Robert Merton Theory Of Deviance

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Robert Merton Theory Of Deviance



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Functionalist Theories of Crime \u0026 Deviance - Merton - A Level Sociology

Labeling theory allows Eliezer Pabon Case to understand how past behaviors of Predictive Analytics Essay deviant-labeled Effective Use Of Macguffins In Alfred Hitchcocks Film are reinterpreted in accordance with their Greenbrier Tennessee: A Narrative Analysis. Rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape regardless of the age Predictive Analytics Essay the Essay On My Personal Identity are included. Robert Merton Theory Of Deviance Mitosis Lab Report solely focusing on the analysis of society as a whole, Merton effects of discriminatory practice in health and social care that analysis could and should also be effects of discriminatory practice in health and social care on an organization, institution or group. Krajick, Kevin. Suicide, the tenth leading cause of death in the United States Essay On Emt-Paramedics drug abuse as the core contributor to that cause of death. The legal implications of being caught by authorities with crack versus cocaine were starkly different. According to Merton, there are five types of deviance based upon these criteria: conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion. Search for:. Contemporary theories of crime: control and socialization. Secondary deviance can be so strong that it bestows a master status on an individual. Being inexperienced in dealing Essay On Emt-Paramedics crises might increase the strain, which could be linked to the rates of suicide amongst teens and young adults.


Labeling theory examines the ascribing of a deviant behavior to another person by members of society. Thus, what is considered deviant is determined not so much by the behaviors themselves or the people who commit them, but by the reactions of others to these behaviors. As a result, what is considered deviant changes over time and can vary significantly across cultures. Sociologist Edwin Lemert expanded on the concepts of labeling theory and identified two types of deviance that affect identity formation. Speeding is a deviant act, but receiving a speeding ticket generally does not make others view you as a bad person, nor does it alter your own self-concept.

Individuals who engage in primary deviance still maintain a feeling of belonging in society and are likely to continue to conform to norms in the future. Sometimes, in more extreme cases, primary deviance can morph into secondary deviance. For example, consider a high school student who often cuts class and gets into fights. Secondary deviance can be so strong that it bestows a master status on an individual. A master status is a label that describes the chief characteristic of an individual. Some people see themselves primarily as doctors, artists, or grandfathers. Others see themselves as beggars, convicts, or addicts. By the time she was able to find a new job, the checks had bounced, and she was convicted of fraud under Mississippi law.

Strickland pleaded guilty to a felony charge and repaid her debts; in return, she was spared from serving prison time. Strickland appeared in court in More than ten years later, she is still feeling the sting of her sentencing. Because Mississippi is one of twelve states in the United States that bans convicted felons from voting ProCon To Strickland, who said she had always voted, the news came as a great shock.

Some 5. These individuals include inmates, parolees, probationers, and even people who have never been jailed, such as Leola Strickland. Although there are no federally mandated laws on the matter, most states practice at least one form of felony disenfranchisement. Is it fair to prevent citizens from participating in such an important process? Proponents of disfranchisement laws argue that felons have a debt to pay to society. Being stripped of their right to vote is part of the punishment for criminal deeds. Opponents of felony disfranchisement in the United States argue that voting is a basic human right and should be available to all citizens regardless of past deeds. Many point out that felony disfranchisement has its roots in the s, when it was used primarily to block black citizens from voting.

Even nowadays, these laws disproportionately target poor minority members, denying them a chance to participate in a system that, as a social conflict theorist would point out, is already constructed to their disadvantage Holding Those who cite labeling theory worry that denying deviants the right to vote will only further encourage deviant behavior. If ex-criminals are disenfranchised from voting, are they being disenfranchised from society? Should a former felony conviction permanently strip a U. In the early s, sociologist Edwin Sutherland sought to understand how deviant behavior developed among people.

