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Race, Gender and Deviance

Race, Gender and Deviance

Author: Paul Hannan
Description:

Recognize how race and gender are related to deviance.

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Source: Intro Music by Mark Hannan; Public Domain

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[THEME MUSIC] Welcome to this episode of Sociology Studies of Society. Today's lesson is on race, gender, and deviance. As always, don't be afraid to pause, stop, rewind, or even fast forward to make sure you get the most out of this tutorial.

So today, we're looking at how race and gender really interplay with deviance, and this is a intense, broad topic. So I'm just going to give you kind of an overview, and I'm going to start, actually, with an example from my own life.

These are three young kids that I happen to know all of them. In this photo, you have Sebastian, my nephew, and then his best friend from daycare, and I happen to be good friends with his dad Tyler, and their other friend, Iris. And you see them all sitting there. It's at Tyler's third birthday party. They're happy. They're enjoying themselves.

But today, we're talking about deviants. All those theories of deviance that you might have heard about in the other tutorials, they're all going to affect these three individuals differently, especially when you're thinking about race and gender. So Sebastian, being an African-American male, those theories of deviance, they're going to apply a little bit differently to him because of the way that our society is structured, because of the institutional racism in our society, because of individual racism, because of prejudices. The theories of deviance are going to apply to apply to him a little differently than they do to Tyler or to Iris. Iris, as a female, is also going to have some very different kind of perspectives of her own on deviance because of her sex.

So when we're thinking about theories of deviance, they all apply to all of them, but they all might apply in different ways, and there's really this gray zone. And sociology is really interested in kind of understanding that gray zone and really seeing how and why society does those things.

Now one thing that all three of them is similar for them, besides them being great kids, is that they all could be victims of hate crime. Now a hate crime is just a criminal act motivated by a racial or other biases. Again, any three of them could be a victim of a hate crime. It's just that it's motivated by some sort of bias. So it could be based on gender. It could be based on race. It could be based on sexuality. There's many different things that it could be based on.

Now hate crimes are racially motivated, generally through racial hostility. And racial hostility is just this anger at the other racial group. So it's often the motivator behind hate crimes.

I want to take a second and just explain the feminist perspective on deviance a little more here. So specifically, if you look at the feminist movement around the world, universally, all societies kind of constrain the rights of women more than men. It doesn't matter whether you're in Central Africa, or Northern Europe, or Southeast Asia, across the globe, there are different standards of what those constraints are, but women's rights are more constrained in societies across the globe.

So what is a deviant act because they're more constrained in general is going to change if you're looking at it through this lens as feminist perspective. Now one of the things that the feminist perspective says about deviance is that the female perspective isn't really adequately considered when you're looking at general theories of deviance. So the strain theory is the idea that deviance is caused by a disconnect between the cultural goals and the means that are available to them. Well, the feminist perspective, there are different cultural goals set up for females. So does the strain theory really fit them? Does it have to be modified for them? The feminist perspective really argues that these theories need to be modified to consider both genders.

So today's takeaway message is kind of weird because the only key terms I have for you are the feminist perspective on deviance and hate crimes. So in the feminist perspective on deviance, there's an emphasis on the constraints put on women across the globe, and theories of deviance don't really adequately consider the female perspective. And then a hate crime is just a criminal act motivated by racial or other biases. Well, that's it for this lesson. Good work. And hopefully, you'll be seeing me on your screen again soon. Peace.

Terms to Know
Feminist Perspective on Deviance

Emphasizes the subordinate position of women all over the world and draws attention to the fact that existing theories of deviance such as strain, social conflict, and labeling theory, have not adequately addressed the reasons women may become deviant.

Hate Crime

Criminal acts motivated by race, sexual orientation, religion of some form of bias.