Deviant Behavior

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Mid Term Exam
SOC323 – Deviant Behavior
Week 4
Daniel Frey
March 31, 2012
Patricia Case

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The Midterm Exam consists of 5 essay questions taken from Modules 1-4. Each essay should be 250-500 words. The Midterm Examination will be completed during Module 4 and is worth 15% of your overall course grade. -------------------------------------------------

1. -------------------------------------------------
Drawing on Module 1, define the analytical term “deviant behavior.” Make sure to include a discussion of the difference between deviant behavior and criminal behavior and draw on your textbook, as well as the YouTube video from Module 1.

Deviant behavior consists of behavior that differs from the norms and values of wider society. Criminal behavior consists of behavior that breaks the law (e.g. murder, theft). Those who exhibit deviant behavior act and dress in a way that differs to the norms and values of wider society. One example of a deviant group is Goths. Most cases of deviant behavior are legal, but in some cases their behavior can result in criminal activity. A group of people who exhibit deviant behavior share their own norms and values that form a distinct subculture. Deviant groups are often labeled by the media in a negative manner. Tabloid newspapers tend to take a more overtly biased approach towards labeling deviant groups, although labeling is not simply confined to the ‘red-top’ press. TV also plays a role in labeling certain groups. Deviancy amplification occurs when the media focuses upon the negative aspects of behavior amongst deviant groups. One example would be the recent focus upon young people who wear hoods, who are often associated with causing trouble and engaging in criminal activity. The media’s portrayal of certain groups can even create a moral panic within society, which can result in those groups becoming modern-day ‘folk devils’ – groups that become a scapegoat for problems within society (e.g. asylum seekers). When groups are labeled, society will expect certain forms of behavior from a particular group, such as people from an ethnic minority. These labels are often based upon stereotypes, and can be either positive or (in most cases) negative. For example negative labels of certain ethnic groups can be based upon racism. You also need to be aware of the potential impact of labels, such as a self-fulfilling prophecy. -------------------------------------------------

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2. -------------------------------------------------
Define and discuss Howard Becker’s “Labeling Theory.” Include a discussion of rule-breaking behavior and “becoming deviant.” For this question, draw...
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