Lecture 3 Notes from Notetakers

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Guilford Technical Community College **We aren't endorsed by this school
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SOCIOLOGY 210
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Sociology
Date
Oct 23, 2023
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14
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Lecture 3 Notes from Notetakers Summary of Thursday's Lecture Folkways, mores, and laws- and their differences ABC's of deviance What are the different definitions of deviance? (statistical, normative, reactive, absolutist) Achieved vs ascribed Importance of Definitions How do we categorise different behaviours, attitudes, and conditions Helps us to analyse what is deviance Violations of behavioural codes, expectations, of conduct, and other said or unsaid suggestions which guide one's decisions, actions, and reputation for social acceptability (Adler) Statistical Deviance as rare behaviour or status, statistical minority (i.e. having albinism, minority religion) Absolutist Deviance as violation of universal cultural standards/contract (pedophilia) Not super concerned with something being rare/common, more concerned with how offensive something is Reactivist Deviance as something a specific social audience labels as deviance (Moms Against Drunk Driving) Sometimes called relativist Normative Deviance as departure from norms that draw social disapproval and may cause negative sanctions (interrupting someone while they speak) Often applied to folkways/"unspoken norms" of interpersonal behaviours Norms recaps Social norms: unwritten rules of behaviour, attitudes, and values which are considered acceptable by society Folkway example: eating with your hands (in the US) More example: incest Law example: stealing New definitions for today Howard Becker ( Outsiders ): The product of a transaction that takes place between some social group and one who is viewed by that group as a rule-breaker (pg. 10)
What does he mean by "transaction"? There is an exchange between the more socially powerful and the less socially powerful, an interaction where the applying of the label is or is not happening social differentiation between the ingroup and out group, people accused of doing something the ingroup wouldn't do are outcasted Deviance is subjected- someone who is labelled deviant might find those labelling them to be deviant Deviance happens between people and between social groups Example: prohibition and the Italian community producing their own wine (normalised vs criminalised; othered within the American context) Define deviance and enforce the rules around deviance Prohibition: used legal recourse to label and enforce the production of alcohol as deviant (reactivist) Different groups can be deviant to each other Example: in the eyes of the law, those drinking during prohibition are deviant- however the popularity of drinking throughout the era viewed the ban on alcohol as deviant. Contextual differences Deviance is not intrinsic to any individual people (pg. 9) All a relational process (if no one interacted with one another and just lived how they felt was appropriate, nothing would be deviant) Labels and sanctions applied to people "make" deviance Informal or formal label with a consequence attached "It's not illegal if you don't get caught" If something doesn't reach a certain level of "offensive"/draws enough attention it will not be "evenly applied" across time and space (mostly applies to folkways, e.g. whether or not someone cares if you put your elbows on the table during dinner) The social group you are a part of and the social group the one doing the labelling is apart of matters on whether you receive that label Race, sex, gender, economic status: a black man killing a white woman is more likely to be persecuted than a white man killing a white woman; unmarried fathers are far less likely to be reprimanded/scrutinised than unmarried mothers
Not all people who are labelled break rules (a teacher picking on a student and sending them out of the classroom) Not all people who break rules are labelled (folkways, status (see above)) "Deviant behaviour is behaviour that people so label [as deviant]" (pg. 9) There is no intrinsically deviant behaviour or status "Outsiders" A person who breaks a societal rule egregious enough to be socially excommunicated Predominantly people from groups with less societal power Social structure and differential labelling of "deviant" Kai Erikson (in "Notes on the Sociology of Deviance") We define what is appropriate and moral by defining what is immoral Without deviance society falls apart Deviance is always present It changes over time, constant shifts across space and across time periods "The deviant person is a person whose activities have moved outside the margins of the group... when the community calls him to account for the vagrancy it is making a statement about the nature and placement of its boundaries" (pg. 18-19) More thinking of society as one large social group Concept of boundary maintenance (pg. 19-20) A constant renegotiating/redefining what is allowed/appropriate in society by defining what is the opposite of that boundary Concept of confrontations Similar to Becker's "transactions"-- the society as a whole confronting and determining the deviance of the individual(s) accused of deviance Any member of the community with that ethos embedded reacts, which either reaffirms that moral/ethical ideology or makes it "fall away" (deviants vs policing agents) Judging a trial by jury, excommunication hearings, psychiatric case conferences Not as interested in the differences between the labeller and the labelled- it's more about imparting a societal value system and determining punishment
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