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CHAPTER

DEVIANCE AND SOCIAL


CONTROL

CHAPTER OUTLINE
WHAT IS DEVIANCE
Deviance and Social Stigma
Deviance and Technology
SOCIAL CONTROL
Conformity and Obedience
Informal and Formal Social Control
LAW AND SOCIETY
SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON DEVIANCE
Functionalist Perspective
Interactionist Perspective
Labeling Theory
Conflict Theory
Feminist Perspective

CRIME
Types of Crime
Crime Statistics
SOCIAL POLICY AND SOCIAL CONTROL: The Death Penalty in the United States and
Worldwide

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Boxes
Sociology on Campus: Binge Drinking
Trend Spotting Box: Incarceration Nation
Research Today: Does Crime Pay?
Sociology on Campus: Campus Crime
Taking Sociology to Work: Stephanie Vezzani, Special Agent, U.S. Secret Service

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

WHATS NEW IN CHAPTER 8

1. Discuss what is meant by deviance.

Chapter-opening excerpt from Cop in


the Hood: My Year Policing
Baltimores Eastern District, by Peter
Moskos

Trend Spotting Box, Incarceration


Nation

Subsection on Hate Crime, with


figure, Categorization of Reported
Hate Crimes

Social Policy section on the Death


Penalty, with Mapping Life
Worldwide map, Death Penalty
Status by Country

2. Discuss informal and formal social


control.
3. Discuss the sociological view of lawmaking.
4. Discuss the functionalist perspective of
deviance.
5. Discuss the interactionist perspective of
deviance.
6. Discuss conflict and feminist
perspectives of crime and deviance.
7. Identify and describe the various types of
crime.
8. Identify and describe the sources of
crime data in the United States.
9. Discuss the nature and extent of crime in
the United States.

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CHAPTER SUMMARY
Deviance is behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group of society.
Deviance involves the violation of group norms, which may or may not be formalized into law.
It is a comprehensive concept that includes not only criminal violations but also many actions
not subject to formal prosecution or sanction. The term stigma was coined by Erving Goffman
to describe the labels society uses to devalue the members of certain social groups. People are
often stigmatized for deviant behaviors they may no longer engage in.
The term social control refers to techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human
behavior. Social control occurs in families, peer groups, and bureaucratic organizations.
Members of society are expected to act properly. Sanctions, which may be either penalties or
rewards, help to induce behavior consistent with social norms. Conformity is defined as going
along with ones peers even though they have no special right to direct our behavior. Obedience
is defined as compliance with higher authorities in a hierarchal structure. People casually,
through such means as smiles, laughter, and ridicule, carry out informal social control.
Authorized agents, such as police officers, physicians, school administrators, employers, and
military officers, carry out formal social control.
Social norms which are very important to society are formalized into law. Law may be defined
as governmental social control. Sociologists view the creation of laws as a social process.
According to the functionalist view, deviance is a normal part of human existence. Functionalists
suggest that deviance helps to define the limits of proper behavior. Robert Merton adapted mile
Durkheims notion of anomie to explain why people accept or reject the goals of a society.
Mertons theory posits five basic forms of adaptations: (1) conformity, (2) innovation,
(3) ritualism, (4) retreatism, and (5) rebellion. Mertons anomie theory of deviance, though
popular, has had relatively few applications.
The interactionist perspective is reflected in theories based on cultural transmission, social
disorganization, and labeling. Cultural transmission, which Edwin Sutherland drew upon,
suggests that criminal behavior is learned through interactions with others. He used the term
differential association to describe the process through which exposure to attitudes favorable to
criminal acts leads to violation of rules. Social disorganization theory suggests that deviance
increases when communal relationships in neighborhoods and social networks are weakened or
absent. Labeling theory emphasizes how a person comes to be labeled as deviant or to accept
the label. Labeling theory is also referred to as the societal-reaction approach. The popularity of
labeling theory is evident in the emergence of the social constructionist perspective, which
purports that deviance is the product of the culture in which we live. Social constructionists focus
on the decision-making process that creates the deviant identity.
The conflict view of deviance suggests that people with power protect their own interests and
define deviance to suit their own needs. Relating to differential justice, Richard Quinney argues
that lawmaking is often an attempt by the powerful to coerce others into their own brand of
morality. Akin to the roots of conflict theory, the feminist perspective suggests that deviance,

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including crime, tends to flow from economic relationships. Feminists suggest that cultural views
and attitudes toward women influence how women are perceived and labeled.
Crime represents a deviation from formal social norms administered by the state. Types of crime
include professional crime, organized crime, white-collar and technology-based crime,
corporate crime, transnational crime, and victimless crime. There has been a significant decline
in violent crime in the United States. The accuracy of measuring crime and tabulating crime
statistics varies widely. The National Crime Victimization Survey was initiated in 1972 to
question ordinary people about crime victimization.

RESOURCE INTEGRATOR
1. What is the
IN THE TEXT
sociological
Key Terms: deviance, stigma
understanding of
Visual Support: Photo of Alex Rodriguez; Photo of Heidi Montag
deviance?
IN THE INSTRUCTORS MANUAL
Additional Lecture Ideas: 8-1, 8-3, 8-4
Classroom Discussion Topics: 8-5, 8-6, 8-7, 8-8
Topics and Sources for Student Research: Obedience-Another
Look
Video Resources: Deviance and Social Control; Obedience to
Authority
2. What are the various
means of social
control?

3. What is the
sociological
understanding of law?

IN THE TEXT
Key Terms: social control, sanctions, conformity, obedience,
informal social control, formal social control
Box: Sociology on Campus, Binge Drinking
Visual Support: Photo of man in Finnish prison contrasted with
U.S. prisoner; Photo of Milgram experiment; Photo of public
humiliation as punishment
IN THE INSTRUCTORS MANUAL
Additional Lecture Ideas: 8-1, 8-2, 8-5
Classroom Discussion Topics: 8-2, 8-3, 8-4, 8-9,
Topics and Sources for Student Research: ObedienceAnother
Look; Labeling of People with AIDS; Labeling; Community Crime
Watch; Blacks in Prisons
Video Resources: Deviance and Social Control; Obedience to
Authority
REEL SOCIETY CD
Topic Index: Conformity; Sanctions
IN THE TEXT
Key Terms: law, control theory
Box: Trend Spotting, Incarceration Nation
Visual Support: Photo of custodian in Singapore; Figure 8-1 The
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Status of Medical Marijuana


4. How do functionalists,
conflict theorists,
feminists, and
interactionists explain
deviance?

5. What are the different


types of crime?

6. What are the major


trends in crime
statistics?

