Whenever the mores or laws forbid 'something that many people strongly wish to do, norms of evasion are likely to appear. These' a£e'the patterns through which people indulge their wishes without openly challenging ,the mores. For example, Roebuck and Spray [1967] -show how the cocktail lounge functions to facilitate discreet sexual affairs between high-status married men and unattached young women. More common norms of evasion in our society would include driving a few miles over the speed limit, truckers' systematic violation of weight limits, and a little cheating on one's income tax. The fact that a particular norm is often violated does not create a norm cf evasion. . It is only when there is a pattern of violation which  recognized and sanctioned by one's group 'that we have a of evasion. Patronizing a bootlegger became a norm of evasion when it became a standard, group approved way of getting forbidden alcoholic beverages. In becoming group-sanctioned, the evasion loses its moral censure. Among some groups, success in "fixing" traffic tickets or in seducing women will earn one the admiration of others. Norms of evasion thus are a semi-institutionalized form of deviant behavior. Sometimes a pattern of deviation is neither sufficiently accepted to be a norm of evasion nor sufficiently condemned to be routinely suppressed. In such situations, the toleration of such deviation may operate as a form of social control. Prostitutes and gamblers may be permitted to operate as long as they provide information other police. In most prisons influential prisoners who can ensure a quiet and orderly cell block are permitted to commit minor rule infractions [Strange and McCoy, 1974]. Thus, tolerance of some deviation, with the.implied threat of withdrawing this privilege and actually enforcing the rules, functions to maintain'social control.

Posted on September 2, 2014 in SOCIAL ORDER AND SOCIAL CONTROL

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