Deviant Behavior Midterm Study Questions 1. What is sociology

Deviant Behavior
Midterm Study Questions
1. What is sociology? What methods do sociologists use to study deviance? What are
the three elements of the sociological imagination? Describe the following schools in
sociology: functionalism, symbolic interactionism and conflict theory.
2. What are 3 different uses of the concept of deviance or deviants in sociology?
3. Contrast a psychological or law/order explanation of the origin of violent gangs with
a sociological explanation. How are they different? What evidence supports the
sociological explanation? What are possible solutions to gang delinquency that would
follow from a sociological analysis?
4. Contrast sociological with psychological explanations of police brutality. What light
does Reiss's study shed upon the problem? How does Reiss’s study help us understand
the beating of Rodney King? Which explanation, the psychological or sociological
explains more about police brutality and why? What solutions to the problems of
police brutality would follow from a sociological perspective?
*5. (a) What problem was Milgram concerned with explaining? (b) Describe his
experiment and how it would answer his question. (c) What were the results of his
experiment? (d) What conclusions did Milgram reach with respect to understanding
the causes of mass murder? (e) What is the significance of his study? (f) How does
Milgram’s study relate to current disclosures of torture by the military and the CIA?
6. (a) Describe the problem that led Zimbardo to undertake his study The Stanford
Prison Experiment. (b) Describe his study and the hypotheses he was testing. (c)
What were the results of the experiment? (d) What was the significance of his study
with respect to understanding prison violence? What solutions might you propose?
7. (a) What overall conclusion can be reached with respect to the causes of violence
from our analysis of violent gangs, police brutality, mass murders, and prison
violence? (b) How do these patterns of violence demonstrate they are a property of
the social system?
8. Describe the “Social Disorganization” theory of deviance. (a) What is “social
disorganization, (b) What are some causes of disorganization, an (c) What are
consequences of social disorganization?
(d) What were Mills’ critiques of
disorganization theory?
*9. (a) What type of theory is Sutherland's D.A. theory? (b) Describe the main
elements of his theory. (c) What is the most important determinant of crime? (d) Who
will become a criminal? (e) At what point does a person become a criminal according
to Sutherland? (f) According to DA theory what are some solutions to crime in society?
*10. Critically evaluate Sutherland’s theory. Cite relevant research studies which
both support and challenge his theory.
11. (a) Describe Sykes and Matza's theory of the Techniques of Neutralization. (b)
What are the different techniques of neutralization? (c) How does it relate to
Sutherland's DAT theory? (d) What role do the techniques play in deviant behavior
according to Sykes and Matza?
*12. According to Merton's theory of Anomie: (a) what is anomie, (b) what causes
anomie, and (c) what are some consequences of anomie? (d) Why do societies differ in
rates of deviance according to Merton? Why do some groups (eg. Lower-class) have
higher rates of deviance according to Merton? (e) What is the major hypothesis of his
theory of Anomie? (f) What would be solutions to deviance according to Merton?
13. (a) Describe Cohen's theory of Gang Delinquency. (b) According to Cohen, why do
delinquent subcultures emerge, that is what is their function? (c) Why do they have
the norms they do? (d) Why are they found in certain sectors of the city?
14. (a) Describe Cloward and Ohlin's theory of Delinquency and Opportunity. (b)
Why do delinquent gangs occur at all? (c) Why do different types of gangs develop in
different areas in the community? (d) How does their theory relate to Merton's theory
of anomie?
15. (a) Describe Hirschi’s Control theory. (b) What are the various bonds he points
out? (c) What is the major hypothesis of his theory. (d) How does it differ from DA
theory or Anomie theory?
16. Describe Durkheim's theory of the Normal and Pathological.
17. Describe Davis’s theory of Prostitution.
18. What are Erickson’s main points on the sociology of deviance?
19. Describe Durkheim’s theory of suicide. What justifications did he set forth for
believing that suicide was socially caused? What were the four types of suicide and
what caused these suicides. How were suicides a property of the social system?
20. Describe Faris and Dunham’s study of mental illness. What were their findings?
How did they explain those results? What were two problems with their study?
21. Describe Hollingshead and Redlich’s study of Social Class and Mental Illness.
What were three of their findings? How did they explain those results? What were
some problems in their study?
22. Why do sociologists believe deviance is socially caused? What facts about deviance
have forced us to take a sociological perspective in order to understand the causes of
Bonus Question:
*23. There have been numerous incidents reported by the press of Americans
torturing prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo, and rendering them to a third
country known to torture prisoners. Numerous deaths and disappearances, electrical
torture, use of attack dogs, water submersion, sexual perversions and desecrations of
religious symbols, etc., have all been reported. Use a “sociological perspective” to
explain these atrocities by American soldiers and intelligence officers. Employ specific
sociological studies and theories that would explain these atrocities by a sociological
analysis. When you have completed your analysis try to connect all the dots in order
to get to the root causes of the atrocities.