IN THE TEXT
Key Terms: anomie, anomie theory of deviance, cultural
transmission, differential association, social disorganization theory,
labeling theory, societal-reaction approach, social constructionist
perspective, differential justice
Box: Research Today, Does Crime Pay?
Visual Support: Table 8-1 Modes of Individual Adaptation; Photo
of drag racing; Photo from Boys Dont Cry; 1930s anti-drug
propaganda poster; Table 8-2 Sociological Perspectives on
Deviance
IN THE INSTRUCTORS MANUAL
Additional Lecture Ideas: 8-4, 8-5, 8-14
Topics and Sources for Student Research: Labeling; Race and
Criminology; Crime in a Changing Society
REEL SOCIETY CD
Topic Index: Anomie Theory of Deviance
IN THE TEXT
Key Terms: crime, index crime, victimless crime, professional
criminal, organized crime, white-collar crime, hate crime,
transnational crime
Box: Sociology on Campus, Campus Crime
Visual Support: Photo of cracked safe; Cartoon about white-collar
crime; Figure 8-2 Categorization of Reported Hate Crimes; Table 83 Types of Transnational Crime
IN THE INSTRUCTORS MANUAL
Additional Lecture Ideas: 8-3, 8-6, 8-7
Classroom Discussion Topics: 8-10, 8-11, 8-12, 8-13
Topics and Sources for Student Research: Rape Education Videos;
White-Collar Crime; Crime in a Changing Society
Video Resources: State-Sponsored Terrorism; Terrorism; The
Tarnished Shield
LECTURE LAUNCHER NBC NEWS VIDEO CLIPS
Volume 1: How Japan Controls Guns
IN THE TEXT
Key Terms: victimization survey
Box: Taking Sociology to Work Stephanie Vezzani: Special Agent,
US Secret Service
Visual Support: Table 8-4 National Crime Rates and Percentage
Change; Figure 8-3 Victimization Rates 1973-2009
IN THE INSTRUCTORS MANUAL

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Classroom Discussion Topics: 8-13


Topics and Sources for Student Research: U.S. Department of
Justice

LECTURE OUTLINE
I.
Deviance
Deviance refers to behavior (or beliefs) that violate the standards of conduct or
expectations of a group or society.
Deviance involves the violation of group norms, which may or may not be formalized
into law. It is a comprehensive term which includes both legal (formal) and normative
(informal) violations.
Once assigned a deviant label, individuals may have difficulty presenting a positive
image to others. Erving Goffman coined the term stigma to describe the labels that
society uses to devalue members of certain social groups.
Increasing technology (as well as increased access to such technologies) has led to new
categories of deviance and considerable disagreement over various acts related to the use
of computer technology.
II.

Social Control
Refers to the techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human behavior in any
society.
Family and peers socialize individuals to social norms. Example: dress codes.
Government legislates and enforces social norms.
Sanctions are penalties and rewards for conduct concerning a social norm.
Functionalists contend that people must respect social norms for society to function. By
contrast, conflict theorists maintain that the functioning of society benefits the powerful.
A.

Conformity and Obedience


Stanley Milgram defined conformity as going along with peers who have no
special right to direct our behavior. Milgram defined obedience as compliance
with higher authorities in a hierarchal structure. Example: military recruit.
In some circumstances, conformity and, especially, obedience can cause
immense damage. Example: Milgrams electric shock experiment: Behavior
that is unthinkable in an individualacting on his own may be executed without
hesitation when carried out under orders.

B.

Informal and Formal Social Control


Informal social control is carried out casually by ordinary people through such
means as laughter, smiles, and ridicule. Example: spanking or slapping children
as punishment.
Formal social control is carried out by authorized agents, such as police officers,
judges, school administrators, and employers. Example: imprisonment.

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C.

Law and Society


Law is defined as governmental social control.
Some laws are directed at all members of society. Example: laws
prohibiting murder. Some laws affect particular categories of people.
Example: hunting and fishing regulations. Others govern social institutions.
Example: corporate laws.
Creation of law is a social process in response to perceived needs for formal
social control. Example: alcohol prohibition laws.
Hirschis control theory suggests that our connection to members of society
leads us to systematically conform to societys norms.

III. Sociological Perspectives on Crime and Deviance


A. Explaining Deviance
Early explanations centered on supernatural or genetic factors.
Sociologists reject any emphasis on genetic roots of crime and deviance.
1.

2.

Functionalist Perspective
Deviance is a common part of human existence.
Deviance (as well as deviant persons) is found universally throughout
the worlds cultures.
a.

Durkheims Legacy
Durkheim viewed social control mechanisms as necessary to
define acceptable behavior and contribute to social stability.
Introduced the term anomie to describe a feeling one experiences
when losing direction in society. Example: during periods of
profound social change.
Kai Eriksons study of Puritans illustrated boundary-maintenance
functions of deviance.

b.

Mertons Theory of Deviance


Adapted Durkheims notion of anomie to explain why people
accept or reject the goals of society, and/or the socially approved
means for fulfilling their aspirations.
People adapt in certain ways by either conforming to or deviating
from cultural expectations.
Mertons anomie theory of deviance posits five basic forms of
adaptation. See Table 7-1.
Mertons theory has had relatively few applications.

Interactionist Perspective
Emphasis on everyday behavior that is the focus of the interactionist
perspective offers two explanations of crime: cultural transmission theory
and routine activities theory.

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3.

a.

Cultural Transmission
Humans learn how to behave in social situations.
Edwin Sutherlands differential association describes the process
through which exposure to attitudes favorable to criminal acts
leads to violation of rules.
Whether a person engages in an activity deemed proper or
improper depends on frequency, duration, and importance of two
types of social interaction (those endorsing deviant behavior and
those promoting acceptance of social norms). People are more apt
to engage in norm-defying behavior if they belong to a group or
subculture that stresses deviant values (e.g., a street gang).
Critics charge Sutherlands theory fails to explain first-time,
impulsive deviance.

b.

Social Disorganization Theory


Contends that deviance and crime increase due to a breakdown in
or absence of communal relationships and other social
institutions such as the family, school, church, and local
government. Example: higher rates of social problems in areas
with declining population and deteriorating buildings.
The theory does not account for viable, healthy organizations that
persist in many troubled neighborhoods and appears to blame
the victim.

c.

Labeling Theory
Seeks to explain why certain people are viewed as deviant,
while others engaging in the same behavior are not. Example:
Chambliss study of the Saints and Roughnecks.
Also called the societal-reaction approach. It is the response to
an act, not the behavior itself, that determines deviance. Example:
assigning a trouble-maker to a program for the learning
disabled.
Labeling theory focuses on regulatory agents (police, probation
officers, psychiatrists, judges, teachers, etc.), who play a
significant role in creating the deviant identity by designating
certain people as deviant. Example: racial profiling.
Labeling does not fully explain why some people accept a label
and others do not.
Labeling theory influenced the emergence of the social
constructionist perspective, which suggests deviance is the
product of the culture we live in. Examples: deadbeat dads or
child abductors, changing definitions of sexual deviance.

Conflict Theory
People with power protect their own interests and define deviance to suit
their own needs.

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Richard Quinney suggests the criminal justice system serves the interests
of the powerful. Lawmaking is an attempt by the powerful to coerce
others into their own morality. Example: victimless crimes.
Differential justice: Conflict theory suggests criminal suspects are treated
differently on the basis of race, ethnicity, or social class. African
Americans and Latinos are at a disadvantage in the justice system, both
as juveniles and as adults. See Social Policy Section on application of the
death penalty.
Differential justice may lead to increased violence and crime, as those
who view themselves as victims of unfair treatment strike out, not against
the powerful so much as against fellow victims.
4.

IV.

