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Jail And Deviance Essay, Research Paper

11-11-96

Sociology 102

Application paper

The visit to the jail, brought new insight to the terms mentioned in the book. In the chapter on deviance, we learned about the deviant people that are part of our society.

A deviant is defined as a person that is recognized of violation of the cultural norm. During the chat session with the inmates, they mentioned to us that their home life was not missing anything. They were so used to the drugs and misbehavior by their parents and surroundings that to them it was the norm. For those people I believe that they are not capable of distinguishing the norms of the society. So, in turn they are institutionalized for something that they may not be aware of is wrong. The institution, like the jail we went to, seemed like it was not such an awful place to be. The inmates received three meals a day, they had games to play, phones to talk on, cable television, programs like AA, and other contacts to the “outside” that I thought they wouldn t have. However, we were told that there was a pecking order within the institution, that gave certain inmates authority among the rest. I think depending upon your status in the institution, the more or less enjoyable your stay will be. The way in which the sheriffs spoke about the inmates, most of them are repeat offenders. This is a term labeled criminal recidivism . The two inmates that we spoke to stated that they were both in and out of the system. In most cases, I feel as if these people whom are institutionalized are given a retrospective label by the society that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. No matter how they turn their lives around they will always have their past to look back on. The labeling theory states that deviance and conformity result, not so much from what people do, as from how others respond. I know that when I walked through the jail, I saw many faces of people that look like normal faces in our society. They could have been neighbors, relatives, friends, anyone!!! The people in the society that have that so called “bad” look, may not be the ones that are committing the crimes in the first place. I learned that I need to be cautious of everyone, because you never know who the deviant people may be.


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