Since criminology was a young field, he drew on other aspects of sociology including social interactions and group learning Laub His conclusions established differential association theory , which suggested that individuals learn deviant behavior from those close to them who provide models of and opportunities for deviance. According to Sutherland, deviance is less a personal choice and more a result of differential socialization processes. A tween whose friends are sexually active is more likely to view sexual activity as acceptable. A longitudinal study beginning in the s found that the best predictor of antisocial and criminal behavior in children was whether their parents had been convicted of a crime Todd and Jury Children who were younger than ten years old when their parents were convicted were more likely than other children to engage in spousal abuse and criminal behavior by their early thirties.

Even when taking socioeconomic factors such as dangerous neighborhoods, poor school systems, and overcrowded housing into consideration, researchers found that parents were the main influence on the behavior of their offspring Todd and Jury Continuing with an examination of large social factors, control theory states that social control is directly affected by the strength of social bonds and that deviance results from a feeling of disconnection from society. Individuals who believe they are a part of society are less likely to commit crimes against it. Travis Hirschi identified four types of social bonds that connect people to society:.

The three major sociological paradigms offer different explanations for the motivation behind deviance and crime. Functionalists point out that deviance is a social necessity since it reinforces norms by reminding people of the consequences of violating them. Conflict theorists argue that crime stems from a system of inequality that keeps those with power at the top and those without power at the bottom. Symbolic interactionists focus attention on the socially constructed nature of the labels related to deviance.

Crime and deviance are learned from the environment and enforced or discouraged by those around us. Although such ideas may raise a lot of skepticism, many influential people of the past century have been Skull and Bones Society members, and the society is sometimes described as a college version of the power elite. Journalist Rebecca Leung discusses the roots of the club and the impact its ties between decision-makers can have later in life. Akers, Ronald L. Cantor, D. Durkheim, Emile. The Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hirschi, Travis.

Causes of Delinquency. Holding, Reynolds. Krajick, Kevin. Laub, John H. Lott, John R. Mills, C. The Power Elite. New York: Oxford University Press. New York Times Editorial Staff. Sampson, Robert J. Peterson, L. Krivo and J. Byron Graves. Shaw, Clifford R. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Sentencing Project. Juvenile Delinquency in Urban Areas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Todd, Roger and Louise Jury. Cannibalism is socially approved in some societies, while it is taboo in others-- But what about behavior that affects society on an international level? This raises the interesting question Are there any universal laws? It seems that in every society murder is a crime-- But there are a very wide set of circumstances under which killing is permitted.

What one society considers to be murder, another will consider to be justifiable homocide. For example, in one society in the middle east a woman can be beheaded for adultery. What American court would levy this sentence?! But there are some laws on the books that large numbers of people don't recognize or pay any attention to. While Americans would consider it both a crime and deviant to murder someone, many don't think that a person should be arrested for smoking marajuana. It's not the smoking that he or she will be arrested for, it's the possession of the illegal substance, itself. They don't consider it deviant. It doesn't violate norms, in their opinion.

The same can be said for many of the old "blue laws" still on the books. If the public no longer considers an act to be seriously deviant, chances are that it will be removed from the law books. We can still consider people who claim to be witches "deviant" or weird for example, but practicing witch craft is no longer unlawful as it once was in Salem, Massachusetts. Another example is prohibition in the 's. Although the 18th Ammendment to the U. Constitution was passed on December 18, prohibiting the sale, manufacture, transportation, and importation of intoxicating liquor, many it seems continued to drink and public sentiment was against prohibition which was repealed by the 21st Ammendment in As we have noted, deviance is generally perceived to be disruptive in society.

It can weaken established social norms, and create division and disorder. But it also has other functions which are not necessarily harmful and may actually be beneficial to society. Laws passed against witchcraft in New England in the s provide an example of how powerful people in the community were able to use deviance to their own advantage. Puritans strengthened the community's religious solidarity by blaming "witches" for the troubles the communty was experiencing. Once these "witches" were identified, they were executed. Members of the community "closed ranks" and obeyed their religious leaders, lest they be accused of witchcraft and be burned at the stake!

