Many people may disapprove of certain things in life that we may have second thoughts about. Regardless of whether an individual may feel as if they are doing something that is best for them, some people may still dictate an individuals every move. What makes an action or person deviant? The question will always arise many different discussions because of the different norms that we may face within the society, on a daily basis. Deviance is a socially constructed term that may bring about many different definitions over time. In regards to sociology of deviance, the definition may include many factors. Many people usually refer to deviance as the ability to do the right thing or the action that takes place once it occurs. Throughout this case study I will analyze how police deviance affects many social norms, and theorist who examined aspects of some sociological theories. Also I will discuss police crime that does not follow certain norms and expectations of social groups in the world today.
Police Deviance and Ethics
From a police standpoint and societal stand point, police deviance includes many different activities that are inconsistent with social norms. Some social norms that people feel that the police should abide by are simply following the code for ethics. The code for ethics helps people with the understanding of decision making skills, which may appear to be right and wrong, based on their own decisions as a police officer. Police deviance can take place all
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In dealing largely with disorderly elements of the society, some people working in law enforcement may gradually develop an attitude or sense of authority over society, particularly under traditional reaction-based policing models; in some cases the police believe that they are above the law. In other cases, police corruption and misconduct may be explained by individuals and individual faults- behavioral, psychological, background factors, and so on.
The research done in this paper provides a better understanding of deviance and social control. There are various factors to research on the topic to develop a complete understanding of the two ideas. Specifically, the goal is to identify factors that directly impact deviance and social control and if one can exist without the other. These topics provide a better understanding of the human behavior and actions because of social control and societal norms. The focus of this discussion is to provide a detailed analysis of societal norms, deviance, and social control. I have used supporting research and my own personal ideas to develop the findings in this paper. It has become evident that without societal norms there would be no social
Many individuals in today’s society wonder what pushes people past a breaking point in which they become involved in actions not accepted by society, such as stripping, prostitution, drug use, alcoholism and more. The reasoning behind this is deviance. Deviance can be either positive (over conforming) or negative (under conforming). When applying the subject of crime to a type of deviance, it falls under the negative category because those who under conform in society have a tendency to reach their goals with non-accepted means. Considering the crime of drunk driving, many factors add up to develop a reason why so many people do it. Merton’s strain theory perspective explains the deviance behind drunk driving very well, using its’ assumptions, key focuses, and root of deviant acts to support it. Before focusing on Merton’s theory relating to the crime of drunk driving, we first have to recognize how sociologists understand the concept of deviance.
“Deviance in sociological context describes actions or behaviors that violate cultural norms including formally-enacted rules (e.g., crime) as well as informal violations of social norms.”
There exists conflicting theories among sociologists in the area of determining why a person is considered to be a deviant, and the reasons behind why he or she has committed a deviant act. From a positivistic perspective, deviance is based on biological or social determinism. Alternatively, from a constructionist perspective, deviance is created and assigned by society. Both perspectives seek to give a theory for why a person may become known as deviant. Although they both view similar acts as deviant, the basic differences between positivists and constructionists theories are clear.
