We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Social Deviance and Crime

An Organizational and Theoretical Approach

Charles R. Tittle and Raymond Paternoster

Publication Date - April 2000

ISBN: 9780195329957

728 pages
7 x 10 inches

Retail Price to Students: $244.99

Working from a unique approach, this book unites two topics that are usually separated: the study of social deviance and the study of criminal behavior.


Social Deviance and Crime unites two topics that are usually separated: the study of social deviance and the study of criminal behavior. Traditionally, the study of deviance introduces students to various types of deviance, giving the impression that these are distinct acts requiring equally distinct and unique explanations. The study of crime has followed virtually the same path. Criminology textbooks usually describe a series of criminal acts, one at a time, fostering the impression that these acts have only one thing in common--they are all violations of the criminal law. As a result, treatment of deviance and crime in most texts has proceeded along two different and parallel tracts, with little or no convergence.

In Social Deviance and Crime, Tittle and Paternoster contend that acts of social deviance and criminality share important conceptual ground: both are types of behaviors that are socially disapproved, and specific acts differ mainly in the degree to which they are disapproved. The authors argue that social disapproval is an important characteristic that links apparently diverse behaviors (religious and sexual deviance, organized crime, youth gangs, drug use, serial murder, etc.). This book differs significantly from other texts in the way it bridges deviance and crime within a single conceptual and explanatory framework.

Social Deviance and Crime's approach is also unique. Texts in criminology and deviance often adopt either an "interactionist/constructionist" or a "substantive" perspective. This book treats deviance as an integrated concept, differentiated chiefly by how well deviant/criminal enterprises are organized. The authors describe and analyze different types of deviant/criminal acts according to an ascending scale created by combining nine different features of organization. The text then explores theories and explanations about how deviance takes place, how it develops, and why it is maintained. Also included is a discussion of variations in the distribution/rate of deviant acts within society, and how theory can and cannot account for these known variations.

Tittle and Paternoster interweave conceptual and empirical material together, giving students an opportunity to understand the impact of theory on research. Every chapter features Deviance in Everyday Life boxes. Here, the authors provide vivid, real-world examples of deviance, deviance organization, and attempts by society to "do something about" deviance.

Table of Contents

    1. What Is Deviance?
    Conceptualizations of Deviance
    Absolutist Approach
    Legalistic Approach
    Reactive Approach
    Group Evaluation Approach
    A Synthetic Approach
    Legality and Deviance
    Applications Examples
    2. Types Of Deviance
    Classification A
    The Organization of Crime and Deviance
    The Organizational Continuum
    3. Individualized Deviance
    What Is Suicide?
    How Much Suicide Is There?
    Characteristics of Suicide
    Serial Murder
    What Is Serial Murder?
    A Brief History of Serial Murder
    The Prevalence of Serial Killing
    Characteristics of Serial Killing
    4. Subcultural Deviance
    Deviant Drug Use
    What Is Deviant Drug Use?
    A Common Conceptualization of Drugs
    Classification of Deviantly Used Drugs
    Variations in Drug Use
    How Organized Is Drug Use?
    Street Gangs
    What Is Gang Delinquency?
    The Criminal Activity of Gangs
    Extent of Street Gangs: The 'Gang Problem'
    Composition of Gangs
    How Organized Is the Gang?
    5. Fully Organized Deviance
    What Was Perfectionism?
    Organized Deviance
    How Organized Was Perfectionism?
    Organized Crime
    What Is Organized Crime?
    How Organized Is Organized Crime?
    Does Organized Crime Even Exist?
    Multinational and International Organized Crime
    6. Deviance/Crime and Society
    The Inevitability of Deviance
    Possible Usefulness of Deviance
    The Elasticity of Evil
    General Theories About Norms
    Anomalies to Be Explained
    Explanations for the Anomalies
    Consensus Theory
    Conflict Theory
    Social Psychological Theory
    Limited Perspectives
    Processes of Deviance Creation
    7. Deviance/Crime and Social Change
    Deviance and Social Processes
    Types of Social Change
    How Deviance Gets Started
    Sources of New Behavior
    Transforming Behavior Into Deviance
    How Deviance Succeeds
    Recruitment Intensified
    Problems of Growth and Expansion
    The Fruits of Success Examples
    8. Extent of Deviance and Conformity
    How Much Conformity Is There?
    How Much Deviance Is There?
    Sources of Information
    Generational Variations
    9. Who Does Deviance and Crime?
    Demographic Variations
    Minority Status
    Social Attachment
    Place of Residence
    Socioeconomic Status
    Geographic Location
    Regional Variations
    Personal Variations
    Family Structure and Process
    Peer Involvement
    10. Ad Hoc Explanations
    Socio-Economic Status
    Minority Status
    Social Attachment
    Size of Settlement
    Geographic Location
    Family Structure and Process
    Peer Association
    Prior Deviance
    11. External Motivation Theories
    Structural Inducements
    Situational Inducements
    Interaction Process
    12. Internal Motivation Theories
    Self Theories
    Reactance Theory
    Psycho-Dynamic Theory
    13. Internal Constraint Theories
    Self Control
    Morality Theories
    14. External Constraint Theories
    Social Control
    15. Integrated Theory
    Requirements for Successful Theory
    Control Balance Theory
    The Basic Idea
    The Theoretical Argument
    Application to Societies and Other Organizations
    A Related Application
    Contingencies for the Control Balancing Process Integration
    16. Theories of Rate Variations
    Rate Variations
    Theories of Societal Rate Variations
    Generalizing Micro Level Principles
    Theories Specific to Ecological Units
    Theories That Apply to Ecological Units and to Individuals
    17. The Relevance of Practitioner Organization for Theories of Deviance
    Practitioner Organization and External Motivation Theories
    Practitioner Organization and Internal Motivation Theories
    Practitioner Organization and Internal Constraint Theories
    Practitioner Organization and External Constraint Theories
    Practitioner Organization and Integrated Theories
    Practitioner Organization and Theories of Rate Variation
    Aggregated Micro Theories
    Ecological Theories
    Theories That Apply to Ecological Units and to Individuals