Many sociological definitions of deviance

 

In everyday language the phrase “to deviate”means to stray from an accepted path.

Many sociological definitions of deviance simply elaborate upon this idea.

Thus deviance consists of those areas which do not follow the norms and expectations of a particular social group.

Deviance may be positively sanctioned (rewarded), negatively sanctioned (punished), or simply accepted without reward or punishment.

In terms of the above definition of deviance, the soldier on the battlefield who risks his life above and beyond the normal call of duty may be termed a deviant, as may be the case of a physicist who breaks the rules of her discipline and develops a new theory.

Their deviance may be positively sanctioned; the soldier might be rewarded with a medal and the physicist with a Nobel prize. In one sense, though, neither is deviant since both conform to the values of society; the soldier to the value of courage; the physicist to the value of academic progress.

For Week Three discussion, please answer the following questions (after reading the passage above and this week’s required readings):

(1) Given the definition of deviance described above and in Conley textbook, what is a scholarly definition of crime and is it always the same as deviance? Can something be deviant but not criminal and vice a versa?

(2) A student wants to achieve good grades but is not interested in studying for exams or putting in the required time for his/her online class; instead the student finds various ways to cheat.  How does Robert Merton’s strain theory explain this behavior, and which “type” does the student exemplify?

(3) In terms of social control theory, does the threat (from the  professor) to submit all formal paper assignments to Turnitin.com, a common academic program to identify and prevent plagiarism from internet resources keep most students from plagiarizing their papers? Why or Why not?

Please post your response to these discussion questions and also comment on the postings of at least two of your classmates in this week’s discussion.

Make sure you cite any sources or references used in your answers (e.g., textbook or other internet sources).

1- reply to this post:

(1) Given the definition of deviance described above and in Conley textbook, what is a scholarly definition of crime and is it always the same as deviance? Can something be deviant but not criminal and vice a versa?

Merriam-Webster defines crime as an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law; especially : a gross violation of law. Crime. (n.d.). Crime is not always going to be the same as deviance because to “deviate” is to stray from the accepted path, But in some social groups like the mafia for example being involved in crime is the accepted path. Something that is non-criminal but deviant is a person in a social group of fit people decides become fat. Something that is criminal but non-deviant is being in the mafia.

(2) A student wants to achieve good grades but is not interested in studying for exams or putting in the required time for his/her online class; instead the student finds various ways to cheat. How does Robert Merton’s strain theory explain this behavior, and which “type” does the student exemplify?

Merton’s theory, the Anomie theory explains the student’s behavior by saying that the student wants to get good grades to achieve high societal goals. The student does not want to study for the exams to get the good grades, but still wants to attain the high societal goals. The Student then in turn cheats to still achieve the goals. The Exemplifies the Innovation type, in which the goals are pursued but legitimate means are eliminated and illegitimate means are used.(Review of the Roots of Youth Violence: Literature Reviews)

(3) In terms of social control theory, does the threat (from the professor) to submit all formal paper assignments to Turnitin.com, a common academic program to identify and prevent plagiarism from internet resources keep most students from plagiarizing their papers? Why or Why not?

I do not believe that the threat of having student submit through a plagiarism website will stop students from plagiarizing. I believe this to be true because where there is a will there is a way, for example a student might try to change a bunch of words in a plagiarized paper because they still think it would be easier than to actually write it themselves. Especially in the age of technology that we currently live in because you can go on internet and look up how to get away with plagiarism and about million results pop up.

 

 

Crime. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2015, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crime

Review of the Roots of Youth Violence: Literature Reviews. (2013, September 3). Retrieved October 13, 2015, fromhttp://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/youthandthelaw/roots/volume5/chapter06_strain.aspx

2 reply to this post:

  1. Given the definition of deviance described above and in Conley textbook, what is a scholarly definition of crime and is it always the same as deviance? Can something be deviant but not criminal and vice a versa?
  2. “A crime is an act that breaks a law that relates to how to behave in society. The harm caused by the act is seen to be against society as a whole, not just a specific person.” Furthermore, “…a crime is an act (something you do) or omission (something you don’t do) that is against the law and punishable upon conviction. “ (justicebc.ca, n.d.)  According to this definition, criminal activity is a deviance against society by committing criminal acts, and being deviant COULD lead to crime… but not necessarily.  For example, being promiscuous is not breaking any laws, but the act of prostitution is illegal in most states.
  3. A student wants to achieve good grades but is not interested in studying for exams or putting in the required time for his/her online class; instead the student finds various ways to cheat.  How does Robert Merton’s strain theory explain this behavior, and which “type” does the student exemplify?

     

    The student wants good grades but doesn’t want to work for it. According to Robert Merton’s Typology of Modes of Individual Adaptation, this individual would be closely associated with the Innovation Mode.  The Innovation Mode is defined as, “Innovation occurs when an individual accepts the goals of society, but rejects or lacks the socially legitimate means of achieving them.” (bolenderinitiatives.com, n.d.) To this person, the ends justify the ends.

     

  4. In terms of social control theory, does the threat (from the  professor) to submit all formal paper assignments to Turnitin.com, a common academic program to identify and prevent plagiarism from internet resources keep most students from plagiarizing their papers? Why or Why not?

     

    In terms of social control theory, I absolutely believe that the “threat” from the professor keeps some students from plagiarizing.  The key word is some.  I believe that if someone wants to do something bad enough, they will find a way to do it.  The internal controls set by society and societal groups will determine the decision to plagiarize or not.  For example, a person could be taught by some of their small social groups (i.e. family and organizations) to not cheat, but their friends could be endorsing the behavior to cheat.

     

    In my opinion, strong attachment comes into play when a particular social group that impacts the individual, either emotionally, professionally, or socially, has the ability to become informed of the action.  Knowing this up front could be a deterrent and persuade the individual from cheating.

     

    References:

  5. bolenderinitiatives.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from Bolender Initiatives:http://www.bolenderinitiatives.com/sociology/robert-king-merton-1910-2003/robert-king-merton-mertons-five-types-adaptation

Bonchek, P. (n.d.). Theories on Criminal Behavior. Retrieved October 12, 2015, from University of Maryland University College:https://learn.umuc.edu/content/enforced/86928-007088-01-2158-OL3-7380/Theories%20on%20Criminal%20Behavior.ppt?_&d2lSessionVal=tEsxuwvcYyCLxpKOGvgAmoQQz&ou=86928

justicebc.ca. (n.d.). Retrieved from JusticeBC:http://www.justicebc.ca/en/cjis/reporting/crime/

Thanks]

 

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