Feminist Perspective
Some suggest that existing approaches to deviance and crime developed
with only men in mind. Example: earlier legal views on spousal rape,
reflecting overwhelming male composition of state legislatures at the
time.
Society tends to treat women in a stereotypical fashion. Cultural views
and attitudes toward women influence how they are perceived and
labeled. Example: Women with numerous/frequent sexual partners are
subjected to greater scorn than promiscuous men.
Deviance, including crime, flows from economic relationships.
Example: Traditionally, men have greater opportunity to commit crimes
such as embezzlement and fraud.
As women assume more active and powerful roles, gender differences in
deviance and crime should narrow.

Crime
Crime is a violation of criminal law for which some governmental authority applies
formal penalties.
Index crimes are the eight types of crime that are tabulated each year by the FBI. They
include murder, rape, robbery, and assault (all of which are violent crimes committed
against people) and property crimes of burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
A.

Types of Crime
1.

Victimless Crimes
The willing exchange among adults of widely desired, but illegal, goods
and services. Examples: prostitution, drug abuse, gambling.
Proponents of decriminalization are troubled by attempts to legislate a
moral code for adults. These crimes are impossible to prevent, and
an overburdened criminal justice system should concentrate on offenses
with real victims.
Critics of decriminalization object to the notion that these crimes are
victimless. Examples: Over-drinking, compulsive gambling, and

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illegal drugs cause personal and property damage. Prostitution reinforces


idea that women are toys. Alcohol and drug abuse can lead to drunk
driving, etc.
2.

Professional Crime
Professional criminal (career criminal) is a person who pursues crime as
a day-to-day occupation. Example: burglary or safecracking.
They devote their entire working time to planning and executing crimes.
They develop skilled techniques and enjoy a certain degree of status
among other criminals.
Edward Sutherland (1937) offered pioneering insights into behavior of
professional criminals by publishing an annotated account written by a
professional thief.

3.

Organized Crime
The work of a group that regulates relations between various criminal
enterprises involved in illegal activities, including smuggling and sale of
illegal drugs, prostitution, and gambling.
Organized crime is a secret activity that evades law enforcement. It takes
over legitimate business, gains influence over labor unions, corrupts
public officials, intimidates witnesses, and taxes merchants for protection
services.
The global nature of organized crime can be found in the acts of
transnational organized crime affiliates, whose criminal activities
include drug and arms smuggling, money laundering, and trafficking in
illegal immigrants and stolen goods.

4.

White-Collar and Technology-Based Crime


White-collar crime: illegal acts committed in the course of business
activities by affluent, respectable people. Examples: income tax
evasion, embezzlement, bribery.
Edwin Sutherland coined the term white-collar crime in 1939 in
reference to individuals. The term has been broadened to include
offenses by businesses and corporations.
Corporate crime is any criminal act by a corporation that is punishable
by the government. It takes many forms and includes individuals,
organizations, and institutions among its victims. Examples: stock fraud
and manipulation, accounting fraud, production of unsafe goods,
environmental pollution, anticompetitive behavior, public health
violations, and bribery and corruption.
Computer crime: High technology allows criminals to carry out
embezzlement or electronic fraud, often leaving few traces. A 2007 study
by the FBI White Collar Crime Center found over one million Internet
crimes were reported in less than fours years.
Convictions for such illegal acts does not generally harm a persons
reputation, status, or career aspirations as much as conviction for a street

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crime.
5.

B.

Transnational Crime
Crime that occurs across multiple national borders. Rather than
concentrating on specific countries, international crime spans the
globe. Examples: terrorism, trafficking in human beings (includes sex
trade), trafficking in endangered species, drugs, and stolen art/antiquities.
See Table 7-3 for types of transnational crime.
Not exclusive of other types of crime. Organized criminal networks are
increasingly global. Technology facilitates illegal activities. Example:
child pornography.

Crime Statistics
Crime statistics are not entirely accurate or reliable. Reliance upon other
sources of crime information is necessary to gain a more complete picture of
crime activity in the United States.
1.

2.

Understanding Crime Statistics


a.

Crime Rates
There has been a significant decline in violent crime nationwide.
Some suggest as the reasons for the decline: a booming economy,
community-oriented policing, gun control laws, and an increase
in the prison population.
The proportion of major crimes committed by women has
increased. In a recent 10-year period (1997-2006), the
Department of Justice found female arrests for major reported
crimes increased by 4 percent, while comparable male arrests
declined by 7 percent.

b.

Measuring Crime Rates:


Measuring of crime rates is conducted several ways.
Crime Index: published annually by the FBI as part of the
Uniform Crime Reports: includes statistics on murder, rape,
robbery, assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and
arson. Disproportionately devoted to property crimes.
Limitation of official crime statistics: They include only crimes
actually reported to law enforcement agencies.
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Initiated in 1972,
it is an annual report compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Based on interviews of over 84,000 U.S. households, asking
ordinary people whether they were victims of specific crimes
during the preceding year.

International Crime Rates


Violent crime rates are higher in the United States than in Western
Europe. U.S. may place a greater individual emphasis on economic
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achievement. And, culture of the U.S. has long tolerated many forms of
violence.
England, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand have higher rates of car theft.
Russia has experienced an increase in violent crime since the overthrow
of the Communist party rule.
V.

Social Policy and Social Control: The Death Penalty in the United States and Worldwide
A.

The Issue
Historically, executions have been used throughout the world to punish and deter
criminal (and non-criminal) offenders.
Today, the death penalty is legal in some states but only in a few of the worlds
modernized countries.
There is considerable debate over the deterrent effect, cost, and ethics of the death
penalty.
B.

Sociological Insights

1.
Functionalist View
Sanctions against deviant acts serve to reinforce social norms regarding acceptable
behavior.
Supporters of the death penalty argue that fear of execution will act to deter at least some
criminals from committing serious offenses.
2.
Conflict View
The persistence of social inequality and racism in society puts certain
groups at a significant disadvantage in the criminal justice system.
The poor typically rely on court-appointed lawyers who are over-burdened, undercompensated, and often not well equipped to deal with cases involving violent crime.

C. Policy Implications
In several death penalty states, legislators are considering broadening the range
of offenses for which convicted criminals may be sentenced to execution.

On the other hand, some groups are involved in an effort to educate the
public about the inequities associated with the death penalty as well as the ethical
implications and lack of deterrent effect.

KEY TERMS
Anomie Durkheims term for the loss of direction felt in a society when social control of
individual behavior has become ineffective.

