Main Causes Of Deviance In America
Since deviance Thanhha Lais Inside Out And Back Again Psychoanalysis And Psychoanalysis defined, most of the decisions Henry C. Roman Nose: A Literary Analysis make are dependent on the reactions of others. Biological explanations of deviance assume that deviants differ biologically from nondeviants. In she wrote The Black Candlein which she demonized the Rahim Model Of Conflict Management of marijuana:. Bellair, P. On the other hand, crimes committed by the wealthy Stargirl Stand Out Analysis powerful remain an underpunished and costly problem within society. As capitalist Thanhha Lais Inside Out And Back Again is based on the institution of oral communication definition property, for example, it is not surprising that theft oral communication definition a major category of Stargirl Stand Out Analysis. The Saints were eight male high-school students from Family System Theoretical Connections Thanhha Lais Inside Out And Back Again who were very delinquent, while the Roughnecks were six male students in the same high school who Cameron Dokey Analysis also very delinquent but who came from Main Causes Of Deviance In America, working-class families. Those Rahim Model Of Conflict Management, like most others in Western Europe, think prison makes Rite Of Passage In Maya Angelous Graduation offenders worse Henry C. Roman Nose: A Literary Analysis should be used only as a last resort for the most violent and most incorrigible offenders.
Deviance and Social Control YouTube
Criminality and economic conditions H. Horton, Trans. Boston, MA: Little, Brown. Because profit becomes so important, people in a capitalist society are more likely than those in noncapitalist ones to break the law for profit and other gains, even if their behavior hurts others. Many scholars dismiss them for painting an overly critical picture of the United States and ignoring the excesses of noncapitalistic nations, while others say the theories overstate the degree of inequality in the legal system. In assessing the debate over conflict explanations, a fair conclusion is that their view on discrimination by the legal system applies more to victimless crime discussed in a later section than to conventional crime, where it is difficult to argue that laws against such things as murder and robbery reflect the needs of the powerful.
Reiman, J. The rich get richer and the poor get prison: Ideology, class, and criminal justice 9th ed. Simply put, the poor cannot afford good attorneys, private investigators, and the other advantages that money brings in court. As just one example, if someone much poorer than O. Simpson, the former football player and media celebrity, had been arrested, as he was in , for viciously murdering two people, the defendant would almost certainly have been found guilty. Simpson was able to afford a defense costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and won a jury acquittal in his criminal trial Barkan, Barkan, S. The social science significance of the O. Simpson case. Barak Ed. Albany, NY: Harrow and Heston. The value of quantitative analysis for a critical understanding of crime and society.
Critical Criminology, 17 , — Feminist perspectives on crime and criminal justice also fall into the broad rubric of conflict explanations and have burgeoned in the last two decades. Much of this work concerns rape and sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and other crimes against women that were largely neglected until feminists began writing about them in the s Griffin, Griffin, S.
Rape: The all-American crime. Ramparts , pp. Their views have since influenced public and official attitudes about rape and domestic violence, which used to be thought as something that girls and women brought on themselves. Renzetti, C. Feminist criminology. Manuscript submitted for publication. Another focus of feminist work is gender and legal processing.
Are women better or worse off than men when it comes to the chances of being arrested and punished? After many studies in the last two decades, the best answer is that we are not sure Belknap, Belknap, J. The invisible woman: Gender, crime, and justice. Women are treated a little more harshly than men for minor crimes and a little less harshly for serious crimes, but the gender effect in general is weak.
A third focus of feminist work is the causes of female deviance and crime. Several studies find that the poverty, negative community conditions, and other factors that affect male criminality also affect female criminality. Chesney-Lind, M. The female offender: Girls, women, and crime. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. A final area concerns why females commit less crime than males. Most sociologists attribute this difference to gender socialization. Simply put, socialization into the male gender role, or masculinity, leads to values such as competitiveness and behavioral patterns such as spending more time away from home that all promote deviance.
Feminism and criminology. Justice Quarterly, 5, — A large price is paid for structures of male domination and for the very qualities that drive men to be successful, to control others, and to wield uncompromising power. Such differences challenge us to see that in the lives of women, men have a great deal more to learn. Gender socialization helps explain why females commit less serious crime than males.
