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Sociological Definitions, Dissertation – Discussion Example

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Dissertation - Discussion

State four ways in which, according to Emile Durkheim, deviance is functional for society as a whole

Emile Durkheim’s functionalist definition of deviance relies on ‘anomie;’ or the state of alienation that is integral to ‘social cohesion.’ It is precisely in the realm of proscriptive norms that societies foster the potential for all things deviant.  Emotional impact instigates conflict and finds resolution here in that the obligator y is desirable. The presence of deviance as an ‘organic function’ to the whole of social order enhances unity and serves in rule formation.  Interested in sociomoral rules, Durkheim argues deviance is at the core of religion, and is circumscribed by rituals of inversion.

Explain the difference between primary and secondary deviance. Give an example of each

The distinction between primary deviance and secondary deviance is well articulated in the scope of law in that primary deviance correlates with the mental state of ‘intent,’ and secondary deviance is either ‘tacit’ or in the sphere of ‘incompetence.’ Criminal law in the United States for example is reliant upon Mental State as the attendant factor to Act within almost all criminal statute in the Modern Penal Code (MPC). In the MPC each crime is defined by rule elements that specify which mental state, or intent must be present to substantiate guilt of the defendant.

Define each of the following concepts: white-collar crime, corporate crime, organized crime, and hate crime

White-collar crimes are those committed by a professional class of defendant, typically in an organizational setting, and generally dedicated to the crimes of corruption, embezzlement, fraud and other financial or technologically target offenses. Corporate crimes are proximate to the former, yet implicate organizations in guilt, and typically criminal tortuous offenses where compensatory damages might be sought as remedy in addition to sentencing of convicted responsible parties. Organized crime denotes conspiratorial and or solicited crimes where commission of felonies is planned by two (2) or more parties. Hate crimes are heinous abuses of another individual or individuals responsive to ideological determinants.

Define “crimes against the person” and “crimes against property” and give examples of each

Crimes against property refer to the taking away of chattel with the intent to not return it. Damage or conversion of property where the plaintiff to the criminal complaint has indicated serious detriment to future benefits that will impact safety typically put the property issue into the state rather than civil court. Crimes against property are most pronounced in federal court cases whereby a party has caused intentional damage to a state facility (i.e. the Pentagon during 9/11). Crimes against the person are acts such as felony battery, rape and murder.

How are age, class, and race linked to crime rates in the United States?

Crime is the provenance of the young, the poor, and the minority adult in the United States. While high level criminal offenses are often commissioned by well educated whites (i.e. espionage), everyday criminal acts (i.e. theft) is pervasively correlated to economic status. There is no doubt that the history of race bias in the United States continues however, and the statistical likelihood of certain segments of the population (i.e. African American men) will be convicted and incarcerated at a higher rate. Reporting on crime activity is skewed in that only arrest and conviction rates can be reviewed, rather than acts.

Chapter 13 – Discussion Questions

Define each of the following concepts, clearly distinguishing each from the others: family, kinship, and marriage

Family is a model of socialization based upon nuclear or extended kinship relations. Kinship defines genealogical lineages through marriage. Marriage is the union of adults toward officially recognized economic and social household.

Why do all societies have rules of exogamy and endogamy?

Exogamy ensures genetic drift and economic trade. Social mores are more dependent upon endogamy, and therefore serve to secure property and social entitlement.

Distinguish patrilocality, matrilocality, and neolocality. Which pattern is favored in the United States? Why?

The ‘location of family.’ Patrilocality indicates preference for incorporation of female marriage partners into the male partner’s family unit. Matrilocality indicates preference for incorporation of male marriage partners into the female partners family unit. Neolocality does not indicate preference and is the most common form of consideration amongst North Americans, as extended families are typically put into social relationship by volition but not by household.

Identify three societal functions of the family

The family is the primary socialization unit in most societies. It also serves as an economic unit for everyday living, and is also a legal unit of accountability to the state.

What does social-exchange analysis suggest about courtship?

Social-exchange analysis looks at the dynamic present in courtship, and points to the value gained by involved parties in the process. In the United States such a relationship might be of direct value to only two parties as they enjoin lives, finances and social activities. In other settings such as the middle east, important economic agreements are reached through arranged courtship relationships decided according to parental consent, and furthered through a string of contractual obligations that includes monies, real property and long term obligation to a network of professional and social support.

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