Police corruption can also be explained by the lack of protection and security police feel they have. They also feel like they are being disrespected by individuals in society, which is why they rely on the subculture for protection and support (Skolnick, 1966). The police subculture has created a lot of secrecy within the organization, which contributes to police misconduct. Police officers will often ignore another police officer’s corrupt actions in order to maintain a good reputation within the subculture (Tator & Henry, 2006). For example, 84% of police officers have directly witnessed another officer using more force than necessary out on the streets (US Department of Justice, 2017). However, instead of reporting the acts of others, 52%
Criminological theories have evolved considerably in terms of their interpretations of crime and deviance. Shifting away from the classical and neoclassical schools of criminology, we move towards a scientific approach that explains criminal behaviour as “determined by biological, psychological and social” (William & McShane, 2018: 25) factors. The question of what causes conformity and deviance is one that is asked by all positivist theorists. It is through the various positivist theories that we are able to answer this question and analyze both conforming and deviant behaviour, while simultaneously providing explanations for such behaviour. In the film Boyz N the Hood, we can see that crime is rampant, and through the multiple positivist
Law enforcement (police) subcultures have specific set of moral values and a certain mentality exhibited by those in law enforcement. It’s always the public against the police so they form an alliance for supportive reasons. However, people may believe police subculture is breaking down. Police subculture is breaking down because it is inconsistent with the formal morals and values related to the culture and that police are not the same as each other in their qualities and attributes. Examining ethics and its relation to the police subculture is important to help delineate not only the grey area of ethics but also the grey area within which the police operate (McCartney and Parent, 2015). For example, police officers are known to defend their own whether its something right or wrong. However, if another officer feels that the situation interferes with their morals, then it becomes inconsistent with the other officer’s
Police corruption has been an issue that has left a lasting blemish on communities and society. Police corruption usually derives a lack of respect officer(s) feel that either the city does not care about them or they are not paid enough for their duties. Throughout this essay I will give you a better understanding on the issue that is police corruption by using terminology from the book such as the “rotten apple theory”, “blue wall of silence” and “deviant subculture”. With corruption this affects the view we have on police and it is up to us not fall into the trap of negativity and create a better society for the future.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, ethics is defined “as the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation” (Merriam-Webster Online). This concept is prevalent in the world of police work since police officers are supposed to be the “good” in whatever is considered a “bad” situation. Many police departments offer training in ethics during the time in which a cadet is in the police academy and after officers are put on the streets, which is called in-service training. It is the hope that while this training is available to officers, that they hold a basic code of ethics within themselves which
Ethics, or moral conduct, are of major importance in the Criminal Justice field today. If the police force condoned unethical behavior, there would be very little, if any, justice being served. Official police misconduct is any “objectionable actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties, which can lead to a miscarriage of justice”. (wikipedia.com). However, “police misconduct may include a broader range of misconduct, reflecting the high standards that we expect of police officers. Unlike official misconduct, police misconduct can apply to off-duty behavior as well as conduct on the job”. (clc.qld.gov.au).
Abnormal behavior in one society appears normal in the other society (Nairne, 426). Deviance is weighed by the society’s reactions to the particular behavior, also it is measured by the society’s way of life so that it defines the unwelcoming behavior. It ignores the social order and some organizations believe, the reality in society.
Police subculture undermines ethics and has a constant influence on officers’ decision-making process, which ultimately leads to misconduct. Police, like most professions, have a secretive yet unique type subculture because the lifestyles of its members are significantly different. Law enforcement officers tend to befriend other officers or people with similar roles within the criminal justice system. Many times, friendships extend to firefighters and other civil service personnel to include military members.
Deviance is socially constructed because it is defined and outlined firmly by society’s norms. As a result, a deviant act in one society may not be considered deviant within a different society. Societies define themselves through the shared common values of the individuals and in order for a society to maintain these values and cultural identity they create and maintain boundaries (Erikson, 2005, p17). These boundaries allow individuals to relate to each other in an articulate manner and so that they may develop a position within society (Erikson, 2005, p17). The boundaries are created by individuals’ behavior and interactions in their regular social relations. Deviance then becomes the actions which society perceived to be outside of its boundaries. In other words, an act is viewed as deviant when it falls outside of those commonly shared values and norms which created the boundaries. This is because the society is making a declaration about the disposition and arrangement of their boundaries. Boundaries are not fixed to any society rather they shift as the individual’s redefine their margins and position on a larger cultural map (Erikson, 2005, p20).
Deviance and crime are wide-ranging terms used by sociologists to refer to behavior that varies, in some way, from a social norm. Cultural Norms are society's propensity towards certain ideals; their aversion from others; and their standard, ritualistic practices. Essentially the 'norm' is a summation of typical activities and beliefs of group of people. This essay will evaluate the sociological theories associated with crime and deviance and to compare and contrast these main theories. And find links between these theories to today’s society. There are various Sociological deviance theories, including Structuralist: why do some people break the rules? ,