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Anomie theory of deviance Robert Mertons theory of deviance as an adaptation of socially


prescribed goals or of the means governing their attainment, or both.
Conformity Going along with ones peersindividuals of our own status who have no special
right to direct our behavior.
Control theory A view of conformity and deviance that suggests that our connection to
members of society leads us to systematically conform to societys norms.
Crime A violation of criminal law for which some governmental authority applies formal
penalties.
Cultural transmission A school of criminology that argues that criminal behavior is learned
through social interactions.
Deviance Behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society.
Differential association A theory of deviance proposed by Edwin Sutherland that holds that
violation of rules results from exposure to attitudes favorable to criminal acts.
Differential justice Differences in the way social control is exercised over different groups.
Formal social control Social control carried out by authorized agents, such as police officers,
judges, school administrators, and employers.
Index crimes The eight types of crime reported annually by the FBI in the Uniform Crime
Reports: murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
Informal social control Social control carried out casually by ordinary people through such
means as laughter, smiles, and ridicule.
Labeling theory An approach to deviance that attempts to explain why certain people are
viewed as deviants while others engaged in the same behavior are not.
Law Governmental social control.
Obedience Compliance with higher authorities in a hierarchical structure.
Organized crime The work of a group that regulates relations among various criminal
enterprises, including prostitution, gambling, and the smuggling and sale of illegal drugs.
Professional criminal A person who pursues crime as a day-to-day occupation, developing
skilled techniques and enjoying a certain degree of status among other criminals.
Routine activities theory The notion that criminal victimization increases when motivated
offenders and vulnerable targets converge.
Sanction A penalty or reward for conduct concerning a social norm.
Social constructionist perspective An approach to deviance that emphasizes the role of culture
in the creation of the deviant identity.
Social control The techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human behavior in any
society.
Social disorganization theory The theory that crime and deviance are caused by the absence or
breakdown of communal relationships and social institutions.
Societal-reaction approach Another name for labeling theory.
Stigma A label used to devalue members of certain social groups.
Transnational crime Crime that occurs across multiple national borders.
Victimization survey A questionnaire or interview given to a sample of the population to
determine whether people have been victims of crime.
Victimless crime A term used by sociologists to describe the willing exchange among adults of
widely desired, but illegal, goods and services.
White-collar crime Illegal acts committed by affluent, respectable individuals in the course
of business activities.

ADDITIONAL LECTURE IDEAS

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8-1: Ethical Implications of Milgrams Research


In Chapter 2 of the text we discussed some of the difficult ethical issues that confront
social science researchers. While conducting his experiments on obedience to authority, Stanley
Milgram was well aware that his study might leave subjects (especially those who had shocked
others) with disturbing aftereffects. Thus, as part of the normal procedure for the project, each
subject was informed that the victim had not actually received dangerous shocks, was carefully
debriefed, and was given time to discuss the experiment with someone on Milgrams staff.
Obedient subjects were assured that their behavior was normal and had friendly meetings with
unharmed learners. See Milgram. Obedience to Authority. New York: Harper & Row, 1975, p.
24.
All subjects also received a follow-up questionnaire, which again allowed them to
communicate their feelings about the experiment. Almost 84 percent stated that they were glad to
have been in the study, while roughly 15 percent were neutral, and only 1.3 percent indicated
negative feelings. In addition, 74 percent noted that they had learned something of personal
importance from the experience. One subject wrote, The experiment has strengthened my belief
that man should avoid harm to his fellow man even at the risk of violating authority. Another
commented, If this experiment serves to jar people out of complacency, it will have served its
end (195196).
These measures, while impressive, are not conclusive; the experiment still could have
been harmful to participants who had to face their willingness to inflict pain on others. Therefore,
Milgram had a psychiatrist examine 40 subjects of the experiment. None showed any indications
of traumatic reactions (197). Yet even this test cannot guarantee that the same was true of the
nearly 1,000 remaining participants in the obedience experiments. See Kenneth Ring et al.,
Mode of Debriefing, Representative Research in Social Psychology 1 (1970): 6788.
A troubling question underlies Milgrams important research, and also applies, to a lesser
extent, to the studies conducted by Solomon Asch. What are the long-range consequences of
social science research that misleads, deceives, and may actually harm participants? If the public
comes to believe that researchers are not sensitive to ethical issuesand will risk hurting
subjects in the pursuit of knowledgeit may become increasingly difficult to recruit subjects for
worthwhile and ethically scrupulous experiments. See Bem Allen. Social Behavior: Fact and
Falsehood. Chicago: Nelson Hall, 1978, pp. 5863. See also Diane Baumrind, Some Thoughts
on Ethics of Research, American Sociologist 19 (June 1964): 421423.
8-2: Social Control on the Streets
Walking or standing on the sidewalk is legal. Or is it? In an effort to prevent behavior that
some communities regard as undesirable, walking or standing in public places is now being
subjected to sanctions. In the case of laws on vagrancy, these restrictions are not all new. The
first full-fledged law against vagrancy was passed in England in 1349. Much of this early
legislation was motivated by concern that people idly standing around might be carriers of
disease. Many early statutes required such idle people to take jobs that might be available. Later
statutes shifted from a concern with disease and idleness to a concern with criminal activities or
people regarded as a nuisance.
How does society define or come to label people as a nuisance? Obviously, not all
people are equally likely to be subjected to such labeling. The homeless and young people come
to mind as two groups that have been subjected to social control over their ability to stand or
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walk at certain times or in certain places. In the 1990s, curfew restrictions became increasingly
popular, as some communities began banning unescorted young people from their streets and
even prohibiting them from driving after prescribed hours. In many cases the curfew laws had
been on the books for 50 years, but were only now enforced in an effort to reduce teenage crime.
Certain shopping malls began banning unescorted young people out of concern that large groups
of such youths were frightening away adults seeking to make purchases. Criminologist James
Alan Fox is skeptical of most of the new curfew laws, because he has noted that most teenagers,
whether law-abiding or delinquent, are asleep by the time the weekend curfew hour, usually
midnight, begins. Yet some communities, such as New Orleans, have school-night curfews that
begin as early as 8 PM.
Limiting movement at night may not produce the desired outcome. Analysis of most
juvenile crime shows it occurs around 3 PM, when school lets out and young people are still
grouped together but without adult supervision. Obviously, efforts to prevent crime by restricting
movement need to consider movement patterns.
Sources used for this essay include: Fox Butterfield, Successes Reported for Curfews,
but Doubts Persist, New York Times (June 3, 1996): A1, A13; William J. Chambliss, A
Sociological Analysis of the Law of Vagrancy, Social Problems 12 (Summer 1964): 67-77; and
David A. Savage, Curfews Are Popular, but Results Mixed, Los Angeles Times (June 1, 1996):
A1, A19.
8-3: Deviance or Sport
A type of athletic contest is the subject of a clash in interpretations as to whether it
constitutes sport or violence. In question are two rival organizations, the Ultimate Fighting
Championship and Extreme Fighting, which mount competitions between two combatants. These
competitions take place in an octagonal ring surrounded by a chain-link fence, and the only rules
are no eye-gouging or biting. Chokeholds, headbutts, and rabbit punches to the brain stem are
legal. So are knees to the throat and elbows to the kidney. The fight is over when a doctor
intervenes or when a fighter taps out, slamming a hand repeatedly on the mat.
Although live audiences to such events, called extreme fighting, are limited, up to
350,000 households watched the competition between Dan The Beast Severn and The
Russian Bear Oleg Taktarov at home on pay-per-view TV.
Several states and cities have passed legislation banning such events, and as word spreads
more are considering that option. The stated purpose of such events is to determine which form
of the martial artsjudo, kickboxing, tae kwon do, jujitsu, kung fu, or another disciplineis
superior. Supporters defend this type of competition and note that it pays off financially. They
argue that football is more violent and that the critics are elitist, merely reflecting their negative
opinion of the millions of people in the United States who compete in the martial arts.
The issues are not really new. What is defined as deviant in the realm of sport and
entertainment? In different cultures boxing, bullfighting, and cockfighting are variously cheered
on or seen as criminal and barbaric.
Sources: James Brooke, Modern-Day Gladiators Head for Denver, but the Welcome Mat
Is Rolled Up, New York Times (December 10, 1995): 12; Andrea Stone, Fans See Fun in
Brawls Where Anything Goes, USA Today (December 16, 1995): A1, A2.

