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    Deviance in Society

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    1. Discuss the procedures in, and conclusions to be drawn from Stanley Milgram's experiment on obedience to authority. How did Stanley Milgram explain the high rates of compliance found in his obedience experiments?

    2. Explain Travis Hirsch's control theory. Distinguish between informal and formal social control and give examples of each.

    3. Explain how deviance varies by group, by social context, and even over time. What is "stigma," and what is its relationship to deviant behavior?

    4. Why is Émile Durkheim's view of deviance considered an example of a functionalist approach?

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    Solution Preview

    1. Milgram's experiment is about obedience to authority. "Milgram (1963) wanted to investigate whether Germans were particularly obedient to authority figures as this was a common explanation for the Nazi killings in World War II." (http://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html)

    - Procedure: "Milgram selected participants for his experiment by newspaper advertising for male participants to take part in a study of learning at Yale University. The procedure was that the participant was paired with another person and they drew lots to find out who would be the 'learner' and who would be the 'teacher'. The draw was fixed so that the participant was always the teacher, and the learner was one of Milgram's confederates (pretending to be a real participant). The learner (a confederate called Mr. Wallace) was taken into a room and had electrodes attached to his arms, and the teacher and researcher went into a room next door that contained an electric shock generator and a row of switches marked from 15 volts (Slight Shock) to 375 volts (Danger: Severe Shock) to 450 volts (XXX)." (http://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html)

    A very detailed explanation of the procedure for this experiment can be found at http://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html (under the heading "procedure")

    - Conclusions: "Ordinary people are likely to follow orders ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution will outline differing views on deviance, including those of Milgram, Hirschi, and Durkheim.

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