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Deviance: Many sociological definitions of deviance simply elaborate upon this idea. Thus deviance consists of those areas which do not follow the norms and expectations of a particular social group.

Deviance may be positively sanctioned rewarded, negatively sanctioned (punished), or simply accepted without reward or punishment.

In terms of the above definition of deviance, the soldier on the battlefield who risks his life above and beyond the normal call of duty may be termed a deviant, as may be the case of a physicist who breaks the rules of her discipline and develops a new theory. As they say, somebody’s freedom fighter could be defined by others as a terrorist (deviant).

Their deviance may be positively sanctioned; the soldier might be rewarded with a medal and the physicist with a Nobel Prize. On the other hand, a person who was executed by the medal-winning soldier of one country could become a martyr in his own group and receives a hero status (relatively defined terminology). In one sense, neither is deviant since both conform to the values of their own society, the soldier to the value of courage; the physicist to the value of academic progress, the killed persona to the value of heroism.

Now, let us come to the questions!

For Week 4, please answer the following questions (after reading the passage above and this week’s required readings):

(1) Given the definition of deviance described above and in e-resources, what is a scholarly definition of crime and is it always the same as deviance? Can be deviant but not criminal and vice a Versa? Give examples.

(2) What is social control? Distinguish between formal social sanctions and informal social sanctions.

(3) What is a primary group and what is a secondary group? Give examples.

(4) What is an in-group, what is an out-group, and what is a reference group? Give examples?


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