IM 8 | 15

8-4: Primary and Secondary Deviance


Edwin Lemert has offered a useful clarification of the labeling approach. He distinguishes
between primary and secondary deviance. Primary deviance is the rationalized violation of rules
that define acceptable behavior. A person who abuses alcohol temporarily after the death of a
loved one or after a business failure is generally not regarded as deviant. Similarly, a college
student who uses cocaine once to find out what his or her friends are talking about will probably
not be regarded as a drug abuser. Excused or undetected deviant acts do not generate the selfimage of a delinquent or a criminal and may involve the use of techniques of neutralization.
Lemert argues that if people who are in a position to apply socially respected labels learn
of deviant behavior, an act of deviance will take on a much different meaning. Secondary
deviance occurs when a person has been labeled as deviant. This labeling arises more
frequently when a person engages in repeated acts of misconduct. As a result of the labeling
process, the person may reorganize his or her life around this new deviant status and thus embark
on a life of norm-violating behavior.
For example, suppose that an adolescent boy is brought before a court and charged with
his first offense, shoplifting. He may regard the experience with fear and awe at the time. But if
he is let off based on his previous good conduct, the memory of the court appearance will fade.
The act thus remains one of primary deviance: the boy is labeled a good kid who made a
mistake. Suppose, however, that he is bitterly condemned by his family and rejected by his
friends. If the youth perceives that he is being viewed as a delinquent, he may begin to see
himself that way. Once he accepts this self-image, the incident is transformed into one of
secondary deviance. Lemerts work emphasizes the process of developing a deviant identity over
time, just as one can gradually accept the identity of born leader or class clown. See Edwin
Lemert. Social Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1951. See also Lemert. Human Deviance:
Social Problems and Social Control. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1967.
8-5: Discretionary Justice
Conflict theorists contend that social control is applied differentially to different suspects
because of the suspects social class backgrounds, nationality, or race. In a 1988 report by the
Bureau of Justice Statistics, summarized below in tabular form, discretionary practices were
outlined at various levels of the criminal justice system.
Source: Department of Justice. Report of the Nation on Crime and Justice (2nd ed.).
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1988. (190)
DISCRETION WITHIN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
CRIMINAL JUSTICE OFFICIALS DISCRETIONARY POWERS
Police
Enforce specific laws

Prosecutors

Investigate specific crimes

Search people, vicinities, buildings

Arrest or detain people

File charges or petitions for judicial


decision

IM 8 | 16

Judges or magistrates

Probation officers
Correctional officials

Parole authorities

Seek indictments

Drop cases

Reduce charges

Recommend sentences

Set bail or conditions for release

Accept pleas

Determine delinquency

Dismiss charges

Impose sentences

Revoke probation

File pre-sentence reports

Recommend sentences

Assign people to type of correctional


facility
Award privileges

Punish for disciplinary infractions

Determine date and conditions of parole

Revoke parole

8-6: Controversies about Campus Crime


Crime committed on college campusesand the rights of students and parents to know
about ithas been a controversial issue in recent years. Campus crime rates are not necessarily
higher than off-campus crime rates in the same city. However, in the past some colleges and
universities have allegedly tried to conceal as much information about campus crime as possible,
in order not to scare away students and parents. Parents and students, on the other hand, feel they
have the right to know about campus crimes, both so that they can make an informed choice of
colleges and universities, and so that students can best protect themselves once there.
In the past, it was easy for schools to hide information about campus crimes, since federal
laws did not require them to make these records public. Since 1991, however, the Clery Act has
mandated that they must keep a publicly available log of all criminal acts committed on campus.
This includes everything from alcohol violations, to thefts, to murders.
Implementation of the Clery Act has been anything but smooth. College and university
administrators complain that the reporting laws are extremely vague, and that they lack clear
guidelines for complying with them. Administrators have also complained that the public logs
they must keep omit a great deal of information that might shape the publics interpretation of
crime rates on their campus. When comparing crime statistics across different campuses, a reader
may have little information about the socio-demographic context of the campus. In an example
offered by one administrator, a commuter campus with no on-campus residences is far less likely
to have a problem with date rape than a campus with a large dormitory system, simply because

IM 8 | 17

date rape often happens in residences. Without information about the size of a universitys
dormitory system, a reader may unknowingly make apple-and-orange comparisons regarding
sexual assault rates on various campuses. Advocates of more open crime records have also
accused some colleges and universities of purposefully failing to comply with the law, by
reporting crimes in a way that makes them appear as benign as possible. Regardless of intent, it
is clear that colleges and universities are not uniform in the way that they report campus crimes.
At some colleges and universities, for example, any crime reported to the police or to university
officials is included in the public log. On other campuses, it is only those crimes that are actually
investigated that are included in the log (Collison 1993; Honan 1998; Hartle 2001).
Another continuing controversy involves crimes that are adjudicated through campus
disciplinary committees, rather than through the criminal justice system. Under the Clery Act,
educational institutions are not required to provide the public with statistics on the content or
outcome of these hearings, even though they can involve crimes as serious as rape or assault.
Thus, a university that adjudicates many of its campus crimes internally can still hide a great deal
of crime from parents, students, and the public. During the 1990s several journalist groups tried
to force public colleges and universities to share information on campus disciplinary proceedings
more openly, arguing that these proceedings are no different from the other kinds of meetings
and procedures that are typically required to be part of the public record. In 2002, however, a
federal court ruling made these efforts moot. It ruled that all personally identifying information
from campus disciplinary hearings is protected under the FERPA Act, which bans educational
institutions from making public any information about a students educational record without his
or her written consent. While colleges and universities can still release information about
disciplinary proceedings as long as victims and perpetrators are not identified, the ruling makes it
unlikely that advocacy groups will be able to force them to do so. Given their concern about
reputation, few schools are expected to begin providing this information on a voluntary basis.
Moreover, some fear that the ruling will encourage administrators to pressure crime victims into
adjudicating their complaints through university channels, so the school can preserve an image of
safety with the public (Carter 2000; Gose 2002; Honan 1998; Kirtley 1997).
Sources used for this essay include: Daniel S. Carter, Covering Crime on College
Campuses, Quill 88 (September 2000): 32-35; Michelle N-K. Collison, Skepticism About Low
Crime Rates Reported by Institutions, Chronicle of Higher Education 39 (February 17, 1993);
Ben Gose, Court Says Colleges Cant Release Files from Student Judicial Hearings, Chronicle
of Higher Education 48 (July 12, 2002); Terry Hartle, Toward a Better Law on Campus Crime,
Chronicle of Higher Education 47 (August 12, 2001); William Honan, Education Department
Sues Universities Over Disclosure of Crime Records, New York Times (February 4, 1998); Jane
Kirtley, Shedding Light on Campus Crime, American Journalism Review 19 (July-August
1997).
8-7: Being a Hit Man
Homicide violates a serious norm that is sanctioned with prison sentences and under
some circumstances, with the death of the assailant. People who kill in a hot-blooded burst of
passion can draw some comfort from the law, which provides lighter punishments for killings
performed without premeditation or intent. But what about someone who kills repeatedly and
intentionally, aware that these acts of homicide are unlawful?

