Sociology 2213
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Do away with doing time for 'minor' crimes

Do away with doing time for 'minor' crimes | Sociology 2213 |
Congress recognized 40 years ago that it was counterproductive and just plain wrong to incarcerate juveniles for trivial misbehavior such as truancy, breaking curfew, smoking or drinking. These acts, known as status offenses, are illegal only because the person committing them is a minor. Federal law passed at that time prohibited states from locking away most status offenders, but in 1980 the law was amended to allow incarceration when a court order had been violated.
Ashley Vigil's insight:

This article is intriguing because Congress passed a bill that allowed states to not incarcerate the juveniles for minor crimes. Instead they offer them rehabilitation programs, and community service. I think that these actions towards preventing juvenile delinquency. This will be more effective because the kids will be in a learning environment rather than an environment that encourages deviant behaviors.

Erin Madden's comment, April 14, 2014 12:16 PM
good connection to our discussions in class about how prisons do little to rehabilitate offenders. This article shows that some changes towards refocusing on rehabilitation are happening!
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Severe mental illness: How Virginia's system fails and a mother's grief

Severe mental illness: How Virginia's system fails and a mother's grief | Sociology 2213 |
I am heartbroken after reading the Daily Press series on the mentally ill in jail.
Ashley Vigil's insight:

Many people who are deviant are also diagnosed with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, multiple personality disorder, etc. Sometimes, they are unable to distinguish between the lines of deviance and moral actions. Their disease causes them to commit acts that are deviant. But the other side stigmatizes people with disorders as deviant. They have schizophrenia; therefore, they will commit a crime. Which isn't true.

Erin Madden's comment, February 12, 2014 10:49 AM
Interesting article that definitely hits on many issues we talked about last week with ch.12. Mental illness is definitely a "double edged sword" in terms of stigma, like you say. On the one hand, being diagnosed with a mental disorder moves their "bad" behavior to "sick" behavior (like medicalization says), but mental illness is still stigmatized, though maybe less so than violent/weird/abnormal behavior. So, maybe being diagnosed as mentally ill can ease some kinds of stigmatization, but not fully un-stigmatize someone. I also think this article highlights some serious issues with deinstitutionalization of extremely mentally ill patients. What are some of the problems the mother of this patient experienced with getting her son treatment?
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Japanese man stole $185,000 to feed 120 cats gourmet food - The Japan Daily Press

Japanese man stole $185,000 to feed 120 cats gourmet food - The Japan Daily Press | Sociology 2213 |
We've heard of people stealing money so that their family can eat, but this Japanese man took this took this to a whole different level – he went on a y

Via Marcus Irving
Ashley Vigil's insight:

This article intrigued me, not only because it was for his cat, but because the man was unemployed. I think that free will or rational choice theory can be applied here. Although to some people this may not seem like a rational choice, the deviant may have thought his chances of getting caught were slim.

Marcus Irving's curator insight, January 22, 2014 7:56 PM

add your insight...

I found this story interesting because it illustrates how someone could break a social norm (burglary), not in an attempt to satisfy one’s own needs but rather to benefit the lifestyle of one’s pets. This article details an unemployed male who acquires $180,000 over the course of 32 home thefts in an attempt to feed his cats gourmet quality meals (LOL). It led me to ask the question: what kinds of social bonds may have been absent in this mans life to allow him to put his own freedom and well being at risk for the adoration of animals? Also what theory would best explain this mans behavior? Could this be a example of Routine Activity Theory. in which all three elements just lined up for deviance to occur, or possibly another explanation fits the situation. What would lead a person to commit crimes against other human beings just to provide such luxury for pets? From a macro level analysis I wonder, does mass media play a role in this mans behavior. Is this a case of Anomie, where television depicts such a glamorous portrayal of how people pamper their pets that the man felt he couldn’t provide a suitable level of pleasure for his companions with the means he had available and decided to turn to a life of crime out of frustration. What do you guys think about this, I’d like to know?

Erin Madden's comment, January 23, 2014 6:57 PM
Very good analysis, Marcus.
Kayla Streit's comment, January 28, 2014 12:32 PM
I find it intriguing that, like Marcus said, he engaged in deviant behavior not for selfish gain, but for the animals . Again with the social bonds theory: what was missing in this poor guy's life that he feels the need to feed 120 cats? And gourmet food? He's also Japanese, so possibly a cultural difference?
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York pastor arrested for sex crimes denied bond

York pastor arrested for sex crimes denied bond | Sociology 2213 |

Pastor will stay in jail for now after warrants outline alleged molestations over five years.

