Blackman, S. (2014). Subculture Theory: An historical and contemporary assessment of the concept for understanding deviance. Deviant behavior, 35 (6), 496-512.
Both British, as well as American theories of subculture identify close associations between psychology and biology in defining deviant behavior. In this article, the author investigates the subculture concept used in sociology and how it has been utilized in interpreting deviant behavior. The author employs different theories of deviance such as the Merton’s theory to explain the association between subculture and deviance. According to Merton’s theory, a subculture is a fundamental causal explanation in that deviance originates from the interplay between structure and culture.
According to the article, young people encounter status problems because of the absence of middle class culture and values. The author affirms further that deviance is caused by the transfer of delinquent values within disadvantaged communities. Because of structural strains in class positions, working class youths are unable to succeed through the legitimate institutional platforms. In essence, these individuals pursue delinquent subcultural goals with the aim of reversing the values held by the middle class.
The author concludes that one of the attractive features of the subculture concept is its ability to describe and define deviant behavior. The subculture concept has diverse social origins and has struggled for recognition in the sociology of knowledge. This article is instrumental in understanding the different settings of the theoretical concepts of subculture by reinforcing the lack of a dominant subcultural explanation. It also sheds light on how class differences result in deviance. Furthermore, the article highlights the contributions of different individuals such as Emile Durkheim and Martin Bulmer towards the understanding of deviant behavior.
Jensen, G. F., & Akers, R. L. (2017). The empirical status of social learning theory of crime and deviance: The past, present, and future. In Taking Stock (pp. 45-84). Routledge.
This article aims to review empirical evidence regarding the qualification of social learning theory as a formidable explanation for the development of deviant and criminal behavior. According to the article, there is a wide range of treatment, rehabilitation, and behavioral modification programs in different treatment and correctional facilities. Most importantly, these programs are implicitly or explicitly predicated on the behavioral facets of social learning. These programs have achieved tremendous success in correcting delinquent behavior compared to conventional methodologies. Consequently, the outcomes of applicable programs are instrumental in analyzing the usefulness and truthfulness of a theory.
According to the authors, apart from imitation, both the social learning theory and modern organizational theory include cultural influences as fundamental determinants of patterned behavior in both individual and organizational behavior. They further assert that culture and structure are interrelated. Nonetheless, they have separate effects on the key doctrines of social order, stability, disorder, and change. The authors infer that because the social learning theory permits imitation independent of definitions, differential reinforcement, and opportunities, it allows cultural as well as other forms of “lags” when a crime is sustained.
This article provides critical insights into the elaboration, expansion, and testing of theory in the future. Furthermore, the authors propose ways of building the Social Structure and Social Learning Model, which enhances the understanding of deviance. In like manner, the article fosters the understanding of different forms of reinforcement such as differential reinforcement that is a critical part of the concept of deviance.
Larsen, E. N. (2013). Deviants or consenting adults: A human rights approach to defining and controlling deviant behavior. Sociology Mind, 3 (01), 1.
In this article, the author presents that a majority of socio-legal notions of deviance are descriptive, in that they try to define the behaviors that are considered deviant, rather than questioning whether a certain behavior should be categorized as deviant. Therefore, the author tries to examine deviance in the perspective of human rights. The article is majorly based on the difficulties that the society faces in determining what should be termed as deviant behavior. The article posits that the continued reliance on established social norms to define deviance is ineffective since the approach fails to address the fundamental question of why these social norms were established in the beginning.
According to the article, any efforts made towards integrating human rights into a deviance model and social control has to acknowledge that human diversity is not only normal but also desirable. Human diversity contributes towards enriching the society and is the best guarantee for the freedom of the society. Moreover, such an attempt must acknowledge that the conventional definitions of deviance permanently intertwined with power. The elite groups are interested in controlling both the definition of deviance and the social control agents. Finally, theorists must recognize the difference between unacceptable and undesirable behavior.
This article is an important resource for students of deviance since it provides an objective definition of deviance and allows the reader to understand the role of class in establishing what is considered as deviance. The reader will be intrigued by the manner in which the article broadens the understanding of deviance. Most importantly, the article posits that the continued reliance on established social norms to define deviance is ineffective since the approach fails to address the fundamental question of why these social norms were established in the beginning.
Liberman, A. M., Kirk, D. S., & Kim, K. (2014). Labeling effects of first juvenile arrests: Secondary deviance and secondary sanctioning. Criminology, 52 (3), 345-370.
This article addresses the collateral consequence of the criminalization of youths in the contemporary society. Generally, the authors attempt to answer the question: what is the consequence of juvenile arrests? To answer this puzzle, the article focuses on two conflicting theories that give opposite answers to the question. While deterrence theory predicts a reduction in the levels of juvenile offending as a result of arrests, the labeling theory suggests that increased juvenile arrests only lead to higher levels of criminal sanctioning and offending. In this article, the findings confirm the results from previous experimental studies that arrests have a tendency to enhance the number subsequent arrests. Therefore, it is safe to allude that re-arrests are largely influenced by the dissemination of offending, which is linked to secondary deviance.