IM 8 | 18

Ken Levi interviewed, over a four-month period, a self-styled hit man (referred to as
Pete from Detroit) who was serving a prison sentence. Being a hit man might seem to be a life
without responsibility to societys norms. But Pete emphasizes that he is strictly governed by a
contract, and failure to fulfill it carries severe penalties.
Pete and other hit men insist on big money because they know that less professional
hired killers (such as drug addicts) who offer to work for low fees often receive a bullet for their
pains. It is believed that people who would kill for so little would also require little persuasion to
make them talk to the police. Therefore, his and other hit mens reputation for charging high fees
is functional; it helps them to carry out their tasks successfully and, not incidentally, to remain
alive.
An important way for freelance hit men to view their work as appropriate is to
reframe a hit. Erving Goffman describes frames (or breaks) as portions of a given
situation. Often, norm violators will dissociate themselves from a frame. A prostitute, for
instance, may remain absolutely detached, her mind miles away, when having sex with a client.
Even surgeons partially dissociate themselves from their patients by having the patient
completely covered except for the part to be operated on. This helps them to work in a more
impersonal way. Pete, the hit man interviewed by Levi, goes through a process of reframing his
hits. He reveals that afterward he can rarely recall a victims personal features. Also, he refers to
his victims as targets, not people. Even at the time of contract, he specifically requests not to
be told why the contract has been let because even though the motive might justify the hit, it
would make the target more of a person.
Homicide is one of societys mores. Pete knows that, but he accommodates this
potentially discrediting feature of his life by emphasizing the new norms he must obey. Therefore
he considers himself law-abiding, even if the laws are not those of the larger society. Similarly,
he approaches the hit as just a job and thus goes as far as he can in denying his norm violation.
See Erving Goffman. Frame Analysis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974.
See also Delos H. Kelly (ed.). Deviant Behavior (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martins Press, 1985,
pp. 528529, 692703.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION TOPICS

8-2.

8-1. Stimulating Classroom Discussions about WallbanginGraffiti and Gang in


L.A.: Questions about this excerpt from anthropologist Susan Phillipss book can include:
How does the act of graffiti writing free the writers from constraints? How can graffiti
indicate status for a gang member, much like a homeowner repainting his or her home?
Compare gang graffiti to neighborhood watch signs located in a community. How is the
function of both related? Why should gang graffiti be perceived differently than sport
fans writing on sidewalks outside stadiums before the big game, or college fraternities
and sororities marking territory during pledge week? and non-deviant? As a sociologist,
how would you study the stripping industry?
Group Pressure: A guessing game with popcorn teaches students about group pressure
and conformity. See Technique No. 23 in Edward L. Kain and Robin Neas (eds.),

IM 8 | 19

Innovative Techniques for Teaching Sociological Concepts. Washington, DC: American


Sociological Association, 1993.
8-3.

The Power of Authority: The instructoras an authority figureassigns a pointless


writing assignment in class. Mass compliance with this request leads to a discussion of
obedience. Fletcher Winston, What If Milgram Controlled Student Grades? Teaching
Sociology 31 (April 2003): 221-226.

8-4.

Field Trips: Classroom discussion of criminal justice would be enhanced by a visit to a


correctional facility, courtroom, or police station, followed by a question-and-answer
session with agency representatives.

8-5.

Conversing with Deviants: Make deviance more real for students by inviting deviant
individuals as guests in the class. See Technique No. 11 in Edward L. Kain and Robin
Neas (eds.). Innovative Techniques for Teaching Sociological Concepts. Washington, DC:
American Sociological Association, 1993.

8-6.

Deviance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: Assign students to write a brief report of some
deviant behavior they have observed. Have them explain why they considered this
behavior deviant. Stress to them that the behavior they observe does not have to be
illegal, nor does it have to be considered deviant by our society. Prior to assigning this
paper, make sure that students understand that what is considered deviant varies from
time to time and from society to society.

8-7.

Which Acts Are Deviant? An exercise in which students rank the severity of various acts
of deviance, nicely illustrates the subjective nature of our perceptions of deviant acts. See
Technique No. 13 in Edward L. Kain and Robin Neas (eds.). Innovative Techniques for
Teaching Sociological Concepts. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association,
1993.

8-8.

Positive Deviance: Students and instructors tend to focus on negative examples of


deviance, such as murder, theft, and sexual dysfunctions. However, Angela Lewellyn
Jones has students focus on positive deviance, such as saintly behavior, in a discussion
that assists them in understanding the sociological meaning of deviance. See Angela L.
Jones, Random Acts of Kindness: A Teaching Tool for Positive Deviance, Teaching
Sociology 26 (July 1998): 179189.

8-9.

Public Opinion on Death Penalty: See David W. Moore, Americans Firmly Support
Death Penalty, Gallup Poll Monthly (June 1995): 2325.

8-10. Violent Juveniles: Following a showing of Not Too Young To Die (listed under
Audiovisual below), divide the class into small groups. Assign them to discuss what the
just penalty is for a youth who commits homicide. Also, have them consider the issues

IM 8 | 20

of legal and psychological competency. At what age is a youth responsible for the
crime he or she commits? What is the youngest age at which a juvenile should be tried in
an adult court?
8-11. Ranking Crimes: See Technique No. 12 in Edward L. Kain and Robin Neas (eds.).
Innovative Techniques for Teaching Sociological Concepts. Washington, DC: American
Sociological Association, 1993.
8-12. Teaching about Sexual Assault: See Amanda Konradi, Teaching about Sexual Assault:
Problematic Silences and Solutions, Teaching Sociology 21 (January 1993): 1325.
8-13. Campus Crime Statistics: See Richard A. Wright, Using Campus Crime Statistics in
Classroom Discussions of Official Measures of Crime, Teaching Sociology 25 (January
1997): 4956.
8-14. Case Histories: In the exercise described in this article, instructors use a single case
history to help discuss a number of deviance theories. Donald P. Levy and Beth
Merenstein, Working with Stories: An Active Learning Approach to Theories of
Deviance, Teaching Sociology 33 (January 2005): 66-73.
8-15. Using Humor: Joseph E. Faulkner has produced a monograph that includes funny
examples that could be incorporated into lectures associated with Chapter 8. See Chapter
5 in Faulkner, Sociology Through Humor. New York: West, 1987. This book is out of
print, but used copies are readily available.

TOPICS FOR STUDENT RESEARCH AND CLASSROOM DISCUSSION


1.

Ask students to research the use of medical treatments to treat criminality, such as shock
therapies, chemical castrations, and lobotomies, and discuss the influence of biological
and genetic factors in deviance and crime.

2.

Ask students to research the frequency of crime committed in certain subcultural groups
within the United States, such as the Amish or Quakers, and discuss how socialization
processes such as differential association may affect their incidence of deviance and
crime.

3.

