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Homework for March 13

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Homework for March 13, 2018
1. What is deviance?
Deviance is behavior that violates social norms and arouses negative social reactions.
Some behavior is considered so harmful that governments enact written laws that ban the
behavior (p.210)
2. How is deviance socially constructed
The fact that both deviance and crime arouse negative social reactions (p.210) reminds us
that every society needs to ensure that its members generally obey social norms in their
daily interaction. Social control refers to ways in which a society tries to prevent and
sanction behavior that violates norms. Just as a society like the United States has informal
and formal norms, so does it have informal and formal social control. Generally, informal
social control is used to control behavior that violates informal norms, and formal social
control is used to control behavior that violates formal norms. We typically decline to
violate informal norms, if we even think of violating them in the first place, because we
fear risking the negative reactions of other people. These reactions, and thus examples of
informal social control, include anger, disappointment, ostracism, and ridicule. Formal
social control in the United States typically involves the legal system (police, judges and
prosecutors, corrections officials) and also, for businesses, the many local, state, and
federal regulatory agencies that constitute the regulatory system

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If we want to understand deviance (p.214), we must first understand why it occurs. Many
sociological theories of deviance exist, and together they offer a more complete
understanding of deviance than any one theory offers by itself. Together they help answer
the questions posed earlier: why rates of deviance differ within social categories and
across locations, why some behaviors are more likely than others to be considered
deviant, and why some kinds of people are more likely than others to be considered
deviant and to be punished for deviant behavior. As a whole, sociological explanations
highlight the importance of the social environment and of social interaction for deviance
and the commission of crime.
3. How do sociological theories differ from biological and psychological explanations of
deviance?
Both biological and psychological explanations assume that deviance stems from
problems arising inside the individual.
Sociological explanations attribute deviance to various aspects of the social environment.
Biological explanations of deviance assume that deviants differ biologically from non-
deviants. Psychological explanations of deviance assume that deviants have a
psychological problem that produces their deviance. Sociological theories emphasize
different aspects of the social environment as contributors to deviance and crime (p.251).
4. Discuss the main sociological theories of deviance. (p. 215)
Durkheim’s views:

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Homework for March 13, 2018 1. What is deviance? Deviance is behavior that violates social norms and arouses negative social reactions. Some behavior is considered so harmful that governments enact written laws that ban the behavior (p.210) 2. How is deviance socially constructed The fact that both deviance and crime arouse negative social reactions (p.210) reminds us that every society needs to ensure that its members generally obey social norms in their daily interaction. Social control refers to ways in which a society tries to prevent and sanction behavior that violates norms. Just as a society like the United States has informal and formal norms, so does it have informal and formal social control. Generally, informal social control is used to control behavior that violates informal norms, and formal social control is used to control behavior that violates formal norms. We typically decline to violate informal norms, if we even think of violating them in the first place, because we fear risking the negative reactions of other people. These reactions, and thus examples of informal social control, include anger, disappointment, ostracism, and ridicule. Formal social control in the United States typically involves the legal system (police, judges and prosecutors, corrections officials) and also, for businesses, the many local, state, and federal regulatory agencies that constitute the regulatory system If we want to understand deviance (p.214), we must first understand w ...
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