when I look at graffiti I don’t look at it as bad, it’s an art and a talent. We all learn how to act by what social groups we are in or what we see. Everyone has their own perspective there is nothing we can do about that. We look at street racers as being deviant because they race. Race car drivers do the same things just in another place other than street.

So why do street racers get looked at differently? That doesn’t make sense. Trying to maintain social control is what they try to keep in order. There are main roles in life such as police that try to control or enforce the rules of the world. Then you got teachers, doctors, lawyers, and other court officials that all try to keep the world one way. In this sense they all try to pick out your looks, deviant in their eyes. By social profiling was a way they were trying to pick out who they thought was doing badly. Now looking at sexual deviance or sexual orientation people believe it should be one way and only one way.

The way society looks at it as you should be man and women. And sex should only be done one way. Also what is looked at as being sexual crime there are things that some people think that is against sex code such as bondage? They think it is a crime but some people like that. There are so many things in this world that people see as deviant but really isn’t. Conflict theory defines how there are lawsuits against or towards gambling, drugs and etc. Some cultures look at gambling as a past time but the law looks at it being bad. Why should the way we were raised or how we were brought up by against us.

The justice system is and will always judge against us. While looking and reading on deviants everyone is deviant in some way, shape or form. I know that I am looked at as being deviant. There are many out there that will always judge. Also by reading this opens my eyes to how things really work. Why should there be social norms on society. This is all on the perspective view of others. In Sociology, crime is identified as a deviant behavior. It is deviant in that it goes against accepted or written rules and laws that guide a society.

To understand crime and sociology, one must first understand the "Conflict Theory" founded by Karl Marx. Conflict theory sees society as two struggling groups engaged in conflict over resources. Under this theory, it is believed that the capitalist class (or the society elites) commits acts of deviance just as the working class does. The main difference is that society elites determine the rules regarding what is deviant. This difference among the people will always lead to conflict. This idea explains why there is crime in societies and why it will never cease to be.

Sociologists classify crimes by three types: crimes against a person, crimes against property, and victimless crimes. Crimes against a person include any offenses where violence is used or threatened. Mugging and assault are examples of crimes against a person. Crimes against property include theft of property or damage done to someone else's property. Burglary and arson are crimes against property. Finally, victimless crimes are crimes that are against the law, but no victim exists. Prostitution and marijuana are common examples of victimless crimes. In sociology, all crimes fall into one of these three categories.

A victimless crime is a term used to refer to actions that have been ruled illegal but do not directly violate or threaten the rights of another individual. It often involves consensual acts in which two or more persons agree to commit a criminal offence in which no other person is involved. For example, in the United States current victimless crimes include prostitution, gambling, and illicit drug use. The term "victimless crime" is not used in jurisprudence, but is used to cast doubt onto the efficacy of existing and proposed legislation; or to highlight the unintended consequences of the same.

In politics, for example, a lobbyist might use this word with the implication that the law in question should be abolished. Victimless crimes are not always so weighty. Some examples of low level victimless activities that may be criminalized include: * individual purchase and consumption of recreational drugs (provided one does not hurt anyone else due to the effects) * prostitution and/or soliciting for prostitution * public nudity or fornication * the consumption of pornography Crimes committed by persons for whom criminally punishable acts are a permanent occupation and the primary source of money.

Persons who engage in professional crime have the skills and means necessary for criminal activity and specialize in some particular type of crime, such as theft or buying and selling of stolen goods. Professional crime has its own psychology and customs, but many times professional crimes tie in with organized crime. Organized crime is transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit.

Sometimes criminal organizations force people to do business with them, as when a gang extorts money from shopkeepers for "protection". Gangs may become "disciplined" enough to be considered "organized". An organized gang or criminal set can also be referred to as a mob. In the United States the Organized Crime Control Act (1970) defines organized crime as "The unlawful activities of a highly organized, disciplined association". Criminal activity as a structured group is referred to as racketeering and such crime is commonly referred to as the work of the Mob.

In addition, due to the escalating violence of Mexico's drug war, the Mexican drug cartels are considered the 'greatest organized crime threat to the United States', according to a report issued by the United States Department of Justice. White-collar crime is a financially motivated, non-violent crime committed for monetary gain. Within the field of criminology, white-collar crime initially was defined by Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation" (1939).

Sutherland was a proponent of Symbolic Interactionism, and believed that criminal behavior was learned from interpersonal interaction with others. The term white-collar crime only dates back to 1939. Professor Edwin Hardin Sutherland was the first to coin the term, and hypothesize white-collar criminals attributed different characteristics and motives than typical street criminals. Sutherland defined his idea as "crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation. The introduction of white-collar crime was a relatively new issue to criminology at that time.

He was urging other criminologists to stop focusing on the socially and economically disadvantaged. The types of individuals who committed these crimes lived successfully and were respected by society in general-also criminologists; because these criminals were held to such a high regard, these individuals were given a blind eye to the crimes they committed. Our group choose this chapter ‘Deviance and Social Control’ to share with you all today, because we feel everyone can relate to the sociologists’ perspective regarding social control, deviance, and crime.

We have learned law and society play an important role in social control, deviant acts to one person may in fact be part of another person’s culture, and crime has many different categories such as victimless crime, professional crime, and organized crime that all have formal penalties that are enforce by governmental authority. References * http://willapse. hubpages. com/hub/Thailand-Health--Safety-and-Risks-2-Crime * http://encyclopedia2. thefreedictionary. com/Professional+Crime * Attenborough, F. L. ed. and trans. ) (1922). The Laws of the Earliest English Kings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reprint March 2006. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN 1-58477-583-1 * Schaefer, R. T. (2009). Sociology: A Brief Introduction. (8th ed. Pp. 160-163). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education. * One good reason why dogs miss the Taliban. (2002), The Scoop. Canine Nation. Retrieved from http://dogsinthenews. com/issues/0201/articles/020124a. htm * http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=GHuI2JIPylk&feature=related

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