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Social Networks meet Mobile Networks. Official statistics pertaining to deviant behavior are collected and publicly disseminated by Statistics Canada and the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
These data include relatively complete and thorough accountings of those who are incarcerated, as well as related recidivism rates.
Exceptional boards: Environmental experience and positive deviance from institutional norms
Of course, this aspect of the criminal justice system is but a small part of the production of deviance. A limited range of behavior considered deviant is represented in data collected by the state or state-related agencies.
As researchers move further from the corrections system, official data become less and less convincing.
At the risk of stating the obvious, data on convicted bank robbers is limited to those whose level of relative effectiveness as a bank robber or abilities to engage the justice system were inadequate to avoid conviction.
Official quantitative data is necessarily socially constructed, as targets determine the appropriateness of informing agents of control, as policing and like agencies manage caseloads, as pleas are bargained and judicial systems make determinations. The officially derived quantitative data that are employed to test theories, evaluate the efficacy of programs, and establish funding priorities reflect this constructive process. Rather importantly, official statistics afford a unique opportunity to attend to crime and deviance trends over time and in a comparative context.
For example, there is little controversy to be found in the claim that the United States has the highest homicide rates among western, industrialized countries Wilkinson and Pickett or that there has been and continues to be a demonstrable racial bias in the application of the death penalty Unnever and Cullen As Reiman has argued, official crime statistics create the illusion that crime is an activity most associated with the poor by ignoring all together or treating lightly the crimes of elites.
With these cautions in mind, official measures of deviance and crime remain vital indicators of the formal regulation of deviance. Respondent-Derived Quantitative Data For students of deviant behavior, official data may be useful, but they are also inherently limited. The range of behavior considered deviant by some audience is more wide-ranging and encompassing than behavior that is defined by official crime reports.
Additionally, those who are publicly and officially identified as having engaged in this or that deviant behavior are a subset of those who participate in such deviant activities. Those identified by control agents will include those who are wrongly accused and exclude those who participate in the deviant activity yet have not or will not come to the attention of control agents Becker Official statistics are not measures of deviant behavior as much as measures of the formal control of deviance.
Researchers who are interested in describing and theorizing about deviance more generally have made a concerted effort to move beyond official data sources to self-report surveys.
Self-report surveys allow researchers to resist the systemic bias in official data and to study aspects of deviance that are excluded from official data. Short and Nye's seminal work has established the relative analytical value of asking those involved in deviant behavior to report on their own activities.
Self-report studies tend to suggest the following: This rate of participation in homosexual and bisexual activities tends to be lower than the 5—10 percent participation rate suggested by advocacy groups or by those extrapolating from behaviorally based studies. Self-report surveys only tell researchers what respondents are willing to reveal to them. As the above example illustrates, there may be a rather important disjunction between what people say they do and what they do.
While self- report surveys may be shown to be internally consistent e. As Couch has argued, for a discipline that claims to attend to the social, sociology has historically been exceptionally reliant on the individual as the primary unit of analysis.
The Impact of the Internet on Deviant Behavior and Deviant Communities
Survey research perpetuates this concern, as it is inherently individualizing. Since it is often derived from one person's responses to a series of prescribed questions, it thereby establishes the individual as the primary unit of analysis. Ethnographic Research Tradition: Participant Observation and Case Studies Ethnographic research refers to the various research practices that scholars may use to study and represent the way of life of a group of people.
The extended ethnographic tradition is grounded in the research practices of observation, participant observation, and in-depth interviewing. While ethnographers may draw on a variety of other research strategies to support their work e. Given the nature of fieldwork, researchers are less likely to present their data quantitatively or to use the language of the natural sciences in their analysis.
Readers are cautioned against assuming, however, that this work is any less empirically grounded or any less appropriate for developing meaningful theories of deviant behavior. In fact, field research may be the only means by which empirically grounded knowledge of some aspects of deviance can be achieved.
Given that deviant subcultures may be marked by illegal activity, secrecy, purposive misdirection, and skepticism, and may sustain an amplified suspicion awareness context, investigative field research may be the only way to develop a scientific understanding of deviant subcultures Douglas This argument is eloquently made by Adler in the context of her membership role with drug dealers and smugglers.
She clearly demonstrates that the only way to get close enough to the activities of upper-level drug dealers was to take up a membership role in this specific case, a peripheral role within the subculture. This general point is also most certainly true of the most complete study we have on outlaw motorcycle gangs Wolf Wolf's participation in the Rebels offers a clarity of understanding of the social organization of the group, the marginality of its members, and accompanying gender roles that would simply be unavailable to the non-member.
Membership status is not a prerequisite for the development of ethnographic understandings of deviant behavior. The case study is an example of a research posture that is not predicated on membership status.
Case studies are a research strategy that may be employed to develop a rich understanding of a subculture, a person's life, an organization, or a community. The case study model is marked by the depth of data collected and is often derived from participant observation, in-depth interviews, and the personal involvement of the researcher s in the field site for an extended period of time.
