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Flashcards in Chapter 7 Deck (36):

deviant behavior

behavior that fails to conform to the rules or norms of a particular community or society
-there are changing definitions of deviance (example: two men walking hand-in hand causing raised eyebrows in one place but not in another)


Biological Theories of Deviance

Cesare Lombroso (1835-1901)
-people are born criminals driven by their instincts to engage in deviant behavior
-believed that certain criminal types could be identified by their head size, facial characteristics and even hair color


Psychological Theories of Deviance

the part of us consisting of irrational thoughts and feelings of which we are not aware causes us to commit deviant acts


Sociological Theories of Deviance

functionalism-deviance is necessary to help people become aware of the standards we share as members of society


the functions of deviance

Emile Durkheim believed that deviance is "an integral part of all healthy society"
-causes the group's members to close ranks
-prompts the group to organize in order to limit future deviant acts
-teaches normal behavior by providing examples of rule violation
-helps clarify for the group what it really does believe in
-tolerance of deviant behavior acts as a safety valve and actually prevents more serious instances of nonconformity



refers to the condition of normlessness, in which values and norms have little impact and the culture no longer provides adequate guidelines for behavior


conflict theory

assumes that the elite use their power to enact and enforce laws that support their own economic interests


strain theory

Robert K. Merton (1938-1969) believed that American society pushes individuals toward deviance by overemphasizing the importance of monetary success while failing to emphasize the importance of using legitimate means to achieve that success
-four types of deviance that emerge from this strain: innovators, ritualist, retreatest, rebels



accept the culturally validated goal of success but find deviant ways of going about reaching it
-examples: con artists & embezzlers
(strain theory)



individuals who reject or deemphasize the importance of success once they realize they will never achieve it and instead concentrate on following and enforcing rules more precisely than was ever intended
-example: a person who continues to stay at a job because it's their job- they do only because they are supposed to not because they really want to- they have no love or passion for the job
(strain theory)



people who pull back from society altogether and cease to pursue culturally legitimate goals
-example: high school dropout



reject both the goals of what to them is unfair social order and the institutionalized means of achieving them
-example: tears down the old social order and builds a new one with goals and institutions they can support and accept


Control Theory

social ties among people are important in determining their behavior
-believe that what causes deviance is the absence of what causes conformity

four ways in which individuals become bonded to society and conventional behavior:
-attachment to others
-commitment to conformity
-involvement in conventional activities
-belief in the moral validity of social rules


Cultural Transmission Theory

Symbolic Interactionism
-two components in which criminal behavior is learned: criminal techniques (how to break into houses) and criminal attitudes (rationalizations that justify criminal behavior)


Labeling Theory

Symbolic Interactionism
-deviance is not inherent in any particular at, but instead is determined by the audience, by the interpretation that everyday people give to that form of deviance
-focus shifts from the deviant individual to the social process by which a person comes to be labeled as deviant and the consequences of such labeling for the individaul


primary deviance

the original behavior that leads to the application of the label to an individual


secondary deviance

the behavior that people develop as a result of having been labeled as deviant



a deviance that is the violation of a norm that has been codified into law, for which you could be arrested and imprisoned
-UCR tracks 8 offenses: murder, rape, aggregated assault, robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson


violent crime

an unlawful event such as homicide, rape, and assault that may result in injury to a person
-aggravated assault


property crimes

an unlawful act that is committed with the intent of gaining property, but that does not involve the use or threat of force against an individual
-motor vehicle theft


juvenile crime

the breaking of criminal laws by individuals younger than 18


white collar and corporate crime

refers to the acts of individuals who, while occupying positions of social responsibility or high prestige, break the law in the course of their work for the purpose of illegal personal or organizational gain
-it has been calculated that the amount of money involved in white collar crimes in the United States is 40 times greater than the amount involved in crimes against properties such as burglaries, larcenies, etc.


victimless crimes

acts that violate those laws meant to enforce the moral code
-the use of narcotics
-illegal gambling
-public drunkenness
-the sale of sexual services
-status offenses by minors


victims of crime

a person's race, gender, age, and socioeconomic status have a great deal to do with whether that individual will become a victim of a serious crime


New York Stop and Frisk Policy

the practice by which a police officer who reasonably suspects a person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a felony or a penal law misdemeanor, stops and questions that person, and, if the officer reasonably suspects he or she is in danger of physical injury, frisks the person stopped for weapons
-proponents say that the policy helps to fight violent crime
-opponents say that it raises concerns for many people over racial profiling, illegal stops and privacy rights



separate criminals from society
-punish criminal behavior
-deter criminal behavior
-rehabilitate criminal


situational crime prevention

many approaches to crime prevention in recent years focus on limiting opportunities for crime to occur utilizing techniques such as policing, alarms, surveillance and gated communities


external means of control

other people's responses to a person's behavior- that is, rewards and punishments



rewards and penalties that a group's members use to regulate an individual's behavior
-positive: actions that encourage the individual to continue acting in a certain way
-negative: actions that discourage the repitition or continuation of the behavior


formal sanctions

applied in a public ritual, as in the awarding of a prize or an announcement of expulsion, and are usually under the direct or indirect control of authorities


informal sanctions

actions by group members that arise spontaneously with little or no formal direction


techniques of neutralization

a process that enables us to justify illegal or deviant behavior
-denial of responsibility
-denying the injury
-denial of the victim
-condemnation of authorities
-appealing to higher principles or authorities


consensus approach

assumes that laws are merely a formal version of the norms and values of the people


conflict approach

assumes that the elite use their power to enact and enforce laws that support their own economic interests and go against the interests of the lower class



offenses punishable by a year or more in state prison



repeated criminal behavior after punishment