Ask students to research Gypsy subculture groups living in the United States, and
discuss how their crimes, which are typically aimed at Westerners, are related to their
cultural beliefs.

IM 8 | 21

4.

Ask students to compare the number of laws directed toward people with no visible
means of support compared to affluent people, and discuss any implications from the
conflict perspective.

5.

Ask students to find a recent, well-known crime or criminal that has had a reasonable
amount of coverage in the press. Have students look for clues in the media coverage for
explanations used for the crime. Compare these to the theories presented in the text.
Analyze whether the explanations presented in the popular press appear consistent with
sociological theory. This assignment can be done in pairs or small groups with
subsequent class discussion.

7.

Ask students to locate credible research that suggests the death penalty is a general
deterrent to murder, and discuss how socialization often perpetuates discriminatory views
and myths about crime and deviance.

ESSAY QUESTIONS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.

What types of behavior are included in the concept of social control?


Distinguish between conformity and obedience.
Examine binge drinking in light of the following sociological concepts: obedience,
conformity, and deviance.
Discuss the procedures in, and conclusions to be drawn from Stanley Milgrams
experiment on obedience to authority.
How did Stanley Milgram explain the high rates of compliance found in his obedience
experiments?
Use the interactionist perspective to explain some of the findings in Milgrams study of
obedience.
Distinguish between informal and formal social control and give examples of each.
Explain how the legal order reflects the underlying social values of a society.
Explain Travis Hirschis control theory.
Explain how deviance varies by group, by social context, and even over time.
What is stigma, and what is its relationship to deviant behavior?
What is the relationship between the beauty myth, stigma, and deviance?
Discuss deviance and technology in the new millennium.
Why is mile Durkheims view of deviance considered an example of a functionalist
approach?
Discuss and illustrate the four types of nonconforming behavior presented by Robert
Merton in his theory of deviance.
In what ways does Edwin Sutherlands approach to criminology draw upon the
significance of the socialization process?

IM 8 | 22

17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.

Describe Edwin Sutherlands approach to deviance, which draws upon the interactionist
perspective.
Explain the routine activities theory and indicate why proponents believe that it is a
useful theory for explaining the increase in crime during the last 50 years.
Briefly explain the basic ideas of labeling theory.
Explain how labeling theory draws on the work of both conflict theorists and
interactionists.
Distinguish among labeling theory, the societal-reaction approach, and the social
constructionist perspective.
How do conflict theorists view deviance?
Distinguish between a professional criminal and a white-collar criminal.
Apply the concept of ethnic succession to organized crime.
How do conflict theorists view white-collar crime?
What arguments have been made by supporters of decriminalization of victimless
crimes?
What arguments have been made by opponents, particularly feminists, of
decriminalization?
What does the analysis of international crime rates indicate about the level of criminal
activity in the United States?
Discuss the debate over gun control from both the conflict and interactionist perspectives.

CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS


1.

Discuss how members of a military unit could openly bring themselves to committing
murder against some individuals, and not feel any sense of deviance or criminal
wrongdoing for the act. Be sure to include ideas from the work of Stanley Milgram in
your answer.

2.

Discuss the definition of deviance as related to cultural variation. Give examples of how
certain acts in the United States are considered deviant by other cultures, and conversely
what acts we might consider deviant, even though they are considered normal in other
cultures.

3.

Discuss how individuals may feel less restricted in performing certain deviant acts in the
company of others, such as skinny-dipping, consuming alcohol, or smoking marijuana.
Why would an individual not routinely perform such behavior alone?

4.

Discuss Mertons anomie theory of deviance, including the five forms of adaptation. Do
you think that society confuses certain people by misrepresenting an individuals chances
of becoming successful? Give some examples to support your answer.

IM 8 | 23

5.

Discuss how punishment for a deviant or minor criminal act could actually encourage a
person to commit a more serious criminal act, and apply your rationale to discuss how the
death penalty could actually encourage some to commit crime.

6.

Describe the public health approach to preventing gun violence as given in your text.
Discuss whether the public health approach to gun safety is more likely to be acceptable
to those supporting gun control or those who do not support gun control, and why.

TOPICS AND SOURCES FOR STUDENT RESEARCH AND ASSIGNMENTS


1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

ObedienceAnother Look: What replications have there been of Milgrams


experiment? Students might be interested in examining a Watergate-type replication. See
Stephen West, Steven Gunn, and Paul Chernicky, Ubiquitous Watergate: An
Attributional Analysis, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 32 (July 1975):
5565. These researchers conducted an elaborate experiment to assess the willingness of
Americans to engage in crimes at their governments request. Unsuspecting college
students were contacted by a private investigator and presented with a plan for the
burglary of a local advertising firm. The students were given various rationales for the
crime and were asked to participate in it. Some were told that the firm was defrauding the
government of millions of dollars and that the Internal Revenue Service wanted to make
microfilm copies of its records. The researchers found that 45 percent of the subjects
were willing to participate in a burglary if guaranteed immunity from prosecution.
Students may also wish to examine a critical view of the ethical issues raised by this
experiment. See Stuart W. Cook, A Comment on the Ethical Issues Involved in West,
Gunn, and Chernicks Ubiquitous Watergate: An Attributional Analysis, Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology 32 (July 1975): 6668.
Labeling of People with AIDS: See Lawrence J. Ouellet, Matta Kelly, Andrea Coward,
and W. Wayne Wiebel, Developing Community Resources for a Stigmatized
Population. In Gary L. Albrecht (ed.). Advances in Medical Sociology, vol. 6.
Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1995, pp. 207230.
Labeling: The labeling perspective can be applied to groups other than those that are
criminally deviant. See Technique No. 11 in Edward L. Kain and Robin Neas (eds.).
Innovative Techniques for Teaching Sociological Concepts. Washington, DC: American
Sociological Association, pp. 1718.
Community Crime Watch: For a comparison of neighborhood crime watch programs by
African-American and White participants, see Theodore Sasson and Margaret K. Nelson,
Danger, Community, and the Meaning of Crime Watch, Journal of Contemporary
Ethnography 25 (July 1995): 171200.
Crime and Violence within the Hispanic Community: See Ramiro Martinez, Jr.,
Latinos and Lethal Violence: The Impact of Poverty and Inequality, Social Problems 43
(May 1996): 131146.

IM 8 | 24

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

Blacks in Prisons: There are more Blacks in prison than in college. For a look at this
misleading but often-heard statement, see Peter Dreier and Jeffrey Reiman, Prisoners of
Misleading Facts, Dissent (Spring 1996): 810.
Race and Criminology: See Jeanette Covington, Racial Classification in Criminology:
The Reproduction of Racialized Crime, Sociological Forum 10 (December 1995): 547
568.
Rape Education Videos: Can visual images effectively teach about sexual violence? See
Martha McCaughey and Neal King, Rape Education Videos: Presenting Mean Women
Instead of Dangerous Men, Teaching Sociology 23 (October 1995): 374388.
White-Collar Crime: For an examination of the current approaches to this concept,
begin with the book review essay by Craig B. Little, Whither White-Collar Crime,
Teaching Sociology 24 (July 1996): 333337. Then see Sally S. Simpson. Corporate
Crime, Law, and Social Control. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
U.S. Department of Justice: For access to numerous crime statistics, visit the Bureau of
Justice Statistics website (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/). This federal agency also sends,
upon request, publications that cover victimization surveys, capital punishment, prisons,
firearms, and crime rates. Contact BJS Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 179, Dept. BJS-236,
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0179.
Crime in a Changing Society: How does social change lead to changing levels of
criminal activity? Contemporary China provides a fascinating case study. Jianhong Liu,
Lening Zhang, and Steven E. Messner, eds. Crime and Social Control in a Changing
China. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001.

