Explore BrainMass

Constructionist Approaches to Deviance

This content was STOLEN from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

What is deviance? How do constructionist approaches explain it? Include the themes, ethical/moral issues and central concepts of Constructionism, such as:

1. Social Construction of Moral Meaning and Definitions
2. Relativity
3. Social Control
4. The Political Equation - The Processes of Criminalization
5. Contingency

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 24, 2018, 6:22 pm ad1c9bdddf

Solution Preview

1. What is deviance? How do constructionist approaches explain it?

Constructionist Approaches to Deviance (from Goode, 6th, 2001, and 7th, 2005; chapter 2 and 3)

Unlike Essentialists, the relevant issue for Constructionists is not why some people "do it", but why and under what conditions "it"- whatever it is- tends to be is condemned. So, the wrongness is not assumed, indeed its wrongness is what needs to be explained.

Constructionist Focus On:

1. Creation of Deviant Categories

How is human behavior assembled into identifiable categories? Why do members of a society select these as real and worthy of attention (i..e., homosexuality in prison), while ignoring others that are equally real (i.e., corporate crime like cutting costs for safety and killing thousands of workers), but seemingly unworthy of serious attention?

Categories do not fall ready made from the sky, they have to be noticed and made a part of a society's cultural lore. For example, when society decided that alcohol was poison, prohibition occurred through a democratic process and the majority of the people voted for the banning of alcohol. Alcohol was labelled as "poison" and those who drank or sold it were labelled 'deviant" and possibly "criminals" if convicted of a felony (i.e., bootlegging). Thus, the constructionist would be looking at the social trends that lead people to define alcohol as "poison" and the people who labelled those who drank or sold alcohol as "deviant" "criminal" and "bootleggers" if they used or sold alcohol.

2. Investigation of condemnation

Why do certain rules exist?

How does a general category become defined as wrong, a ...

Solution Summary

This solution defines the concept of deviance, and specifically how the constructionist approaches explain it. Specifically, it explains the main focus, themes and concepts associated with Constructionist approaches to deviance.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Understanding Deviance and Socialization

1. Discuss and illustrate the four types of nonconforming behavior presented by Robert Merton in his theory of deviance.

2. Describe Edwin Sutherland's approach to deviance, which draws upon the interactionist perspective. In what ways does Edwin Sutherland's approach to criminology draw upon the significance of the socialization process?

3. Explain the routine activities theory and indicate why proponents believe that it is a useful theory for explaining the increase in crime during the last 50 years.

4. Briefly explain the basic ideas of labeling theory. Explain how labeling theory draws on the work of both conflict theorists and interactionists. Distinguish among labeling theory, the societal-reaction approach, and the social constructionist perspective.

View Full Posting Details