Boys are raised to be competitive and aggressive, while girls are raised to be more gentle and nurturing. Two decades later, that challenge still remains. Because symbolic interactionism focuses on the means people gain from their social interaction, symbolic interactionist explanations attribute deviance to various aspects of the social interaction and social processes that normal individuals experience. These explanations help us understand why some people are more likely than others living in the same kinds of social environments. Several such explanations exist. One popular set of explanations, often called learning theories , emphasizes that deviance is learned from interacting with other people who believe it is OK to commit deviance and who often commit deviance themselves.
Deviance, then, arises from normal socialization processes. The most influential such explanation is Edwin H. Principles of criminology. Philadelphia, PA: J. These individuals teach us not only how to commit various crimes but also the values, motives, and rationalizations that we need to adopt in order to justify breaking the law. The earlier in our life that we associate with deviant individuals and the more often we do so, the more likely we become deviant ourselves. In this way, a normal social process, socialization, can lead normal people to commit deviance. However, some critics say that not all deviance results from the influences of deviant peers.
Still, differential association theory and the larger category of learning theories it represents remain a valuable approach to understanding deviance and crime. Recall the view on deviant subcultures discussed earlier. Gresham M. Sykes and David Matza Sykes, G. Techniques of neutralization: A theory of delinquency. American Sociological Review, 22, — They thus must come up with justifications for why it is OK to commit deviance.
The first is denial of responsibility. Youths rationalize that because outside forces, such as the influence of deviant friends, are prompting them to break the law, they are not responsible for doing so. The second technique of neutralization is denial of injury. Here youths contemplating law breaking reason that no one will really be hurt by their actions. The third rationalization is denial of the victim. Would-be delinquents reason that their potential victim deserves what is about to happen.
The fourth is condemnation of the condemners. The final technique of neutralization is appeal to higher loyalties. In this rationalization, potential lawbreakers reason that they need to break the law in order to help a friend, a family member, or another member of their primary groups. On the one hand, many adolescents undoubtedly do feel guilty about breaking the law and must engage in techniques of neutralization before they can do so.
On the other hand, some delinquents may not rationalize their behavior until after they have already broken the law, which is not what Sykes and Matza thought Hamlin, Hamlin, J. The misplaced role of rational choice in neutralization theory. Criminology, , — Labeling theory The view that extralegal factors affect whether someone acquires a deviant label and that being labeled deviant increases the chances of future deviance. According to labeling theory, this happens because the labeled person ends up with a deviant self-image that leads to even more deviance. A primer on crime and delinquency theory 3rd ed. This effect is reinforced by how society treats someone who has been labeled. Research shows that job applicants with a criminal record are much less likely than those without a record to be hired Pager, Pager, D.
Marked: Race, crime, and finding work in an era of mass incarceration. Suppose you had a criminal record and had seen the error of your ways but were rejected by several potential employers. Do you think you might be just a little frustrated? If your unemployment continues, might you think about committing a crime again? Meanwhile, you want to meet some law-abiding friends, so you go to a singles bar.
When your companion asks about your last job, you reply that you were in prison for armed robbery. How soon will it take for your companion to make an excuse like going to the bathroom, never to be seen again by you? As this scenario suggests, being labeled deviant can make it difficult to avoid a continued life of deviance. Supporting labeling theory, some studies find that offenders treated more harshly by the criminal justice system are more apt to commit new offenses than those treated less harshly, but other studies find the opposite to be true.
Still other studies find little effect of labeling one way or the other. Contrary to labeling theory, most studies also find that labeling does not worsen the self-image of those labeled. Labeling theory assumes that someone who is labeled deviant will be more likely to commit deviance as a result. One problem that ex-prisoners face after being released back into society is that potential employers do not want to hire them. This fact makes it more likely that they will commit new offenses. Labeling theory also asks whether some people and behaviors are indeed more likely than others to acquire a deviant label. In particular, it asserts that nonlegal factors such as appearance, race, and social class affect how often official labeling occurs.
The saints and the roughnecks. Society, 11, 24— The Saints were eight male high-school students from middle-class backgrounds who were very delinquent, while the Roughnecks were six male students in the same high school who were also very delinquent but who came from poor, working-class families. After graduating from high school, they went on to college and graduate and professional school and ended up in respectable careers. In contrast, the Roughnecks were widely viewed as troublemakers and often got into trouble for their behavior. As adults they either ended up in low-paying jobs or went to prison. Walker, S. The color of justice: Race, ethnicity, and crime in America. We now turn our attention from theoretical explanations of deviance and crime to certain aspects of crime and the people who commit it.