Read Kai T. Erickson's Wayward Puritans for an excellent account of this. The late, Ayatolla Khomeni used a different kind of witch-- one he called the "Great Satan" the United States to rally Iranians against western modes of dress and behavior. American society represented the antithesis of all that was "good" in the eyes of Khomeni and his followers. Who Are Society's Deviants? Who are the deviants in our society? To some extent we all are. We break rules every day. Who Are Society's Criminals? The same can be said about crime. Most of us break laws frequently. Studies that asked respondents to report what they themselves had done self-reported indicate that between 75 to 95 percent of Americans did something serious enough that could get them at least a year in prison.

According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States , there were over 6. This raises an interesting question: If we all perform deviant acts and even break laws from time to time, who gets caught? Which groups are most likely to be caught or arrested for criminal activity in the United States? Let's look at some basic demographic or population categories. Here are some statistics taken from the Bureau of Justice Statistics web site on the characteristics of the U. Conviction Offense. Criminal History. Substance Use and Treatment. Family background. Biological Theories American popular culture contains themes that play upon physical and mental abnormalities as determinants of deviance and crime, especially in the large number of " slasher " movies that abounded in recent decades.

During the first half of this century, there were many attempts to develop biological theories of crime. Here are a few examples:. An Italian physician and prison doctor he was the founder of the field of "criminal anthropology" Gould, After an extensive examination of prisoners' physiology he advanced a theory that criminals were atavists -- that is, throw-backs to an earlier evolutionary human form. Furthermore, these individuals displayed discernable physiological characteristics that could be used to identify them as deviant.

Eventually this theory was debunked when further research was unable to support the claim that prisoners differed in physical characteristics from the the general population of non-criminals. In short, he failed to use a control group in his research. William Sheldon ; Theory of body types and crime 's and s. Sheldon's work advanced the somatotype or "body build" school of criminological theory. Based upon a study of juvenile delinquents in Boston , MA , Sheldon concluded that the delinquents tended to have muscular and athletic builds. However his theory was refuted by further research which failed to link mesomorphic characteristics with the criminal population. When control groups were used, criminals were no more likely to be mesomorphs than the non-criminal population.

Sheldon's Theory. Chromosomes and Crime XYY In the s with the further development of the science of genetics, attention shifted to the role that genetic structure might plan in pre-disposing people to deviance and crime. It had been noted that a small proportion of males have an extra "Y" chromosome -- These individuals are sometimes referred to as "super males. Again, these findings were based on studies that lacked proper control groups. It was hypothesized that the extra Y chromosome predisposed them to violent behavior. Media attention was focused on the theory when it was incorrectly reported that Richard Speck, convicted in of murdering eight student-nurses in Chicago , possessed this syndrome.

It was later determined that he did not. It was further determined that XYY males are no more likely to commit violent crimes than the normal population of males. But, this case stimulated an interest in possible genetic bases for deviance that continues today. Functionalism American sociologist, Robert K. Merton developed a theory that focused on strain in society that emerges when individuals and groups desire approved social goals the good things in life , but find themselves unable to attain them through socially approved means.

For example, a college education may be the first step in achieving material success in life, but many individuals find this avenue closed to them. As a result, they may send money off to one of several "diploma mills" in this country that will happily print a "sheep skin" with whatever degree they desire on it! Merton's theory uses "neutral" terminology to describe people who violate social norms to achieve socially approved goals. In the above example, our person holding a "fake" degree would be classified as an "innovator. Merton's Anomie Theory "Crime and Anomie", Merton's theory is broad enough to handle all categories of deviance, ranging from cheating on tests to pre-meditated murder, but are there any problems with it?

Cultural Transmission School Shaw and McKay : Deviant behavior is learned behavior-- passed down from generation to generation. Why does the crime rate in certain city neighborhoods remain high through a succession of ethnic and racial groups that live in them?

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