The authors conclude that the results of labelling have a twofold policy implication. The first implication is that there should be restrictions on formal law enforcement regarding serious deviance/delinquency. In this regard, the authorities should resist the invitation to criminalize misbehavior among minors, for example, discipline cases in schools. Secondly, the paper proposes that in order to reduce the destructive effects of labelling and sanctions that amplify deviance, authorities must move away from increasingly punitive laws as responses to delinquent behavior. Similarly, it is important to maintain the confidentiality of juveniles and expunge any information regarding the delinquent behavior at a later date upon the conviction that an individual has moved away from delinquent behavior. This paper is a worthwhile resource in providing distinctions between the opposite effects of labeling. Readers will find the findings interesting regarding the labeling effects on delinquent conduct versus the effects on the responses of the society.
Matsueda, R. L., & Grigoryeva, M. S. (2014). Social inequality, crime, and deviance. In Handbook of the Social Psychology of Inequality (pp. 683-714). Springer, Dordrecht.
For a long time, theories have associated social inequality with criminal behavior. In this article, the author explores this question by examining the true role of social inequality in perpetrating deviance and crime. The authors specify a social psychological theory regarding the causal mechanisms that associate inequality with delinquency. The verify the construed assumptions, the article notes that in the U.S., high violence and crime rates are associated with inner-city urban dwellings that live in extremely disadvantaged conditions. The authors analyze how the causal mechanisms vary across communities, neighborhoods and time. In the same spirit, the authors pose the question; if a serious crime leads to the risk of incarceration, what is the role of incarceration and crime reproducing social inequality.
In building their argument, the authors start by noting that in contemporary industrial societies, the criminal law context of the criminal law, justice administration, and punishment infliction is part of and a result of the political systems. Powerful members of the society have the greatest influence on the political aspects of a country. Consequently, crime is deeply rooted in economic and political inequality. The article notes the contrasting differences between the punitive courses of corporate crime and street crime and their contribution towards propagating societal inequality.
The article concludes that organized crime, whether conventional or criminal, varies during the lifespan of an individual. It is, therefore, linked to lifelong criminal participation patterns. On the other hand, transitions into and out of institutions such as the labor market, school system, and prison system interfere with the offending trajectory in individuals. Notably, however, these institutions are structured by social inequality, and at the same time, help produce social inequality. This article incorporates social and psychological processes in analyzing the macro-relationship between crime and inequality, thus breathing new ideas into the understanding of deviance.
McKoy, D., & Cui, M. (2013). Parental control, adolescent delinquency, and young adult criminal behavior. Journal of child and family studies, 22 (6), 836-843.
In this article, the author argues that since young adulthood and adolescent are periods of increased autonomy, they might play a big role in increasing the opportunity for delinquency. In this transition period, the role of parental control in shaping the character of individuals becomes unclear. Despite several studies demonstrating the association between parental control and deviance in adolescents, only a few have examined this association into young adulthood. As children enter into adolescence, they develop a desire to be independent with their decisions about clothes, friends and their social life including sources of entertainment.
In this study, the authors use a nationally representative sample population of adolescents as well as their parents to investigate the question under discussion. Based on the provisions of the Baumrind’s theory, the authors hypothesize that there is a positive association between adolescent delinquency and low parental control. For better results, the study controls for demographic factors such as the gender of the participants.
The findings of this study are in line with previous studies on the same subject. The results revealed that parental control is still important in determining future criminal behavior in young adults. The authors propose, therefore, that parents have to continue controlling the behavior of adolescents in aspects such as choice of friends, television watching and other social engagements to reduce the risk of delinquent behavior. This article is important since it analyses the role of the family, specifically parents, in affecting delinquent behavior.
Reinecke, J., Stemmler, M., Sünkel, Z., Schepers, D., Weiss, M., Arnis, M., … & Wittenberg, J. (2013). The development of deviant and delinquent behavior over the life course in the context of processes of social inequalities.
In this article, the authors investigate the development of delinquent and deviant behavior from a psychological as well as sociological points of view. By focusing on the relationship between the consolidation of social exclusion and the development of deviant behavior, the study aims to highlight the factors that are responsible for the onset as well as the persistence of delinquent life courses. On the same note, the study also attempts to pinpoint the turning points that result in normative behavior in previously deviant individuals.
The study utilizes a cohort sequential design by assessing three cohorts in two separate locations. Fifth and ninth grade students from two different schools take part in the study. According to the study, the combination of psychological and sociological disciplines can be used to reinforce the methodological, theoretical and empirical legitimacy of the studies on deviant behavior. In this study, four sociological theories, i.e. the Social Disorganization theory, the Attachment Theory, the Differential Associations theory and the attachment and control theory influence the sociological and criminological factors in the research.
