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

Learning Objectives

7.1. Deviance and Control

Define deviance and also categorize different varieties of deviant behaviourDetermine why specific behaviours are identified as deviant if others are notDifferentiate between methods of society controlDescribe the attributes of disciplinary social control and their partnership to normalizing societies

7.2. Theoretical Perspectives top top Deviance

Describe the functionalist watch of deviance in society and to compare Durkheim’s views with social disorganization theory, control theory, and also strain theoryExplain how an important sociology understands deviance and also crime in societyUnderstand feminist theory’s unique contributions come the an important perspective on crime and also devianceDescribe the symbolic interactionist approach to deviance, consisting of labelling and other theories

7.3. Crime and also the Law

Identify and also differentiate in between different types of crimesEvaluate Canadian crime statisticsUnderstand the nature that the corrections system in Canada

Introduction to Deviance, Crime, and also Social Control

Psychopaths and also sociopaths are several of the favourite “deviants” in modern-day popular culture. From Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, come Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The silence of the Lambs, come Dexter Morgan in Dexter, come Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock and also Elementary, the figure of the attention individual that lives among us offers a fascinating fictional figure. Psychopathy and sociopathy both refer to personality disorders that involve anti-social behaviour, diminished empathy, and also lack the inhibitions. In clinical analysis, these analytical categories need to be differentiated from psychosis, i m sorry is a condition involving a debilitating break with reality.

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Psychopaths and sociopaths are regularly able to manage their condition and pass as “normal” citizens, back their capacity for manipulation and cruelty deserve to have devastating after-effects for people roughly them. The hatchet psychopathy is often used to emphasize that the source of the disorder is internal, based on psychological, biological, or hereditary factors, conversely, sociopathy is provided to emphasize primary social components in the disorder: the society or familial sources of its development and the i can not qualify to be society or abide through societal rules (Hare 1999). In this sense sociopathy would certainly be the sociological disease par excellence. It requires an incapacity because that companionship (socius), yet numerous accounts the sociopaths explain them together being charming, attractively confident, and also outgoing (Hare 1999).

In a contemporary society defined by the advantage of second rather than main relationships, the sociopath or psychopath functions, in popular society at least, as a prime table of contents of modern-day social unease. The sociopath is choose the pretty neighbour next door who one day “goes off” or is revealed come have had a sinister 2nd life. In countless ways the sociopath is a cypher for many of the anxieties we have about the ns of community and also living among people we execute not know. In this sense, the sociopath is a very contemporary sort of deviant. Contemporary approaches come psychopathy and also sociopathy have focused on biological and also genetic causes. This is a legacy that goes earlier to 19th century positivist viewpoints to deviance, i beg your pardon attempted to uncover a organic cause for criminality and also other types of deviant behaviour.

The Italian professor of legit psychiatry Cesare Lombroso (1835–1909) was a vital figure in positivist criminology who believed he had isolated certain physiological qualities of “degeneracy” that could distinguish “born criminals” native normal people (Rimke 2011). In a much much more sophisticated way, this was also the premise that Dr. James Fallon, a neuroscientist at the college of California. His research involved analyzing brain scans the serial killers. He uncovered that areas of the frontal and temporal lobes associated with empathy, morality, and also self-control room “shut off” in serial killers. In turn, this absence of brain activity has been linked with certain genetic markers arguing that psychopathy or sociopathy was passed down genetically. Fallon’s premise was that psychopathy is genetically determined. One individual’s genes recognize whether they are psychopathic or no (Fallon 2013).

Figure 7.2. Lizzie Borden (1860–1927) to be tried but not convicted of the axe murders of she father and stepmother in 1892. The well-known rhyme of the moment went, “Lizzie Borden take it an axe, and gave her mother 40 whacks.When she saw what she had done, she offered her father 41. ” (Photo courtesy the Wikimedia Commons).

However, at the very same time that he was conducting research on psychopaths, that was studying the mind scans of alzheimer’s patients. In the Alzheimer’s study, he found a mind scan native a regulate subject that suggested the symptoms of psychopathy he had seen in the mind scans that serial killers. The scan to be taken native a member of his own family. He broke the seal that protected the identification of the subject and also discovered it was his own mind scan.

Fallon to be a effectively married man, who had actually raised children and held under a demanding career together a successful scientist and also yet the brain scan indicated he to be a psychopath. When he researched his own genetic history, the realized that his family tree contained seven alleged murderers consisting of the famous Lizzie Borden, that allegedly killed her father and stepmother in 1892. He started to notification some the his very own behaviour patterns as gift manipulative, obnoxiously competitive, egocentric, and also aggressive, just not in a criminal manner.He decided that he to be a “pro-social psychopath”—an individual who lacks true empathy because that others but keeps his or she behaviour within acceptable society norms—due come the loving and also nurturing family members he thrived up in. He had actually to identify that environment, and also not just genes, played a far-ranging role in the expression of hereditary tendencies (Fallon 2013).