VIDEO RESOURCE SECTION


Asylum (1993, 60m). Each year, thousands of Americans commit crimes against society but are
judged not guilty by reason of insanity. This documentary is a graphic,
uncompromising look at patients and caretakers at an institution for the criminally insane.
Bioterrorism: The Truth (Insight Media, 2002, 52m). This video explores the impact of
September 11, 2001 on the civilian demand for gas masks and increased levels of fear
following the attack.
Bowling for Columbine (MGM/UA Video, 2003). Academy Award winner Michael Moore uses
humor to take a serious look at gun control issues.
Cops on Trial (1992, 48m). This 48 Hours program investigates cases of suspected police
brutality in Trenton, Hartford, and West Palm Beach. Looking at a training program for
rookie cops in Sacramento, California, it shows how the police are being trained to know
when force is appropriate.
Crime and Punishment: How Intelligent Do You Have to Be to Be Put to Death? (Films for the
Humanities and Sciences, 2002, 22m). The Supreme Courts landmark decision that it is
unconstitutional to execute people who are mentally retarded reverses decades of
jurisprudence. In this program, ABC News correspondent John Donvan visits the ongoing
legal battle that prompted the initial 1980 ruling.

IM 8 | 25

Death Devices (Insight Media, 2001, 50m). This video explores the evolution of capital
punishment and presents the current debate about its justification.
Deviance and Social Control (Insight Media, 2002, 30m). This video gives an overview of the
social mechanisms of deviance and control. It also explores theories that seek to explain
deviance.
Distance (1991, 30m). Showing the continuum of deviance from minor cultural variations to
destructive behaviors, this program analyzes deviance as a social, historical, and cultural
reality that embraces a wide range of behaviors. It examines the dimensions of deviance
and deviant subcultures and provides various sociological explanations. Primary and
secondary types of deviance are distinguished and different types of elite deviance are
discussed.
Guns USA (Insight Media, 2000, 45m). This CBS-produced video tackles the gun control debate
from both sides. A variety of pertinent gun control issues is covered, from school violence
to accidental shootings.
Men, Sex, and Rape (MPI Home Video, 1993, 75m). Peter Jennings is joined by law enforcement
officials and criminal justice experts to examine what causes some men to rape. The
program explores mens views of women, looking at how such widely accepted male
rituals as bachelor parties and topless bars affect mens attitudes. Interviews with both
rapists and victims of rape illuminate the motives and the effects of the crime.
Moral Development (Insight Media, 1973, 28m). A reenactment of Milgrams dramatic
obedience experiment. Discussion focuses on two differing approaches; one regards the
subjects behaviors as learned, and one defines their actions as the results of a
developmental stage.
Not Too Young To Die (2002, 52m). This film explores in detail the criminal and life
circumstances of juveniles on death row, and addresses the controversy over whether they
should be subject to the death penalty.
Obedience to Authority (1997, tape, 55m). Heywood Hale Broun interviews Stanley Milgram
(Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View) and Dr. Ernest Van Den Haag.
State Sponsored Terrorism (Insight Media, 2001, 60m) This video examines how the ruling elite
used different forms of violence to suppress challenges to state authority.
Street Gangs of Los Angeles (McGraw-Hill, 1990, 44m). Youth gangs are nothing new. Youth
gangs control whole sections of the city, their brutality fueled and financed by drugs, their
indifference to life a metaphor for the ease with which they murder. This is what has
made Los Angeles gangs so frightening an omen of the future of Americas cities. This
program looks at the thrills and dangers of life for Black and Hispanic gang members,
and at the occasionally successful efforts of parents in gang-run neighborhoods to keep
their children safe.
Terrorism: Instrument of Fear (Insight Media, 2001, 20m). This video addresses the acts of
various terrorist organizations through a discussion of multicultural teens following a
viewing of the events of September 11, 2001. It reveals that terrorism is statistically an
unlikely cause of death.
The Tarnished Shield: When Cops Go Bad (McGraw-Hill, 1994, 46m). In this investigative
report, Barbara Walters interviews Frank Serpico. For him, the issues have remained as
black and white as they were when he went public with his famous one-man crusade

IM 8 | 26

against police corruption in New York. Ms. Walters also talks to the police officer whose
arrest for dealing drugs triggered the 1993 investigation into the New York Police
Department. This program examines the environment in which cops go bad, why those
who have gone bad flourish, why corruption is so hard to root out, and why whistle
blowers are the ones made to feel guilty.
Waging Peace: Fighting Violence in the Schools (Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2001,
47m). This video separates fact from hype as it explores the issue of school aggression.
Practical strategies are suggested for making the school environment a safer place.

ADDITIONAL READINGS
Best, Joel, ed. 2001. How Claims Spread: Cross-National Diffusion of Social Problems. New
York: Aldine De Gruyter. Fourteen essays analyze how diverse social issues, such as road rage
and gun control, migrate across national boundaries.
Blumstein, Alfred, and Joel Wallman, eds. 2001. The Crime Drop in America. New York:
Cambridge University Press. A series of essays on the apparent decline in crime, including
changes in the drug market in the United States.
Clinard, Marshall B., and Robert F. Miller. 2003. Sociology of Deviant Behavior, 12th ed.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. An overview of the nature and forms of deviance, including drug use,
drunkenness, sexual behavior, and suicide.
Gamson, Joshua. 1998. Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. A sociologist looks at the presentation of socially
dysfunctional or stigmatized behaviors on television talk shows.
Leonard, Elizabeth Dermody. 2002. Convicted Survivors: The Imprisonment of Battered Women
Who Kill. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. The author makes use of both
quantitative and qualitative interview data to probe the circumstances of women who kill their
abusers.
McFeely, William S. 2001. Proximity to Death. New York: W.W. Norton. A historian looks at the
functioning of the Southern Center for Human Rights, which works on behalf of death row
inmates.
Miller, Jody. 2001. One of the Guys: Girls, Gangs, and Gender. New York: Oxford University
Press. A sociological examination of the causes, nature, and meaning of female gang
involvement.
Ross, Jeffrey Ian, and Stephan C. Richards. 2002. Behind Bars: Surviving Prison. Indianapolis:
Alpha Books. This book gives practical information to those imprisoned, and, in doing so,
illuminates the prison experience for others.

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Walker, Samuel, Cassia Spohn, and Miriam DeLone. 2003. The Color of Justice: Race,
Ethnicity, and Crime in America, 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Overview of research on racial and ethnic discrimination in the U.S. criminal justice system.

JOURNALS
Among the journals that focus on issues of social control, deviance, and crime are Crime and
Delinquency (founded in 1955), Criminology (1961), Deviant Behavior (1979), Journal of
Research in Crime and Delinquency (1964), and Law and Society Review (1966).

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