Category Archive for: Deviance And Crime

Strain Theory

Strain Theory Goals and Means to Achieve Them Modifying Durkheim’s (l964a/1895) concept of anomie, the sociologist Robert ..Merton (1938, 1968)developed strain theory. According to strain theory. people feel strain when they are exposed to cultural goals that they are unable to obtain because they do not have access to culturally approved means of achieving those goals. The goals may be material possessions and money;…

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Opportunity Theory

Opportunity Theory Access to Illegitimate Opportunities Expanding on Merton’s strain theory, sociologlsts Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin (1960) suggested that for deviance to OCCUI’, people must have access to illegitimate opportunity structures-circumstances that provide an’ opportunity for people to acquire through illegitimate activities what they cannot achieve through legitimate channels, For example. gang members may have insufficient legitimate means to achieve conventional goals of…

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Conflict Perspectives on Deviance

Conflict Perspectives on Deviance Who determines what kinds of behavior are deviant or criminal? Different branches of conflict theory offer somewhat divergent answers to this question. One branch emphasizes power as the central factor in defining deviance and crime: People in positions of power maintain their advantage by using the law to protect their own interests. Another branch emphasizes the relationship between deviance…

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Deviance and Power Relations

Deviance and Power Relations Conflict theorists who focus on power. relations in society suggest that the lifestyles considered deviant by political and economic elites arc often defined as illegal. From this perspective, the law defines and controls two distinct categories of people: (1) social dynamite persons who have been marginalized (including rioters, labor organizers, gang members, and criminals)-and (2) sodal link-members stigmatized…

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Deviance and Capitalism

Deviance and Capitalism A second branch of conflict tlieory-vMarxlst/crltlcal theory-views deviance and crime as a function of the capitalist economic system. Although the early economist and social thinker Karl Marx wrote very little about deviance and crime, many of his ideas are found in a critical approach that has emerged from earlier Marxist and radical perspectives on criminology. critical approach is…

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Feminist Approaches

Feminist Approaches Can theories developed to explain male behavior be used to understand female deviance and crime? According to feminist scholars, the answer is no. A new interest in women and deviance developed in 1975 when two books-Freda Adler’s Sisters ill Crime and Rita James Simmons’s Mellow and Crime-declared that women’s crime rates were going to increase significantly as a result of…

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Approaches Focusing on Race, Class,and Gender

Approaches Focusing on Race, Class,and Gender Some recent studies have focused on the simultaneous effects of race. class. and gender on deviant behavior. In one study. the sociologist Regina Arnold (1990) examined the relationship between women’s earlier victimization in their family and their subsequent involvement in the criminal justice system. Arnold interviewed African American women serving criminal sentences and found that adolescent females…

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“Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives on Deviance

“Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives on Deviance As we discussed in Chapter 4. symbolic interactionists focus on social processes, such as how people develop a self-concept and learn conforming behavior through socialization. According to this approach. deviance is learned in the same way as conformity-through interaction with others. Although there are a number of symbolic interactionist perspectives on deviance, we will examine four major approaches-differential association…

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Differential Association Theory and Differential Reinforcement Theory

Differential Association Theory and Differential Reinforcement Theory How do people learn deviant behavior through their interactions with others? According to the sociologist Edwin Sutherland (1939). people learn the necessary techniques and the motives. drives, rationalizations, and attitudes of deviant behavior from people with whom they associate. Differelltial association theory states that people have a greater tendency to deviate from societal norms when they…

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Deviance And Crime

Deviance And Crime  what worries me said Marlene [a Southside Chicago block-club president], “is that there’s about seventy children on my block who use that park-and that’s not counting the o,!e.swho live on the other side. Can’t have them around your boys [gang members] You all are something else:’ Big Cat [a gang leader for the “Black Kings”] said, shaking…

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