While most certainly not exclusive to sociology for example, field-derived case studies have been employed by biologists to better understand primate behavior , foundational work employing the case study model marked the development of the Chicago School in the s, s, and s.
It was framed in the context of the city and the tension between urban and rural life, of differing life chances, and life as it was lived. The case study approach is particularly appropriate where researchers are interested in understanding the creation of local cultures and the social construction of multiple realities.
sociology of deviance.pdf
An interest in the lives and perspectives of slum dwellers, the homeless, and juvenile delinquents is an important move away from the moral certainty that had accompanied the work of earlier social pathologists, who tended to view deviance as indicative of sick persons or sick societies or perhaps both.
While case studies attempt to be "true" to the lived experiences of the people whose lives inform the research, the contributions to the sociological study of deviance extend well beyond "thick description" Geertz The import to sociological theory of the case study is significant. For example, our collective understanding of the social construction of gender and the management of disrespectability owes much to Garfinkel's ability to move beyond the particular to the general, while grounding his account in the lived experiences of Agnes, an "intersexed" person.
Ethnographic research practices are not often oriented towards generalizing to a population or do they easily lend themselves to traditional tests of validity and for some these are crucial short-coming of the tradition Huber The nature of the data generated rarely allows for generalization from a sample to a population. Rather, ethnographic research on deviant subcultures and deviant activities tends to be oriented towards developing sensitizing concepts and attending to the generic social processes that accompany deviance in everyday life Prus ; Van den Hoonaard Those working within the extended ethnographic research tradition have generated a range of generic concepts that influence the sociological study of deviance more generally including concepts such as: In Sum Maines Research methodologies are in part skills based.
The quantitative skills required for inferential modeling are not for everyone; neither is the commitment required to sustain a meaningful field presence in the context of a deviant subculture.
Likewise, our theoretical commitments are an extension of the perspectives we bring to our work and our life. In many respects, a variety of sociological theories distil human group life into a conceptual heuristic that is unknown to experience.
As Cooley taught many years ago, the distinction between individual and society may be analytically useful, but pragmatically it is much less so. Likewise, we do a significant violence to our research on deviance if we adopt a simple structural determinism that views social interaction as a neutral medium through which social factors merely pass, or if we become so enamored with "lived experience" that participants become isolated from their histories, their institutions, and the circumstances of their lives that are not of their own choosing.
The study of deviant behavior is in part a pragmatic exercise. The sociological study of deviance requires that researchers attend to a phenomenon that is situationally defined by some audience, a population that is rarely known, participants who may be reluctant to more openly associate with discreditable identities, careers of involvement that vary rather markedly over time, and the reality that deviance occurs within a community context that extends well beyond practitioners and their confederates.
As Grills has argued, the work of doing research is productively understood as problem-solving activity. The more one is interested in how people come to view the world as they do, how relationships are created and sustained, how activities are accomplished, how people come to be involved in various subcultural affiliations, and how identities are managed, embraced, or resisted, the more it is imperative that researchers focus on naturally occurring events rather than self-reported data or laboratory experiments.
Likewise, the more one is attentive to issues of measuring the incidence of deviant behavior, attempting to measure the effectiveness of control agents or self-report data based upon random sampling techniques, the more one's research demands rigorous survey-based quantitative analysis. The study of deviance is marked by disrespectability — the disrespectability of topic, of spoiled identities, of subculture, and the contagion that may be experienced by the scholar. Quite apart from the specific methodological positions that researchers may adopt, respecting the nature of deviance as a social phenomenon requires that we fully attend to deviance in a community context.
Columbia University Press, New York. Anderson, N. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Becker, H. Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. Free Press, New York. Blumer, H. Colosi, R. An ethnography of lap-dancing.
Willan Publishing, Abingdon. Cooley, C. Shocken, New York. Couch, C. Symbolic Interaction Cressey, P. Denzin, N. Lincoln Eds. Sage, Beverly Hills, CA. Douglas, J. Durkheim, E.
Simon and Schuster, New York. Edgerton, R. University of California Press, California. Garfinkel, H. American journal of Sociology, Garland, D. Crime, Media, Culture, 4 1 , Geertz, C. Basic Books, New York. Goffman, E.
Notes on the management of spoiled identity. Fieldwork Settings. Sage, Newbury Park, CA. Grove, W. Criminology Hall, S. A new perspective. Sage, Newbury Park.
Exploring Deviance in Canada : A Reader by Ed Ksenych (2011, UK-Paperback)
American Sociological Review, Institutions of knowledge, norms, and values, are simply in place to categorize and control humans. It had three faculties: Where Durkheim stated that anomie is the confounding of social norms, Merton goes further and stated that anomie is a state in which social goals and the legitimate means to achieve these goals do not correspond Kelly, et.
Consequently we cannot conclude whether the factors influencing performance have been comprehensively assessed or whether success was achieved through unobserved or unmeasured behaviours. Dysfunctions of Deviance Dysfunctions of deviance, as to sociologists, are the negative or disruptive consequences of deviance.
Aiken, M. Sociologist, such as Durkheim, Erikson, and others expressed that deviant behaviour is not always harmful to group life.
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