This study concludes that there is a ubiquity of deviance and crime among students. Consequently, the chosen sample proved to be an important starting point for observing the onset of delinquency. This study is a unique source that fosters the understanding of deviance from a psychological perspective. There are very few outstanding studies that incorporate psychological and sociological theories in investigating deviance. Therefore, this source is a unique longitudinal study and will be instrumental in understanding the onset of deviant behavior especially in young individuals.
Vazzana, J. (n.d.). A Visual Model of Deviance: Social Triggers and Unacceptable Behavior.
In this article, the author presents that the qualitative nature of deviance makes it understandably difficult to break down. Different societies have different views regarding what is seen as normal or abnormal behavior. To further complicate matters, the author writes that deviance may still be viewed as an acceptable social behavior and still retain its negative definition. This paper aims at minimizing value judgements regarding acceptable social behavior to enhance conceptual clarity. Consequently, the author presents a visual model that covers the circumstances of deviance.
According to the article, there are numerous theories that attempt to explain deviant behavior. Nonetheless, every theory adopts a unique approach in legitimizing itself while analyzing the specific forms of interaction. A majority of these theories are neither visual nor generic and may encompass hidden agendas. Although they provide important insights into the study of deviant behavior, they fail to tell the whole story and may mislead readers is not analyzed from a broader perspective. The article further analyses the roles of various theories such as the Strain Theory in triggering insecurity. Strain Theory is closely associated with labelling. Once an individual believes that he/she is estranged from the society through labeling, they are subjected to a certain amount of strain.
This paper is useful since it provides a different approach towards understanding deviance. The author provides an in depth analysis if the specifics of time, situation, and place in defining deviant behavior. Furthermore, the paper presents a visual model that leaves a lasting impression in the eye of the reader because of the fluidity of its applicability.
Wenner, C. J., Bianchi, J., Figueredo, A. J., Rushton, J. P., & Jacobs, W. J. (2013). Life History theory and social deviance: The mediating role of executive function. Intelligence, 41 (2), 102-113.
Generally, conventional theories specify impulse control difficulties and cognitive ability differences such as intelligence as fundamental risk factors in the maintenance and etiology of social deviance. In like manner, this article focuses on analyzing the structural equations presented by the LH theory. The authors assess the effectiveness of the LH theory in explaining the development and persistence of deviant behavior. The study focuses on the role of LH theory as a mediator in the relationship between social deviance and antagonistic attitudes.
According to the articled, the LH theory asserts that the environmental relationships of individual predict the onset of deviance. Unpredictable and harsh environments lead to fast LH strategies in which short-time gains are dominant. On the other hand, predictable and stable environments encourage slow LH strategies, where longer-term benefits are dominant. Therefore, the article suggests that EF intercede the enactment of LH strategies. The study demonstrated that both intelligence and slow LH strategies have a positive correlation with specific behavioral preferences and psychological abilities.
This article is a useful resource in promoting the understanding of the benefits of socially deviant behavior and the more conventional focus on the costs of deviance. Consequently, this promotes the implementation of balanced intervention strategies in dealing with deviance. Most importantly, however, this article promotes the understanding of the reasons why individuals engage in different kinds of deviant behavior and the methodologies of developing innovative therapeutic strategies that focus on reducing social deviance.
Worthen, M. G. (2016). Sexual Deviance and Society: A sociological examination. Routledge.
In this book, Worthen adopts an integrative approach towards understanding sexual deviance. The author brings together different fields such as deviance, gender, and criminology to foster an objective understanding of delinquency in the society. The book focusses its discussion on sex crime and sexuality as an important segment of delinquency. In this regard, the author provides a detailed coverage of fundamental theoretical positions on sexual and social deviance. The book provides a detailed observation of trends in sexual deviance by incorporating criminal records and evidence in the subject under discussion.
The author sets aside preconceived ideas of heteronormativity regarding what is conceived to be normal behavior. By casting aside the theoretical and historical frameworks of normal sexual behavior, the book focuses on the social construction of the definition of deviant individuals or acts. The author draws the reader’s attention to the differences between the labelling of deviant behaviors and statistical deviance. The book chapters elaborate the role of location, power structure, and time in influencing the development of deviant behavior.
This book is an important resource in expanding knowledge on deviance and delinquency. Specifically, the book gives insights into the compositions of sexual deviance and allows the reader to get into the mind of a sexual offender. It is a rare sophisticated analysis of a topic that is among the most dynamic and complicated in the modern day society. Students of deviance will not only benefit from the content of the book, but also the progressive thinking of the author on the subject of deviance. While many journals and books deal with deviance as a general topic, the author has taken a different approach by concentrating on a specific type of deviance.