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Deviant BehaviorEssay

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¶ … public use to determine severity of crime are several. Affluence for example is a determiner of crime because those that have lower incomes live in areas with higher crime rates. Those that are rich tend to live in areas with lower crime rates. This could be attributed to better schools, higher quality of life, convenience, and less stressors. The property crime rate however, is not considered a factor as much as other aspects of crime like domestic violence because of its sharp decline in the last few decades. "However, the property crime rate in the United States has declined sharply in the past two decades, while in Western Europe, it has increased." This lets the public know the population is not filled with all criminals but with a small percentage.

Even though poverty is a clear indicator for the public of potential criminal intentions, the wealthiest countries tend to have the highest rates of burglary and auto theft. Perhaps this could be due in part to the abundance wealthy countries have and the increased chance to steal. Misconceptions, a kind of social construct only becomes valid when it is believed. Fear, something attributed to criminal behavior provides some context surrounding why crimes occur. Results from constructionists and positivist criminology perspectives suggest conventional assumptions do not provide the truth when it comes to understanding the world of crime. The classic crimes concerning violence, the ones the pubic fear the most, are relatively rare. While other less violent sources of harm, the public fears far less. Major crimes like murder, rape, and robbery, core crimes people fear occur far less than shoplifting, credit fraud, and tax fraud. Although things like murder are primal and robbery are crimes that have existed since Biblical times, contemporary larceny is certainly a more American problem.

Chapter 6

White-collar offenses or corporate crime provides interesting material for researchers in sociology. This is because only a certain group of people can commit it. The book used the example of being fat, not so fat, and not fat or being honest or dishonest as an example of what everyone can be or is. However, organizational deviant provides relevant dimension for only a select since they would have to be members of that organization. In other words, corporate crime exists for business executives and the like and not for everyone else.

The book divides white-collar crime in terms of individual against the corporation like embezzlement and those that fall under the category of corporation against the public, employees, or consumers like corporate crime. Other kinds of crimes exist as governmental crime like violating international treaties and receiving bribes. Professional crimes, the last category mentioned, associates with overcharging a client or performing unnecessary surgery. The public does not tend to care about white-collar crime unless it is a corporate crime, which they perceive as a serious offense. Unfortunately corporate criminals even when convicted, face less harsh verdicts than the criminal charges imply.

A good example of bribery would be a mayor of a city accepting a bribe from a business executive to allow that business executive to build condominiums on a protected piece of land. The mayor may get a sum of cash or funding for their campaign and the executive gets to build on formerly protected land. Corporate crimes like polluting a lake by dumping off all of their toxic waste is an excellent example of white-collar crime. The company knows it is wrong to destroy the environment, but do so anyway because they wish to make a profit and wish not to spend resources on properly disposing of their waste.

Chapter 7

Illegal substances may be considered a form of deviance because of several reasons. First, humans are more likely to engage in dangerous activities while high. Many addicts for example, are known to steal from their loved ones, kill, and prostitute themselves in order to score. In a sense, the public believes drugs bring out the worst in people. This may include legal forms of intoxication like alcohol. "Alcohol induces a consciousness-altering state, and, although legal, becoming drunk, especially habitually, and especially in situations which demand mental acuity and physical coordination, is a violation of society's norms." Simply put, people do not behave normally while under the influence.

Drinking and smoking, although legal, is not considered healthy, at least when done in excess. Because those two substances may lead people to addiction, those that overly partake in these things get out of character, leading to those that interact with them as becoming deviant. Those that drink excessively like mentioned in the book, engage more in risky behavior, lose coordination, and overall seem completely different than when they are not intoxicated. Many of the homeless in the country are alcoholics lending to the idea that alcoholism can be a gateway to several deviant acts.

Just like the scare tactics seen with marijuana, people now associate alcoholism with domestic violence, promiscuity, and fighting. In a way, it is as if alcohol brings the worst out of people, keeping them from behaving normally and being healthy. Addiction and excess represent the core concepts that the public use or experience when they think of alcohol and smoking. Although smoking does not breed the ill consequences of alcohol, smoking creates alienation, as most people now want to stay away from the toxic chemicals associated with cigarettes and urge others to not smoke or stop smoking.

Chapter 8

Chapter 8 discusses drugs. First goes into LSD and the hype surrounding the drug. People assumed it caused brain damage when in reality; much of what was said was later disproved. Cocaine famously put in medicine and products like Coca Cola only became a problem in American society after the outcome of the Harrison Act. From there it was demonized and later crack, a more potent form of cocaine, became popular in poor inner city neighborhoods. It seems turning drugs illegal made them more dangerous because of drug trafficking and harmful cutting.

Those wishing to make a lot of money in a short amount of time would turn to drug dealing and drug smuggling. If all drugs were legal, these people would either have no source of income or work in legally selling these drugs. A good indicator of this is the legalization of marijuana. Many people that would have illegally grown the crop are legally growing the crop and selling it in their stores or dispensaries. Although they will not make as much money as they are now with marijuana still being illegal in most of the world and some states in the United States, people still make a good living from it.

Drugs are just one avenue for moneymaking. Regardless of whether it is legal or not, people will do the same things they did before to get money. The ones that will be more impacted by the legalization of drugs are the ones combating drug trafficking like the law enforcement agencies tasked to fight the war on drugs. They have a higher likelihood of not finding work compared to those that grow, transport, smuggle, and sell drugs. Drugs will always exist, as said in at the end of the chapter, "Deviance is a consequence of judgments that people make and labels they apply that influence a person self-concept and behavior."

Chapter 9

Society sees men engaging in sexual activities as normal. When women do it on the other hand, it is frowned upon and is a big aspect of society that the public wishes to control. The book uses the example of prostitution. Society sees prostitutes as deviant women. Their clients however are just seen as normal men. This becomes an important jump off point because teenagers have sex. Religious groups attempt to promote abstinence but normally guys are not as punished or stopped as frequently as girls.

Parents often keep teenage girls from engaging in sexual activities more so than teenage boys engage. It is expected that girls remain virgin until marriage whereas guys should lose it as soon as they can. Customs exist of fathers paying for prostitutes for their sons so they can lose their virginity. However, girls are told to dress demurely and wear purity rings. A study mentioned in chapter 9 shared men were more likely to take sexual favors than women making it seem as though sexual behavior or sexual deviance was gendered.

Society expects men to have sex, be promiscuous, and do sexually deviant acts. When they do not, when they stay virgin, that is a form of deviance because they are going against society's expectations. They are going against the norm. Several dimensions determine so-called judgments of deviance. Teenagers for example, society considers them children. When teenagers have sex with older adults, it is considered deviant. When they have sex with each other, it may be perceived as less deviant. In summation, society gives men permission to be more promiscuous. It may be genes and some assume, or it may just be archaic… [END OF PREVIEW]

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