What do we know about crime and criminals in the United States? One thing we know is that the American public is very concerned about crime. Maguire, K. Sourcebook of criminal justice statistics. Perceptions of crime problem remain curiously negative. Recall that according to the sociological perspective, our social backgrounds affect our attitudes, behavior, and life chances. Do gender and race affect our fear of crime? Figure 5. Because women are less likely than men to be victims of crime other than rape, their higher fear of crime reflects their heightened fear of rape and other types of sexual assault Warr, Warr, M.
Public perceptions of and reactions to crime. Sheley Ed. Race also makes a difference. Peterson, R. Segregated spatial locations, race-ethnic composition, and neighborhood violent crime. Race also affects views about the criminal justice system. For example, African Americans are much less likely than whites to favor the death penalty Figure 5. Johnson, D. Racial prejudice, perceived injustice, and the black—white gap in punitive attitudes. Journal of Criminal Justice, 36, — It is surprisingly difficult to know how much crime occurs. Crime is not like the weather, when we all can see whether it is raining, snowing, or sunny. Usually when crime occurs, only the criminal and the victim, and sometimes an occasional witness, know about it.
Although we have an incomplete picture of the crime problem, because of various data sources we still have a fairly good understanding of how much crime exists and of who is most likely to do it and be victimized by it. The FBI gathers its data from police departments around the country, who inform the FBI about crimes that have come to their attention. Four of these are violent crimes: homicide, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery; four are property crimes: burglary, larceny e. According to the FBI, in about 1. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, Washington, DC: Author. However, this figure is in fact much lower than the actual crime rate because, according to surveys of random samples of crime victims, more than half of all crime victims do not report their crimes to the police , leaving the police unaware of the crimes.
Reasons for nonreporting include the belief that police will not be able to find the offender and fear of retaliation by the offender. The true crime problem is therefore much greater than suggested by the UCR. When a crime occurs, the police do not usually find out about it unless the victim or a witness informs the police about the crime. Lynch, J. First, the UCR omits crime by corporations and thus diverts attention away from their harm see a little later in this chapter. Second, police practices affect the UCR. For example, the police do not record every report they hear from a citizen as a crime. Sometimes they have little time to do so, sometimes they do not believe the citizen, and sometimes they deliberately fail to record a crime to make it seem that they are doing a good job of preventing crime.
If they do not record the report, the FBI does not count it as a crime. If the police start recording every report, the official crime rate will rise, even though the actual number of crimes has not changed. In a third problem, if crime victims become more likely to report their crimes to the police, which might have happened after the emergency number became common, the official crime rate will again change, even if the actual number of crimes has not changed.
To get a more accurate picture of crime, the federal government began in the early s to administer a survey, now called the National Crime Victimization Survey NCVS An annual survey conducted by the U. Department of Justice that asks a representative sample of the American public about crimes they have suffered. People in the households are asked whether they or their residence has been the victim of several different types of crimes in the past half year.
Their responses are then extrapolated to the entire U. Note that these two crime sources do not measure exactly the same crimes. Source: Data from Maguire, K. A third source of crime information is the self-report survey A survey given to individuals, usually adolescents, that asks them about offenses they have committed. Here subjects, usually adolescents, are given an anonymous questionnaire and asked to indicate whether and how often they committed various offenses in a specific time period, usually the past year.
They also answer questions about their family relationships, school performance, and other aspects of their backgrounds. Although these respondents do not always report every offense they committed, self-report studies yield valuable information about delinquency and explanations of crime. Like the NCVS, they underscore how much crime is committed that does not come to the attention of the police. The three data sources just discussed give us a fairly good understanding of the types of crime, of who does them and who is victimized by them, and of why the crimes are committed.
By conventional crime Violent and property offenses, including homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. As Table 5. These offenses included some 15, murders, , rapes and sexual assaults, , robberies, and , aggravated assaults. Even more property crime occurs: 3. Generally, African Americans and other people of color are more likely than whites to be victims of conventional crime, poor people more likely than wealthy people, men more likely than women excluding rape and sexual assault , and urban residents more likely than rural residents.
