Social Control and Deviance

How do groups define and respond to deviance?
Read Chapter 6: Social Control and Deviance. Pay attention to the definitions of the concepts that are underlined in the questions below.

What is the movie you are analyzing?

What is a socially deviant action by an individual in the movie? Briefly describe who, when, where the action occurred.

Did the action break informal norms or formal norms (law)? Name the norm or law.

What formal or informal social sanctions did the group use to try to re-establish social control?
How did the deviant individual respond to the social sanctions? Did s/he change his behavior? Why?

Read about the categories of deviance that Merton constructed (p. 205-206) and discuss which one explains the deviance you described in the movie. What caused the individual to act deviant?






HINT: On page 205, the textbook presents Merton’s strain theory, or the “means-ends theory of deviance”. According to this theory people experience strain between the goals (i. e. ends) that they have been socialized to strive toward and the means (i.e. ability or opportunity) to reach those goals. Merton identified 4 categories for people who act in deviant ways.

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