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Social Deviance and Crime: An Organizational and Theoretical Approach

NCJ Number
Charles R. Tittle; Raymond Paternoster
Date Published
752 pages
This volume presents a conceptual and empirical analysis of deviance as an integrated concept that is differentiated mainly by how well deviant and criminal enterprises are organized; the volume analyzes different types of deviant and criminal acts according to an ascending scale created by combining nine different features of organization.
The discussion notes that the study of deviance and the study of criminal behavior have traditionally been considered as separate phenomena. In contrast, this text regards acts of social deviance and most acts of crime as conceptually similar. Both categories encompass behaviors that are socially disapproved; specific acts differ mainly in the degree to which they are disapproved. Social disapproval is an important characteristic that links apparently diverse behaviors, including religious and sexual deviance, organized crime, youth gangs, drug use, and serial murder. The authors argue that socially disapproved conduct is potentially explicable by similar theories regardless of the legal status of particular acts. The analysis explores theories and explanations about how deviance takes place, how it developed, and why it is maintained. Other chapters discuss variations in the distribution and rate of deviant acts within society and how theory can and cannot account for these known variations. Tables, figures, photographs, subject and name indexes, and approximately 1,300 references