COURSE CODE : SOCI 344
COURSE TITLE : SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANT
PAPER TITLE : THE RAIDER AND THE PROSTITUTE.
It is very common to see films offering apologues which illustrate conflicts between a movie character and society. In these cases, the character refuses to conform to societal norms and values and is therefore liable to appropriate sanctions. Persons of such mannerism are referred to as deviants in society. Deviance, in a sociological context examines any behaviour which violates socially acceptable norms and is subject to reprehension from the majority of society. For instance, society expects people to mourn during funerals so when a close relative is found rejoicing, the person is considered a deviant. However, deviance can be described as criminal or non-criminal because norms vary considerably across diverse societies. In other words, what one society may consider deviant, another may consider it acceptable. An example is homosexual relationships ; it has been legalized in some countries and strongly rejected in other countries. Over the past 50 years, theories such as Differential-association theory, Anomie theory, Control theory, Labelling theory and many more have emerged to explain the concept of deviance. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the Social Organisation of Deviants according to Best and Luckenbill (1980) and identify such deviant actors in the movie Pretty Woman (1990). Best and Luckenbill (1980) propounded a theoretical framework advanced for understanding the social organisation of deviants and deviance. The social organisation of deviants refers to the structure or patterns of relationships among deviant actors in the context of deviant pursuits (Best and Luckenbill, 1980). They stipulated that, deviants organize in five forms along a scale of rationality. Beginning with the least rational form , they discussed loners, colleagues, peers, mobs and formal organisation using four variables namely mutual association, mutual participation, division of labour, extended organization to explain these forms. Loners are deviants who perform their deviant activities alone. Examples include rapists ( Amir, 1971) and amateur shoplifters ( Cameron, 1964). Colleagues like loners can function as individuals but they associate with deviants of the same kind. Examples include most prostitutes ( Hirschi, 1962; Bryan, 1965, 1967) and pimps ( Milner and Milner, 1972). Peers on the other hand relate with each other and indulge in deviant activities together.. Some examples of peers are homosexuals ( Humphreys, 1970; Mileski and Black, 1972; Warren, 1974) and gang delinquents ( Shaw, 1930; Matza, 1964; Rosenberg and Silverstein, 1978). Mobs are groups of career oriented deviants who work together through functional specialization and division of labour to achieve an elaborate goal. Examples include armed robbery (Einstader, 1969; Letkemann, 1973) and picking pockets (Maurer, 1964). Lastly, formal organizations are generally larger than mobs but are more intricately organized to pursue continuing and long-term goals. Examples include very large urban street gangs (Keiser, 1969; Dawley, 1973) and smuggling rings (Green, 1969). However, Best and Luckenbill (1980) examined the consequences of the deviant organization forms for both deviants and social control agents and proposed that, the level of sophistication of the form of deviant organization determines the complexity, socialization,...