Deviance, Conformity and Social Control
Why China? 1. Many behaviors that constituted deviance in China from 1966 to 1976, the period known as the Cultural Revolution, are no longer judged that way. 2. During the Cultural Revolution, any person who held a position of authority worked to earn a profit showed the slightest leaning toward foreign ways expressed academic interests was subject to interrogation, arrest, and punishment. 3. China has transformed itself to become a global center of manufacturing for everything from electronics to socks and toys.
Deviance… •Any behavior or physical appearance that is socially challenged and or condemned because it departs from the norms and expectations of a group •What makes something deviant is the presence of a social audience that regards a behavior or appearance as deviant and takes some kind of action to discourage it to show disapproval to put those labeled deviant on the defensive •Norms: rules and expectations for the way people are supposed to behave, feel, and appear in a particular social situation
Norm: We expect boys not to wear princess outfits. People may ostracize the mother for allowing her son to dress in a princess outfit.
Social Control • • • •
Socialization may control deviant behavior Sanctions act as social control Positive sanction – approval to encourage compliance Negative sanction – disapproval to encourage compliance • Informal sanction – making fun, showing disapproval, clapping to approve • Formal Sanction – backed by laws, policies, rules • Censorship – blocking material from getting to people
Sociological Theories • Functionalist theory – deviance must exist because collective norms exist in society – Deviance binds community, and allows for change • Labeling Theory – • An act is only deviant when people notice it and label it as such • Rules are socially constructed • Rules are not enforced equally – rule breaking may not be noticed - some are falsely accused – viewed differently
Stanley Milgram • Obedience to authority experiment at Yale – Members of the public were recruited to test if punishment helped people learn – Participants gave varying strength electric shocks to learners – 65% obeyed the authority figure of the professor wearing the white coat, and complied with instructions to continue on to giving a 450 volt (potentially fatal) to learners
Structural Strain Theory • Robert K. Merton (1957) – structural strain occurs when – The valued goals of society have unclear limits – People are unsure about whether they can attain goals legitimately – A large portion of the population cannot achieve goals through legitimate means • People might therefore break rules and laws or create new sub groups where they can achieve goals • Example: falsifying your resume to get a job • Also, read about families having children in China - p171174
Sociological Perspective Deviance is not inherent in any act, appearance, or behavior, it is sociologically constructed • Emphasis is placed on the context in which some behavior or appearance is defined as deviant – For example, in China it is considered deviant to have more than one child
• Why focus on the context in which deviant behavior occurs?
Reason 1: Something considered deviant at one time and place may not be considered deviant at another time and place.
Reason 2: Under the right circumstances, almost any behavior can qualify as deviant. economic crisis health crisis national security crisis other social crisis
Reason 3: Secret deviants •People who break rules and escape detection
Falsely accused deviants •People treated as deviant even though they have broken no rules
Conformists and Deviants • For every rule a social group creates, four categories of people exist: – Conformists – those who obey rules – Pure deviants – those who break rules, are accused and ostracized for being deviant – Secret deviants – people where deviance is not noticed or where people look the other way – Falsely accused – those who are not guilty but who are accused of deviance
The Status of Deviant Primary deviants Those people whose rule breaking is viewed as understandable, incidental, or insignificant in light of some socially approved status they hold – teen vandalism Secondary deviants Those whose rule breaking is treated as something so significant that it cannot be overlooked or explained away – adult sex with minors Master status of deviant Those whose deviance overrides any other aspect of their lives – e.g. convicts
Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) A struggle for power within the Chinese Communist Party that resulted in dramatic social, political, and economic chaos Specifically, the Cultural Revolution was an attempt by Mao Zedong to eliminate anyone in the Communist Party and in the masses who opposed his policies
Socially Challenged Behaviors During the Cultural Revolution (that are not challenged today in China) Withdrawing money from Speaking a foreign language a bank Owning a camera or radio Making a profit Traveling abroad Occupying a position of Being a scientist, teacher, authority athlete, performer, artist, Having an academic business owner interest Having relatives who live Wearing makeup outside of China Wearing glasses
The Incarceration Crisis in the USA
The International Centre of Prison Studies statistics on numbers of individuals in prison New York times on Crime in the USA
Race and Crime 1.While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men. 2.According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2012/03/13/11351/the-top-10-most-startling-factsabout-people-of-color-and-criminal-justice-in-the-united-states/
The Cost of Imprisonment
The Cost of Imprisonment
TOTAL TAXPAYER COST PER INMATE Among the 40 states surveyed, representing more than 1.2 million inmates (of 1.4 million total people incarcerated in all 50 state prison systems), the total per-inmate cost averaged $31,286 and ranged from $14,603 in Kentucky to $60,076 in New York (see Figure 4).9 The methodology provides an “apples to apples” comparison of state prison costs because it standardizes the measure and counts the comprehensive costs to taxpayers in every state. The value of such a comparison is clear: corrections officials understand that prison costs are counted differently in every state. In the course of this study, for example, a Florida Department of Corrections official told interviewers that the department is often asked why its costs appear to be higher than those of other states. The answer is, in part, because Florida measures prison costs more comprehensively than some other states do, because relatively few of its prison costs are outside the http://www.vera.org/pubs/price-prisons corrections budget.
The Impact of Imprisonment on Society Incarceration The USA has the largest prison population in the world. The prison population does not reflect the general population, with a far higher percentage of Hispanics and African Americans in prison
White collar crimes These are crimes committed by people in higher status positions. They cost the USA an estimated $300 billion annually, (http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/white-collar_crime), yet many complain that they are treated less harshly than crimes committed by people with less status in society
The Impact of Imprisonment on Society Mental Health More than half of US prisoners have symptoms of mental health problems, including major mental health diagnoses, (http://www.hrw.org/news/2006/09/05/us-number-mentally-illprisons-quadrupled), yet prisons do not provide adequate care and treatment for inmates with mental health problems. One report states that there are three times as many individuals with mental health problems in prison, in comparison to mental health hospitals. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,HRW,,USA,3fe482a57,0.html http://www.hrw.org/news/2009/09/22/mental-illness-human-rightsand-us-prisons http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14707120/ns/healthmental_health/t/survey-most-inmates-show-mentalsymptoms/#.UOm7Kbar_Oc
Alternatives to Imprisonment Much research shows that prison does not work and that many convicts return to prison, since they are not prepared to function in the real world, while incarcerated. As well as people with addictions, and mental health diagnoses, a disproportionate number of homeless people end up in prison. There are not enough drug treatment programs, or job and education training in prison. Many studies point towards the effectiveness of community based programs, in contrast to imprisonment for non-violent offenders. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-alternatives-to-prison.html?_r=0 http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-57418495/the-cost-of-a-nation-of-incarceration/