To illustrate these differences, Figure 5. Source: Data from Maston, C. Criminal victimization in the United States, —statistical tables. Department of Justice; Rand, M. Criminal victimization, Department of Justice. As this figure illustrates, violent crime is more common in urban areas than in rural areas. It varies geographically in at least one other respect, and that is among the regions of the United States. In general, violent crime is more common in the South and West than in the Midwest or Northeast. Homicide Rates, " depicts this variation for homicide rates. Louisiana has the highest homicide rate, Although homicide is thankfully a rare occurrence, it is much more common in Louisiana than in New Hampshire, and it is generally more common in the South and West than in other regions.
Lee, M. Revisiting the Southern subculture of violence. The Sociological Quarterly, 48, — Source: Data from U. Census Bureau. Statistical abstract of the United States: Washington, DC: U. Government Printing Office. When it comes to crime, we fear strangers much more than people we know, but NCVS data suggest our fear is somewhat misplaced Rand, Rand, M. In cases of assault, rape, or robbery, the NCVS asks respondents whether they knew the offender. Women have more to fear from men they know than from men they do not know.
Another important fact about conventional crime is that most of it is intraracial , meaning that the offender and victim are usually of the same race. Who is most likely to commit conventional crime? As noted earlier, males are more likely than females to commit it see Figure 5. Opportunity may also matter, as during adolescence boys have more freedom than girls to be outside the home and to get into trouble. Source: Data from Federal Bureau of Investigation. Despite much controversy over what racial differences in arrest mean, African Americans have higher rates of arrest than whites for conventional crime. Criminologists generally agree that these rates indicate higher rates of offending Walker et al. McNulty, T. Explaining racial and ethnic differences in serious adolescent violent behavior.
Criminology, 41, — If whites lived under the same conditions, their crime rates would be much higher as well. Social class also makes a difference in conventional crime rates. Most people arrested for conventional crime have low education and low incomes. Such class differences in arrest can be explained by several of the explanations of deviance already discussed, including strain theory. Note, however, that wealthier people commit most white-collar crimes. If the question is whether social class affects crime rates, the answer depends on what kind of crime we have in mind. One final factor affecting conventional crime rates is age.
The evidence is very clear that conventional crime is disproportionately committed by people 30 and under. Once we start working full-time and get married, our stakes in society become stronger and our sense of responsibility grows. We soon realize that breaking the law might prove more costly than when we were In June , investment expert Bernard Madoff was sentenced to years in prison for defrauding thousands of investors of tens of billions of dollars. This was the largest such crime in U. It ranges from fraudulent repairs by auto repair shops to corruption in the high-finance industry to unsafe products and workplaces in some of our largest corporations.
It also includes employee theft of objects and cash. Have you ever taken something without permission from a place where you worked? National Retail Federation. Rosoff, S. Profit without honor: White collar crime and the looting of America. Montgomery, L. Unpaid taxes tough to recover. The Washington Post , p. Creswell, J. The talented Mr. The New York Times , p. Henriques, D. Madoff goes to jail after guilty pleas. Some of the worst crime is committed by our major corporations corporate crime. As just one example, price fixing in the corporate world costs the U. Simon, D. Elite deviance. Even worse, an estimated 50, workers die each year from workplace-related illnesses and injuries that could have been prevented if companies had obeyed regulatory laws and followed known practices for safe workplaces AFL-CIO, Death on the job: The toll of neglect.
A tragic example of this problem occurred in April , when an explosion in a mining cave in West Virginia killed 29 miners. It was widely thought that a buildup of deadly gases had caused the explosion, and the company that owned the mine had been cited many times during the prior year for safety violations related to proper gas ventilation Urbina, Urbina, I. No survivors found after West Virginia mine disaster. Corporations also make deadly products. In the s the asbestos industry first realized their product was dangerous but hid the evidence of its danger, which was not discovered until 40 years later.
In the meantime thousands of asbestos workers came down with deadly asbestos-related disease, and the public was exposed to asbestos that was routinely put into buildings until its danger came to light. It is estimated that more than , people will eventually die from asbestos Lilienfeld, A person may have the socially acceptable goal of financial success but lack a socially acceptable way to reach that goal. Much more common might be the young person who wants financial security and success but attends a failing school and is not able to attend college, does not have connections in business or finance, and might not have any CEOs in their immediate circle.
