Evaluating Deviance Part One

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Evaluating Deviance

Part One

  • Get into groups of 3. Determine who will be the Recorder, Mediator, and Goal Setter.

  • You will have 10 minutes to complete Part Two.

  • Below are several behavior scenarios in which individuals are enacting some form of crime and/or deviance.

  • Discuss the scenarios within your group and come to a consensus regarding how you would rank the behaviors using a continuum from the least acceptable behavior all the way up to the most acceptable.

  • Write the names of each of the people described in that order in the box provided below.

  • Be prepared to discuss why your group selected this particular sequence.

Anna, a 21 year old student has an affair with 45 year old Bill, a lawyer. Bill is married and has four kids. His wife has breast cancer and has been in and out of the hospital.
Bruno, a 52 year old inmate, finds out his cell mate is a pedophile and murders him while he sleeps.
Carl, age 22, is a divorced father of one. He works late into the evening many nights and routinely misses or comes in late to his 9 a.m. sociology class. Often, while the teacher is giving a lecture, Carl puts his head down and naps.
Donna, now age 24, stole a dress last year from a department store. She was never caught, but feels very guilty about the theft. She has never told anyone but still wears the dress on occasion.
Erma, age 31, has three children and was laid off from a factory job six months ago. In order to feed her family, she occasionally slips a few pieces of fruit into her pockets at the supermarket and does not pay for them.
Fred, a 45 year old plumber, came home to find his wife in bed with another man. He beats the man to death with a golf club and slaps his wife to the ground.
Gerald, a 19 year old student is ditching school constantly. In the month of September he was at school 3 times. When he is asked by teachers why he is absent, he always seems to have a good excuse.
Hope, a 16 year old high school student, has problems with smoking and drinking. She was sent to rehab twice by her parents with no results. She was just released from rehab and promised not to touch alcohol or cigarettes anymore. Last night she got drunk in her bedroom.
Ivan, a 38 year old police officer, lives at home by himself. He enjoys shopping and buying new things. His house is stuffed with so many things that it is hard to go from room to room. He also does not clean his home. It has not been cleaned for 3 years. When his friends confront him about these issues, he thinks they are exaggerating.
Jeff, a 60 year old engineer, loves to watch people. At his home he has equipment to spy on people, which he considers his “hobby.” During the weekends he rents different apartments and watches different people.

Least Acceptable

Most Acceptable

  • Discuss as a group how your ranking from Part One may change if…

    • …the “offenders” were of the opposite sex.

    • …the “offenders” were of a different age.

    • …the “offenders” had a different familial arrangement.

  • What makes each activity better or worse than the next?

  • Did your group add information to each scenario to aid in your decision making?

  • How does this relate to our discussion on the concept of In and Out groups?

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