Chapter 6 Study Questions

Topics: Sociology, Criminology, Crime Pages: 6 (1594 words) Published: July 4, 2013
1.Define deviance. How does this definition differ from how sociologists define deviance? Deviance is behavior or characteristics that violate important social norms. The difference between how the dictionary defines deviance and how sociologist define deviance is what may be deviant in one place, at one particular time, may not be deviant in another place and time. Basically with times changing something may or may not be tolerated as acceptable behavior.

2.What is situational deviance? Are there different degrees of deviance? Explain. Situational deviance is relative to a particular setting as well as dependent upon who is doing the defining. There are different degrees of deviance, there’s individual and system blame. The individual blame theory states that the normative social belief systems of society are functionally correct and contribute to a smooth and harmonious society. The theory of system blame states that deviant behavior as either a manifestation of inequality, or the attempts of the powerful to force their views of right and wrong on those with different views who are powerless to resist.

3.How do individuals choose group membership?
Individuals choose group membership by looking for a group that seems to have the stability one needs as well as choosing a group that reflects who we are-our consciousness and religious convictions.

4.What is anomie and how does it affect our choices?
Anomie is a state of normlessness characterized by the loss of sense of meaning and detachment from others in the society. Anomie affects our choices because an individual may choose a group that has altered values and is operating in a manner that society deems deviant.

5.Describe the process of groupthink. How does it happen and why? The process of groupthink is when one feels that membership in a particular group is important, the individual may allow the group to pressure them into pushing one’s own values aside and rationalize or ignore feelings. This happen because it is possible for someone from a deviant group to adopt more normative behavior by joining a socially acceptable group. Sometimes deviant behavior is the result of society’s reevaluation of the current norms to determine whether or not there is a need for change.

6.Explain each of the following perspective on deviance: absolutist, normative, reactive Absolutist: Deviance resides in the very nature of the act itself. Therefore it is wrong at all times-past, present, and future-and in every situation. Normative: What is deviant in one place, at one particular time, may not be deviant in another place and time. Reactive: Something is not deviant until it is defined as deviant by society and sanctions are set in place.

7.Are the reactive and normative perspectives similar or different? How? Reactive and normative perspectives are similar. Reactive states that in order for something to be considered as deviant, society has to rule it as so. Although society does not have to rule for something to be deviant within the normative perspective, but just because something may be deviant in one place, does not mean it is deviant in another place.

8.Define and describe a moral panic. How does it compare to a moral crusade? What criteria are required to label a movement a moral panic? A moral panic is a response to exaggerated fears and concerns of a particular group in society. During a moral panic, the behavior of some of the members of a society is thought to be so problematic to others, the evil they do, or are thought to do, is felt to be so wounding to society. In order to label a movement a moral panic the movement must be volatile, there is a heightened level of concern regarding the behavior in questions and consequences for the rest of society, society will define the group engaging in the deviant behavior as the enemy and exhibit an increased level of hostility toward them, there must be a wide spread consensus...
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