Norms: Rules of conduct that specify appropriate behavior in a given range of social situations. A norm either prescribes a given type of behavior or forbids it. All human groups follow definite norms, which are always backed by sanctions of one kind or another-varying from informal disapproval to physical punishment.
Deviance: Modes of action that do not conform to the norms or value held by most members of a group or society. What is regarded as deviant is as variable as the norms and values that distinguish different cultures and subcultures from one another. Forms of behavior that are highly esteemed by one group are regarded negatively by others.
Deviant Subculture: A subculture whose members hold values that differ substantially from those of the majority.
Sanction: A mode of reward or punishment that reinforces socially expected forms of behavior.
Laws: Rules of behavior established by a political authority and backed by state power.
Crimes: Any actions that contravene that laws established by a political authority. Although we may think of criminals as a distinct subsection of the population, there are few people who have not broken the laws in one way or another during their lives. While state authorities formulate laws, it is not unknown for those authorities to engage in criminal behavior in certain situations.
Psychopaths: Specific personality types; such individuals lack the moral sense and concern for others held by most normal people.
Anomie: A concept first brought into wide usage in sociology by Durkheim, referring to a situation in which social norms lose their hold over individual behavior.
Differential Association: An interpretation of the development of criminal behavior proposed by Edwin H. Sutherland, according to whom criminal behavior is learned through association with others who regularly engage in crime.
Labeling theory: An approach to the study of deviance that suggests that people become “deviant”...
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