Ashley Vigil's insight:

This article was very intriguing to me. This man, a registered sex offender, is a pastor. In 2003, he abused two young girls, and in 2009, he began molesting a 14 year old girl. I think that labeling theory could play a part in this. He was labeled as a sex offender; therefore, he lives up to those standards. However, I also think that many crimes have a repetitive nature. They are cyclical in a way.

Melissa Denetdale's comment, March 10, 2014 10:56 PM
Society would definitely see that this is deviant behavior since there is harm being done and to minors, no less. Society takes a strong dominance in having no tolerance in sexual acts towards a minor. This applies even if the sexual acts were mutual. Society has strongly expressed that a legal adult begins at the age of 18. This case also illustrates how society trusts religious leaders only to be shocked that they are found to exploit their power and use it to their advantage. I find it disturbing since this group that chooses to go against their teachings of being of a certain standard religious-wise, and they have no recognition that they will be condemned according to the religion they follow. Perhaps they recognize it but still pursue the "sin" and feel that remorse and forgiveness will be in accordance regardless of their actions. I think this double-standard makes religion a very cautious aspect of life and perhaps that is why so many people dispute over what is "right" and "just" in the religious or spiritual or lack there of. There is much harm done since the victims are female. There is no more harm that could be done then to that of a child.
Erin Madden's comment, March 13, 2014 1:03 PM
Good application of labeling theory, Ashley. It is also crazy to me that this convicted sex offender seems to have continued to be a religious leader after these convictions! How they heck did the congregation not get upset and kick him out? He was first convicted in 2003, and continued to be a pastor and work with children. Seems like a breakdown of both formal and informal social control that should have been denying this man access to young people.
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Regina sociology prof calls Bieber's arrests 'transition phase' | News Talk 650 CKOM

Regina sociology prof calls Bieber's arrests 'transition phase' | News Talk 650 CKOM | Sociology 2213 |
Saskatoon's Number One News and Information Station - Saskatoon News, Saskatoon Sports, Saskatoon Weather, Breaking News
Ashley Vigil's insight:

Justin Bieber was labelled a "goody two shoes", which ma have influenced his actions and music before these incidents. His label caused many people to be shocked when he acted out. Now, I'm not saying that I'm a fan of JB, because I'm not. But when people are assigned these labels, they are expected by society to live up to it. When they progress out of it, the society sees it as deviant and shocking. The label placed on JB wasn't a bad label, but I believe it still applies to labelling theory and how different people respond to their labels.

Kristy Gipson's comment, February 2, 2014 9:04 PM
I agree with what you are saying here. I also believe that all pop stars/singers start off the innocent and wanting to sing because they really had a passion for it. As time goes by we as people have seen the change in these singers and for the most part they seem to change for the worse. Drug use, alcoholism and bad behavior that reflects them as the person with money and nothing will happen to them. In time they all burn those bridges and lose their fame and glory. The labeling theory applies to all those in this situation.
Erin Madden's comment, February 4, 2014 5:18 PM
Great discussion of labeling theory. Ashley, very good discussion of how a positive label can make a later deviant act seem even worse! labeling theory actually doesn't say much about this, but it's a great addition to the theory. Labeling theory doesn't tell us that someone with a "good guy" label acting deviantly may be labeled more harshly than, say, someone like Charlie Sheen or Kanye West, who have more "wild" labels attached to their personas. If they were drag racing, surely there would be less shock. DO you think Justin has a new label after this incident? Was this incident his primary deviation and now secondary deviations will occur? I guess we'll find out!
Ashley Vigil's comment, February 4, 2014 5:25 PM
Justin may receive anew label as a teen who is "acting out". And as he nears adulthood, his label may change to that of Kanye or Charlie Sheen. Justin is going through a transition phase, and he's going to grow out of his "goody two shoes" label. The question is, will he do so successfully and maintain his fans? For example, take Miley Cyrus. Her “transitional phase” began with her song “Cannot Be Tamed”, and from there, she declined into the label of “dirty”, if that's what we'll call it. Now if you take someone like Selena Gomez, I personally feel like she has transitioned properly. Granted, some of her music has sexual themes, she is more grounded and seems to have maintained her fan base than Miley. So, in all reality, it depends on which path Justin begins to take, and which turn he will take with his music.