What can we find out from Fallon’s instance from a sociological point of view? Firstly, psychopathy and also sociopathy are well-known as problematic creates of deviance due to the fact that of prevalent social anxieties about serial killers as types of criminal who “live following door” or blend in. This is partly due to the fact that we live in a kind of society where we do not recognize our neighbours well and partly since we are pertained to to find their identifiable traits together these room otherwise concealed. Secondly, Fallon acknowledges that there is no purely biological or hereditary explanation for psychopathy and sociopathy.

Many people with the biological and genetic mite of psychopathy space not risks to society—key to pathological expression of psychopathy are elements of an individual’s society environment and social upbringing (i.e., nurture). Finally, in Fallon’s own account, it is difficult to separate the discovery of the aberrant brain scan and also the discovery and also acknowledgement the his an individual traits the psychopathy. Is it clear which come first? He only recognizes the psychopatholoy in himself after see the brain scan. This is the difficulty of what Ian Hacking (2006) phone call the “looping effect” the affects the sociological examine of deviance (see discussion below). In summary, what Fallon’s instance illustrates is the complexity of the study of social deviance.

7.1. Deviance and also Control

Figure 7.3. Lot of the appeal of watching entertainers do in drag comes from the humour innate in seeing daily norms violated. (Photo courtesy of Cassiopeija/Wikimedia Commons)

What, exactly, is deviance? and also what is the relationship in between deviance and crime? according to sociologist william Graham Sumner, deviance is a violation of established contextual, cultural, or social norms, even if it is folkways, mores, or codified law (1906). Folkways are norms based on everyday social customs worrying practical matters like how to host a fork, what kind of clothes are suitable for different situations, or just how to greet someone politely. Mores are more serious ethical injunctions or taboos the are broadly recognized in a society, like the incest taboo. Codified laws are standards that are specified in clearly codes and enforced by federal government bodies. A crime is as such an act of deviance that breaks not just a norm, however a law. Deviance have the right to be as minor together picking one’s sleep in publicly or as significant as committing murder.

John Hagen (1994) gives a typology to classify deviant action in regards to their perceived harmfulness, the level of consensus concerning the norms violated, and also the severity that the response to them. The many serious plot of deviance space consensus crimes about which there is near-unanimous windy agreement. Acts like murder and sexual assault are generally regarded as morally intolerable, injurious, and also subject to harsh penalties. Conflict crimes room acts choose prostitution or cigarette smoking marijuana, which may be illegal but around which over there is significant public disagreement concerning their seriousness. Social deviations are acts like abusing serving employee or behaviours emerging from mental illness and addiction, which space not illegal in themselves but are widely concerned as severe or harmful. Civilization agree that they speak to for institutional intervention. Finally there room social diversions like riding skateboards on sidewalks, overly tight leggings, or facial piercings the violate standards in a provocative method but are generally regarded as distasteful however harmless, or because that some, cool.

The suggest is that the question, “What is deviant behaviour?” cannot be answered in a straightforward manner. This adheres to from two vital insights that the sociological technique to deviance (which differentiate it native moral and also legalistic approaches). Firstly, deviance is identified by its social context. To recognize why part acts room deviant and also some room not, that is crucial to recognize what the context is, what the existing rule are, and also how these rules became established. If the rule change, what counts as deviant also changes. Together rules and norms vary throughout cultures and also time, it renders sense that notions the deviance also change.

Fifty year ago, public colleges in Canada had actually strict dress codes that, among other stipulations, regularly banned females from wearing pants to class. Today, that is socially agree for ladies to undertake pants, however less therefore for guys to wear skirts. In a time of war, action usually considered morally reprehensible, such 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 has to do through the different sets of rules that apply inside and outside the arena. Action that are acceptable and also even encouraged on the ice would be punished v jail time if they occurred on the street.

Whether an plot is deviant or not counts on society’s definition of the act. Acts room not deviant in themselves. The 2nd sociological insight is that deviance is not an intrinsic (biological or psychological) attribute the individuals, nor of the plot themselves, however a product of social processes. The standards themselves, or the society contexts that determine which acts space deviant or not, room continually defined and redefined through ongoing social processes—political, legal, cultural, etc. One method in which certain activities or civilization come to be understood and defined together deviant is with the treatment of ethical entrepreneurs.