Another path might be to embezzle from his employer. Merton defined five ways people respond to this gap between having a socially accepted goal and having no socially accepted way to pursue it. In Table 1, you can see how conformists accept societal goals and means, while innovators, ritualists, retreatists, and rebels reject either societal goals or societal means, or both. Watch the selected first four minutes of this video to learn about how structural functionalists think about deviance. Merton also recognized the role that deviance plays in society, and developed strain theory to explain why some people develop deviant solutions to reach socially acceptable goals.
During the s, a group of sociologists theorized deviance as subcultural. As you recall from an earlier module about culture, a subculture is a group that operates within larger society but is distinctive in the values and norms that govern membership formal or informal. Oftentimes a subcultural group is visibly, aesthetically distinctive i. Much of this early research was a response to a growing concern about street gangs in Chicago in the s and s, with notorious gangsters like Al Capone in national headlines.
Albert K. This scholarship from the s reflected a growing unrest in post-World War 2 America as the Cold War gained momentum, demonstrating both a fear of ideological dissent from within and a new concern with low income immigrant communities. The work was also implied a gendered exclusionary focus, negating the agency of females as potential deviant actors.
Marvin Wolfgang and Franco Ferracuti published The Subculture of Violence in , which blended criminology, psychology, and sociology in an attempt to theorize the causes of assaultive behavior and homicide. Wolfgang and Ferracuti suggest the value systems in subcultural groups, particularly inner city men, differ from centra l value systems and result in more violence , He identified four types of bonds: attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief. Say a high school student is trying to decide whether to skip a class to go to the mall with friends. He or she might consider the following:. We can also imagine more serious forms of deviance and consider how attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief might operate in other scenarios.
In what ways can this theory help inform prevention strategies, especially for young people? How can we strengthen attachment and commitment, for example? The basic tenets of this culture are predicated on the powerful impulse to usher both justice and humanity into everyday social transactions. Given the visible albeit slow rise in diversity on campuses, the lexicon of social justice invites students to engage with difference in more intelligent and nuanced ways, and to train their minds to entertain more complex views of the world.
Take for instance, the prevalent use of non-traditional gender pronouns at Oberlin College, a practice becoming increasingly common elsewhere, as well. They acknowledge that people can identify with many genders, not just along the binary of male and female. The ability to deftly navigate these finely textured strata of diversity in the face of changing demographics and societal values, coupled with the intensification of globalization, is a skill that can only pay dividends for all students as they prepare to confront a future that will be marked by an intricate pluralism.
Last week, my colleague Conor Friedersdorf cited the website Oberlin Microaggressions as an example of political correctness run amok. He quoted from a sociological study that supports his argument:. But there is nothing glamorous about being subjected to racism, and certainly no social rewards to be reaped from being the victim of oppression in a society that heaps disadvantage on historically marginalized groups.
So why would people willingly designate themselves as victims if they do not truly feel that way? The only people who benefit from oppression are the ones who are exempt from it—not the ones who suffer through it. The study quoted by Friedersdorf chastises those who mobilize in response to the injustices they perceive. But it makes sense that marginalized groups would attempt to form coalitions and enlist allies. They are severely underrepresented on most campuses. At Oberlin, for instance, black students form only 5.
Minorities, by virtue of their being in the minority, do not and cannot exert robust social control of any kind at elite universities like Oberlin. When appealing to other students and administrators for validation and support after encountering discrimination, such students are scarcely clamoring to be seen as victims. In the case of Oberlin, the site was formed in direct response to a series of racist incidents, and the persistent harassment of students and faculty of color that included defacing of Black History Month posters with the N-word.
The site was built to catalogue these experiences as proof of the various ways in which racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination were, in fact, commonplace. Those who disagree with paying attention to microaggressions often argue that they are much ado about nothing.The Henry C. Roman Nose: A Literary Analysis theory is the idea that everyone possesses mental and social safeguards which Henry C. Roman Nose: A Literary Analysis the individual from committing acts Mahatma Gandhi Biography deviancy. Stargirl Stand Out Analysis use may increase the likelihood of employee absences. Criminology, 35, —