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Outline and evaluate the view that crime and deviance are socially constructed

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Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Outline and evaluate the view that crime and deviance are socially constructed All crime is considered deviant but not all deviant acts are considered criminal. To analyse the difference between what is crime and what is simply deviant behaviour a clear definition of both needs to be established in order to evaluate whether crime and deviance are socially constructed. Crime is simply a set of universal rules that are punishable by law. They vary in severity from little misdemeanours to unspeakable acts of maliciousness. Depending on the type of criminal activity will decide on the outcome of the punishment (James, 2017). Whereas, deviance is recognised as a behaviour that is infringing against expected rules and norms. Deviance is more than merely non-conformity; it is behaviour that strays substantially from social expectations. Although these acts are considered offensive, they are not punishable by law and typically the punishment is stigma from within society (Nagel, 2016). For anything to be considered criminal or deviant originally the act itself must have been created and developed by a society. It is the perception of a society that determines whether the act is deviant or criminal making it socially constructed. ...read more.


As norms change so does legislation which then influences what we view as deviant behavior (Johnson, 1985). We now have regulations on the tobacco packaging to make them all standarised in the hope it deters future people from enrolling in this activity. (Nash, 2013) Marxism suggests that deviance is socially constructed as it means to stray from the ruling classes ideology since they control the means of production, and are therefore the intellectual rulers in society. They have the power to define working class activities as deviant, in doing so control them (Beirne, 1979). An example of this would be corporate collar crimes that go under the radar, as opposed to single mothers who are given harsher punishments in comparison to companies who commit tax fraud on such a large scale yet seem to ween through the system. ?The poor have criminal records, the middle class have skeletons in the closet and the rich have excellent accountants?. (Fogg, 2014) Howard Becker?s proposed the Labelling Theory and claimed that is not the act itself that is deviant; it is the response of society which defines it as such and, crucially, the responses of the powerful determine how society is expected to view such behaviours. ...read more.


Fakim, N., 2012. Morocco: Should Pre-Marital Sex be Legal?. BBC News, 9 August. Fogg, A., 2014. What is crime? We can't measure it because we haven't defined it. The Guardian, 16 January. Haralambos, M., 2008. Sociology Themes and Perspectives. 7th Edition ed. Hammersmith: HarperCollins Publishers Limited. James, P., 2017. The Crime Book. 1st Edition ed. London: Darling Kindersley Limited. Johnson, N. R., 1985. Cigarettes: The Battle Over Smoking. Social Forces, 64(1), pp. 228-229. Muslim, S., 2007. Prescribed punishment for an adulterer and an adulteress. In: The Book Pertaining to Punishments Prescribed by Islam (Kitab Al-Hudud). s.l.:Darussalam, p. 4191. Nagel, J., 2016. Introducing Sociology: A Graphic Guide. London: Icon Books Ltd. Nash, L., 2013. Children and Families Bill. [Online] Available at: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2013-2014/0059/amend/su059-II-a.htm Schneiderman, H. G., 2018. Engagement and Disengagement Class, Authority, Politics and Intellectuals. Abingdon: Routledge. Scott, J. & Marshall, G., 2009. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd Edition ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Stonewall, 2016. Key Dates for Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans Equality. Stonewall Acceptance Without Exception, 26 July. Swift, J., 2017. The Crime Book. London: DK Penguin Random House. Taylor, I., Walton, P. & Young, J., 2013. The New Criminology for a Social Theory of Deviance. 40th Anniversary Edition ed. Abingdon: Routledge. Thorpe, C. et al., 2015. The Sociology Book. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited. Worth, R., 2010. Crime (Sex) and Punishment (Stoning). [Online] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/weekinreview/22worth. ...read more.

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