Becker (1963) defined moral entrepreneurs as individuals or teams who, in the business of their very own interests, publicize and problematize “wrongdoing” and have the power to create and also enforce rule to penalize wrongdoing. Judge Emily Murphy, commonly known now as one of the “Famous Five” feminist suffragists who combated to have women legally recognized as “persons” (and in order to qualified to organize a position in the Canadian Senate), was a ethical entrepreneur important in an altering Canada’s drug laws. In 1922 she composed The black color Candle, in i m sorry she demonized the usage of marijuana:

has actually the impact of control the fully insane. The addict loser all feeling of ethical responsibility. Addicts come this drug, while under that influence, space immune come pain, and could be severely hurt without having any type of realization of your condition. While in this condition they come to be raving maniacs and also are liable to death or indulge in any kind of violence to various other persons, using the most savage techniques of cruelty without, as said before, any kind of sense of ethical responsibility…. They space dispossessed of their natural and also normal will power, and their mentality is the of idiots. If this medicine is you are bothering yourself in to any an excellent extent, it end in the untimely death of its addict (Murphy 1922).

One the the tactics offered by moral entrepreneurs is to create a moral panic about activities, favor marijuana use, the they deem deviant. A moral panic occurs when media-fuelled publicly fear and also overreaction command authorities come label and also repress deviants, which subsequently creates a cycle in which more acts the deviance space discovered, an ext fear is generated, and much more suppression enacted. The an essential insight is that individuals’ deviant status is ascribed come them v social processes. Individuals are not born deviant, but end up being deviant with their communication with recommendation groups, institutions, and also authorities.

Through social interaction, individuals are labelled deviant or pertained to recognize themselves as deviant. Because that example, in ancient Greece, homosexual relationships between older men and also young acolytes were a regular component that the teacher-student relationship. Up until the 19th century, the inquiry of who slept v whom was a matter of indifference to the legislation or customs, other than where it regarded family partnerships through marriage and the transport of building through inheritance. However, in the 19th century sexuality came to be a matter of moral, legal, and psychological concern. The homosexual, or “sexual invert,” was identified by the arising psychiatric and also biological techniques as a mental deviant who instincts were contrary come nature.

Homosexuality was identified as not simply a matter of sexual desire or the plot of sex, yet as a dangerous top quality that characterized the entire personality and also moral gift of an separation, personal, instance (Foucault 1980). From that point until the so late 1960s, homosexuality was concerned as a deviant, closeted task that, if exposed, could result in legitimate prosecution, ethical condemnation, ostracism, violent assault, and also loss that career. Due to the fact that then, the gay rights movement and constitutional protections of civil liberties have reversed countless of the attitudes and legal structures that brought about the prosecution of gays, lesbians, and also transgendered people. The allude is the to whatever degree homosexuality has actually a natural or inborn organic cause, the deviance is the outcome of a society process.

It is not merely a matter of the occasions that command authorities to define an activity or classification of persons deviant, but of the processes through which individuals concerned recognize themselves together deviant. In the procedure of socialization, there is a “looping effect” (Hacking 2006). Once a group of deviance has actually been established and also applied come a person, the person begins to define himself or herself in terms of this category and behave accordingly. This affect makes it difficult to define criminals as kinds of human in terms of pre-existing, natural predispositions or individual psychopathologies. As we will see later on in the chapter, it is a main tenet that symbolic interactionist labelling theory, the individuals end up being criminalized through call with the criminal justice mechanism (Becker 1963). As soon as we include to this understanding the sociological research into the social attributes of those who have been arrested or handle by the criminal justice system—variables such together gender, age, race, and class— that is apparent that society variables and power structures are vital to expertise who choose a criminal job path.

One the the rule outcomes of these 2 sociological insights is the a focus on the society construction of various social experiences and problems leads to different ways of knowledge them and also responding come them. In the study of crime and also deviance, the sociologist frequently confronts a tradition of entrenched ideas concerning either the innate organic disposition or the individual psychopathology that persons considered abnormal: the criminal personality, the sexual or gender “deviant,” the disabled or ok person, the addict, or the mentally unstable individual. However, together Ian Hacking observes, even when this beliefs around kinds of people are commodities of objective scientific classification, the institutional context of science and expert knowledge is no independent that societal norms, beliefs, and also practices (2006).

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The process of classifying kinds of civilization is a social procedure that Hacking calls “making increase people” and Howard Becker call “labelling” (1963). Crime and also deviance are social constructs that differ according to the meanings of crime, the forms and also effectiveness of policing, the social features of criminals, and the connections of strength that framework society. Component of the difficulty of deviance is that the social process of labelling part kinds of people or activities as abnormal or deviant boundaries the form of society responses available. The major issue is no that labels are arbitrary or the it is possible not to usage labels in ~ all, yet that the choice of label has actually consequences. That gets labelled by whom and the method social labels are used have powerful social repercussions.